NEW! See the California Air Resources Board tell its staff to plan
specifically for phasing down oil refining.
VIEW THE BOARD'S SEPT. 1, 2022 DISCUSSION WITH ITS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (A 45-minute view, from time mark 1:04:30.)
Groups expose site-specific and global impacts of the oil industry's preferred biofuel technology
Oil companies are moving to repurpose stranded crude refining assets for a particular type of biofuel. This biofuel is uniquely prone to cause increased carbon emissions, deforestation, explosion hazards for refinery workers, and acute exposures to flare emissions in Black, Brown and low-income communities near their new bio-refineries. But these potential impacts are not disclosed in draft environmental reviews for the largest of these projects proposed to date.
Oil refiners say air pollution control wastes too much water. Their refineries waste up to 50 times more. And can recycle.
Biofuels: Burning food?
When two of the five refiners in its region presented their plans to process biofuels instead of crude oil to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the District asked about fuel chain impacts associated with the new biofuel feedstock. Good Question. READ FACT SHEET
Union Local Calls for Just Transition Policy in the Oil Fields.
An August 5, 2020 letter to California officials from United Steelworkers Local 675 asserts that oil companies should pay for plugging their abandoned wells, and this work should accelerate now to create jobs, protect communities, and "advance a just transition away from fossil fuels."
Based in the LA area, United Steelworkers (USW) 675 represents oil production workers and is the state's major refinery operator workers union local. Asked about refining, Charlie Sandoval of USW 675 said "we need to plan something yesterday for refinery workers' transition. The only way that we can guarantee that is for community and labor to get together on a real plan." The new call for action in the oil fields advances part of such a serious plan. READ LETTER
DECOMMISSIONING CALIFORNIA REFINERIES
Climate and Health Paths
in an Oil State
A Report by Greg Karras, G. Karras Consulting
prepared for Communities for a Better Environment
release date: July 6, 2020
Decommissioning California Refineries
We need to talk about how we are going to break free from our toxic relationship with oil before it takes us over a cliff.
Put formally, the scientific consensus that petroleum use must be cut rapidly to stabilize our climate at 1.5–2ºC above pre-industrial levels and proven alternatives to oil we have now beg a question. What could reverse the political inertia that has stalled action to replace oil with sustainable alternatives? This is now the urgent question upon which the continued existence of human societies as we know them may depend. Yet little formal attention has so far been paid to the site-specific conditions that affect societal capacity to escape oil dependence in time.
The research reported in Decommissioning California Refineries, done for the environmental justice group Communities for a Better Environment, reveals specific answers to the parts of this urgent question framed by communities in the dominant oil refining state on the U.S. West Coast: What is the least-impact, most socially just, most feasible path to climate and health protection in California?
© 2020 Greg Karras, G Karras Consulting