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Guest Blast from Jim Rogers: Chevron Proposal Needs Refining

Jim Rogers asked that I share this with E-FORUM subscribers:


Dear E-Forum Readers,

I know there is a lot of community concern about the proposed Chevron Hydrogen Project, and rightly so. At a time when more and more people are realizing that our current oil based transportation system is the main reason for the Global Warming nightmare, when more and more working families are being priced out of the gas market, and when there is now indisputable scientific evidence of serious health impacts to residents living near transportation corridors, Chevron is proposing a revamping and rebuilding of their facility that will let them continue this system for 50 or so years. I received a very thoughtful email from Michael Beer, and I am sharing my response to him with you, and his response back to me.

I apologize in advance if this is a repeat of my response back to the hundreds of concerned people who have already contacted me on this issue.


Jim Rogers    

Hi, Michael

Thanks for your comments concerning the Chevron Hydrogen Renewal Project. Although Chevron spent about $50,000 unsuccessfully trying to prevent me from being elected to the Richmond City Council, my decision will be based on the issues, not on my own personal feelings about Chevron. This is a very complicated project, and I don't claim to understand it in spite of having spent hundreds of hours and reading thousands of pages, and in spite of authoring Contra Costa County's "Good Neighbor" tough oil refinery safety law. The current proposal from Chevron is unacceptable. Before I would consider supporting this application, I will be looking for an application that is "refined" such that it:  
* Takes all reasonable steps to minimize/avoid increases in carbon emissions that cause global warming, and other dangerous chemical emissions. 
* Provides for mitigation, in Richmond, of any unavoidable emission increases. I am sick and tired of mitigation
 for environmental problems that occur in Richmond being exported to other communities. 
* Provides for a community benefits package whereby Chevron steps up to the plate to take real action for Richmond. 10% of the expected $800,000,000 to $1,000,000,000 cost of the project would mean $80,000,000 to $100,000,000.
* Takes all reasonable steps to get local workers off the streets and into jobs on this project
If you have any other comments on this project, or on other matters, please feel free to call me or email me.This is an incredibly complicated project, and I and my Council colleagues need as much input as possible.
Please don't feel you need to be an "expert" for your input to be of assistance. As Lao Tzu said, "In the expert's mind there are few possibilities, in the beginner's mind there are many." 

Jim Rogers

Richmond Councilmember




Re: Thank You

Dear Jim Rogers,
Thank you for being the only councilmember to respond to the eye-opening Mississippi Clarion-Ledger business article about Chevron, and the petroleum industry's plans to refine heavier and dirtier crude oil. Lao Tzu also said, "The most involved fact in the world could have been faced when it was simple.  The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small." Before long the City Council will be given the opportunity to solve the Chevron problem. By now, most people know that Chevron hid its intentions, and that the new machinery will give them the capacity to process the heavier, more polluting, and crude. To not think they will use that capacity would be naive.  The greater processing demands of that stock will also result in increased risk of accidents, fires, and flaring as the Subra report argued. Before these big problems and the increased risk of illness from increased pollution arise, there is a simple solution.  Cap the crude at the current level and monitor it at three points; intake, flow through and exit. The new staff report says that no other refinery has a crude cap. Yes and the biggest problem in the world - global warming - could have been solved by this type of bold regulation when it was small. If we want to end pollution and move toward a healthy and green future, I can think of no reason not to cap the crude.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Beer