The Richmond City Council has an excellent opportunity to improve the quality of life for its residents on July 15. That’s the day when it will meet to decide whether to allow Chevron to make important improvements at its Richmond Refinery.
Chevron is proposing to make upgrades to its machinery that will enhance environmental controls, reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and increase the amount of gas produced that meets California’s tough environmental standards – all without expanding the refinery or increasing the overall amount of fuel it produces.
One would think that any responsible elected official would be thrilled to get behind such an obviously beneficial project. But of course, this being the Bay Area, the Council has been bombarded during the four-year-long planning process with misinformation about the project from people who cynically cloak themselves in phony environmentalism. Their goal is to spread fear, not understanding.
Some of the false claims against Chevron include the ridiculous accusation that the project would increase pollution. In fact, one of the main inspirations for what the company calls the Energy and Hydrogen Renewal Project is the fact that it will result in a net REDUCTION in overall emissions!
The city even hired an independent consultant to review Chevron’s project and he has determined that the claims against it are just plain wrong.
It’s also important to note that in addition to the community and environmental benefits, the project itself will generate 1,200 high skilled and good paying jobs.
It’s unfortunate that the forces misinformation and duplicity have been leading Richmond astray for so long. But on July 15 the Richmond City Council has a chance to get past all that.
A vote for the renewal project is a vote for a better refinery and a better Richmond. Let’s hope the City Council does the right thing.
You may of course be wondering about this coverage of Chevron, but what I've noticed, and what the folks at Oakland Focus have given me room to explain, is that there's a knee-jerk reaction to large companies that tends to mask the truth behind any story. What's interesting about Chevron is that it's a massive target for any journalist that want to make headlines and score liberal points.
I know this because I'm liberal.
But after a time, the song "Chevron did this, or that" becomes so tired one, like myself, becomes compelled to look for a more balanced position, and many independent media editors don't allow that view -- Oakland Focus does.