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Citizens speak out against a Bay Area Refinery Corridor

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San Francisco, CA Andrés Soto Richmond organizer for Communities for a Better Environment announced today that Bay Area groups, particularly people from oil project towns, and citizens groups like Credo Mobile, 350 Bay Area, Oakland Occupy, Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition, Idle No More, and others will speak out against what they believe will be a Bay Area Refinery Corridor master plan in a rally at this Wednesday's Dec 4th Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board Meeting.

350 Bay Area leaders believe the BAAQMD has been caving into the oil industry on the Regional Green House Gas Emissions Rule. "It is imperative that we let the Board members know the community is deeply engaged in these issues.We need to show support to our allies on the Board who want to see Bay Area Green House Gas Emissions reduced substantially."

The board will receive a report that citizens have requested to address the linkages of all of the Bay Area proposed Crude by Rail and Refinery Projects. Citizens groups believe that BAAQMD will try to downplay the connections to deny the oil industry has a master plan for a Bay Area Refinery Corridor.

Permits for the following five refineries were submitted to the EPA under the review title V in the San Francisco Bay Area from the BAAQMD on August 13, 2003. Title V means that the public may petition the EPA to object to specific permits.

  • Chevron Products Company in Richmond
  • Conoco Phillips Company in Rodeo
  • Shell Oil Company in Martinez
  • Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company in Martinez
  • Valero Refining Company in Benicia

Currently petitions have been responded to for the Tesoro and Valero Refineries by Our Children's Earth represented by Golden Gate University; Conoco Phillips Refinery by Communities for a Better Environment; and Chevron Refinery by Communities for a Better Environment, Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local 342, Heat and Frost Insulators/Asbestos Workers Local 16, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 302, the Boilermakers Union Local 549, and the Laborers Union Local 324; represented by Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo.

In addition to these projects listed above, according to the Pittsburg Defense Council, a grassroots group to stop the proposed Pittsburg, CA oil terminal, WesPac Energy wants to build an enormous energy infrastructure project in Pittsburg, promising jobs and revenue for the city and energy for California. Their mega oil terminal would bring in up to 10 million gallons of crude oil per day by ship, rail, and expanded pipelines. The new massive rail terminal would see more than 100 tanker cars each day carrying crude oil. And PG&E’s old tanks near the waterfront would be upgraded to create a new tank “farm” for crude oil storage

Per the annual Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) Low Carbon Economy Index centres that is a measure of the rate of change of global carbon intensity, the required improvement in global carbon intensity to meet a 2ºC warming target has risen to 5.1% a year, from 2012 to 2050. "We have passed a critical threshold – not once since 1950 has the world achieved that rate of decarbonisation in a single year, but the task now confronting us is to achieve it for 39 consecutive years."

The 2011 rate of improvement in carbon intensity was 0.8%. "Even doubling our rate of decarbonisation, would still lead to emissions consistent with six degrees of warming. To give ourselves a more than 50% chance of avoiding two degrees will require a six-fold improvement in our rate of decarbonisation."

The BAAQMD Board meeting will be held at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board Meeting at 939 Ellis St. in San Francisco Wednesday, December 4, 2013 9AM Rally, and 9:45AM Board Meeting.

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