Interesting developments…

 

 

cruderail

There is much news to report.  Suddenly it seems the nation has awakened to the “advantaged crude” dilemma and the problems associated with its transport and refining.

But first, news from the EPA vs Phillip 66.

Phillips 66 Co., which operates the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse and the Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, La., has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and retire more than 21 billion sulfur credits the company could have used or sold to other refiners to meet reductions in the sulfur content of gasoline.

It seems that a few of their refineries falsified reports about the amount of sulfur in their gasoline to the EPA, and took sulfur credits for gasoline diluted with ethanol, which isn’t allowed.  This was discovered through independent audits. The story is here.  The settlement from the EPA is here.

A news station in Amarillo provided an interesting spin on the settlement, blaming everyone from Obama to the EPA for the “job killing, cost raising” fine.  See that report here.  It’s worth it.

More local than you might imagine is the fight going on in southern California over the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Extension Project.  This project would add huge rail capabilities to that refinery to receive Bakken Crude and Tar Sands Crude.  That refinery is connected by pipeline to the Rodeo refinery, and supplies a large amount of its feed product.  In fact Phillips 66 refers to these two refineries together as the “San Francisco Refinery”.  They are inextricably linked, but attempt to keep themselves separate for reasons most understood by their lawyers and not understood by environmentalists.

Here is a good opinion piece about the project.

It was just announced that the EIR for that project will be recirculated.  Read Tom Lochner’s CCTimes article here.

The trains carrying that highly volatile crude would likely pass through Richmond and Berkeley.  Both cities this week passed resolutions that will try to prevent that, although they don’t have a direct say about what travels on those federally controlled rail tracks.  Might it be safe?  Read this story for that view.

KPIX revealed that Bakken Crude is already coming into the Bay Area to the Kinder Morgan terminal in Richmond.  It is being offloaded to tanker trucks and moved to refineries.  This all happened without any EIR and was allowed by BAAQMD, which now has a lawsuit against them from four local environmental groups.  There is cause given for an immediate shutdown of the operation.  KPIX has an excellent report here.

The Complaint
Preliminary injunction

And finally, the April 1 hearing on the EIR of the P66 Propane recovery project has been postponed indefinitely.  Perhaps a new date will be set at the April 1 BOS meeting.   I will keep you posted.

Many people have worked hard to bring these issues to light, and we applaud them.  Thank you all!

 

 

 

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