|Will Chevron Come to the Table?
April 29, 2010
California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez have invited Chevron and the Plaintiffs in the Chevron refinery litigation to sit down on May 4 to negotiate a settlement. The plaintiffs have accepted, but Chevron is still considering its options.
An article form today’s Sacramento Bee appears below:
Editorial: Time to end lawsuit on Chevron refinery
Published Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010
For the last several months, Chevron and neighbors of its refinery in Richmond have been locked in lose-lose litigation that has benefited neither workers nor the environment.
Following is a press release from Environmental Justice Groups:
For Immediate Release: April 29, 2010
Environmental Justice Groups Accept Invitation to Negotiate Refinery Expansion
The Court found that the EIR should have addressed changes in the grade of crude oil the refinery would process after the expansion. The expansion project would increase the refinery’s ability to process dirtier grades of crude oil according to three independent experts for the community, the State Attorney General’s office, and the Contra Costa Building Trades, all of whom independently reviewed Chevron’s plans. The court also found fault with the EIR for failing to include specific and proven plans to mitigate a substantial increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the expansion. This plant already is the single biggest industrial polluter of climate change gases in the state of California.
Though the community’s position has been reaffirmed by the appellate court, we agree that there are people in Richmond – members of the communities we represent among them – who badly need the kind of skilled jobs the project would provide. These jobs don’t have to come at the cost of the health of the men, women and children who live near the facility. There is a way to improve the refinery's efficiency and safety without increasing the toxic pollution residents must contend with every day of their lives.
Throughout the litigation process, we have repeatedly agreed to negotiate in order to arrive at a just and appropriate settlement. We still think this is possible.
We, therefore, accept the invitation from California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez to assist the parties in restarting settlement talks in Sacramento. We thank them for their leadership.
We remain committed to a solution that is beneficial for both residents and those who need these jobs. Only Chevron can make it happen. We urge them again to work with us.”
Last year, CBE, APEN and WCTC issued a challenge to the Chevron renovation under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the 40-year-old law which requires California agencies to analyze and publicly disclose the potential environmental impacts of development projects. The intent of the challenge was to protect our children’s health; to do so, we must hold Chevron accountable for misrepresenting the project, failing to disclose the fact that the renovation would allow the company to process heavier crude resulting in increased air pollution and negative health effects, and failing to mitigate those negative effects.
A state appeals court in San Francisco ruled on April 26 against Chevron's plans to renovate and expand its Richmond refinery.
During the litigation CBE, APEN, and WCTC repeatedly agreed to negotiate to find a way forward that addresses both the economic and public health crises in Richmond – and Chevron has repeatedly refused to meet in a way that is transparent and accountable: