More unemployment means a smaller carbon footprint, as California greenies succeed in convincing a judge to shut down a needed modernization of California's oldest refinery, the massive 104 year old Chevron Richmond refinery. David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:
A judge has ordered Chevron Corp. to stop work on its controversial oil refinery expansion in Richmond, handing environmentalists their biggest victory in a long fight over the project.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barbara Zuniga gave Chevron 60 days to wind up work on the project, which would have given the 107-year-old refinery greater flexibility to process different types of crude oil. Zuniga's orders, dated Wednesday, were released Thursday.
Her ruling doesn't kill the upgrade project outright. But before it could proceed, Chevron would need a new environmental impact report and a new permit from the Richmond City Council, which narrowly approved the project last year. Zuniga ruled last month that the original environmental report didn't answer key questions, siding with environmental and community groups that had sued to stop the expansion.
One hundred workers were laid off yesterday, and as many as a thousand may lose their jobs as the project shuts down. After years of effort, and many millions of dollars expended, I wonder if Chevron will be willing to risk another round? Might just be simpler to buy refined products elsewhere, or maybe invest in a refinery in Mexico.
The improvement project looked like a real winner to me. I have been following its progress for a couple of years now, as I have taken an interest in the civic affairs of Richmond, a deeply troubled, mostly-minority city a few miles north of Berkeley. Among the many benefits of the project, the refinery would have been able to squeeze 7% more gasoline out of a barrel of oil, and would have been able to refine a wider range of crude.
Greenies don't care, though.