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Chevron Richmond Refinery States Leading Greenhouse Polluter by decree


									For Immediate Release, November 24, 2009

Sandy Saeturn, APEN
Nile Malloy, CBE
Will Rostov, Earthjustice

          Chevron Richmond Refinery State's Leading
                     Greenhouse Polluter
     Controversial facility emits more greenhouse gases than any other in California

The Chevron Corporation's oil refinery in Richmond, California, is the single largest
source of greenhouse gas pollution in the state, according to data released by the state of

The figures, compiled by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) from industry
reports mandated by the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, were released
this month for the first time since the Act was passed. Of all in-state facilities reporting,
Chevron's Richmond refinery emitted the highest amount of greenhouse gases in 2008 —
equivalent to nearly 4.8 million tons of CO2.

The figures do not include greenhouse gases emitted when products of Chevron's refinery
are shipped to or used by consumers, but only those emissions originating within the
refinery itself.

A Chevron plan to expand the Richmond refinery — allowing the facility to refine
heavier crude oil than it can now process — could significantly increase the facility's
greenhouse gas emissions, according to scientist Greg Karras with the organization
Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). "At some refineries, switching to heavier
crude oil has increased emissions of greenhouse gases by more than 50 percent."

CBE, along with environmental groups the Asian-Pacific Environmental Network
(APEN) and the West County Toxics Coalition, represented by Earthjustice, sued the
City of Richmond over inadequacies in the expansion's Environmental Impact Report. On
June 4, a California Superior Court tossed out that Report in part because it lacked any
specific plan to mitigate the estimated nearly 900,000 tons of additional greenhouse gases
expected to result from the expansion. In addition, the Court found that the Report did
not clearly disclose the grades of oil the refinery would be able to process after expansion
and therefore did not identify, discuss, and mitigate the environmental impacts of using
heavier crude. Chevron has appealed that decision, and the expansion plan is on hold as
the State Court of Appeals deliberates the fate of the project.

"CARB's data shows that California's oil refineries are putting out huge amounts of
greenhouse gases," said CBE's Executive Director Bill Gallegos. "And yet CARB has
mandated almost no specific reductions measures for these emissions. The state is
supposed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, but the refineries
get a loophole big enough to drive a supertanker through."

The Richmond refinery expansion would likely increase emissions of other pollutants as
well, including chemicals linked to cancer and respiratory ailments. The EPA reported
nearly 100,000 pounds of toxic waste from the site in 2007 including more than 4,000
pounds of benzene (a known human carcinogen) and 455,000 pounds of ammonia,
repeated exposure to which can cause an asthma-like illness and lead to lung damage.

"It's not just greenhouse gases," said Richmond resident Kay Wallis, a health educator
with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSF. "Asthma rates in
Richmond are already twice the national average. For decades, Richmond families have
paid a steep price for living near Chevron's refinery. Now there's evidence that the impact
of Chevron's pollution extends well beyond our beleaguered local neighborhoods -- the
damage is worldwide."

“It’s a double whammy," said Sandy Saeturn, Lead Organizer with APEN and a
Richmond resident. "Chevron is hurting Richmond residents like my family with its toxic
pollution and hurting the planet with its greenhouse gases. I grew up in Richmond doing
Chevron refinery accident drills instead of fire drills. I don’t want my 9-yr old son Nicky
to keep doing the same.”

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