Panel to highlight climate, air pollution connections between Trans Mountain Pipeline, Phillips 66 San Francisco Refinery expansion

BC indigenous leaders, Bay Area elected officials and activists to discuss how resistance to oil pipelines, oil tankers, and refinery expansions connects frontline communities fighting climate change

San-Francisco-Bay-tanker

Traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands (OAKLAND, CA) — A panel of indigenous leaders from British Columbia, Canada and elected officials and local activists from the Bay Area will host a panel on Thursday, September 20, highlighting the climate and air pollution connections between Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion. 

The panel will discuss how resistance to oil pipelines, oil tankers, and refinery expansions connects frontline communities in Canada and the US who are rising to stop climate change.

Bay Area residents are concerned over how the San Francisco Refinery expansion to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands will increase refinery emissions, worsen local air quality for nearby communities, and increase the risk of a devastating oil spill. If the refinery’s full expansion moves ahead, more than twice as many crude oil tankers would travel to the refinery, some of them carrying tar sands from Canada, which is extremely difficult to clean up.

On Saturday, September 22, two days after the panel, indigenous leaders will lead a peaceful teach-in and prayer walk at Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery.

ABOUT THE PANEL

What: “Oil Pipelines Connecting Resistance: Extraction, Pipelines & Refineries”  — a panel for Bay Area residents who are concerned about climate change and want more information on issues related to the Trans Mountain Pipeline and pollution and spill risks associated with Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion.

Panelists include:

  • Charlene Aleck, councilmember with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia
  • Cedar George Parker, member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia and the Tulalip Tribe in Washington State
  • John Gioia, member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and board member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District
  • Shoshana Wechsler, cofounder of Sunflower Alliance
  • Moderator: Isabella Zizi, climate organizer with Stand.earth and Idle No More SF Bay 

When: Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7-9pm PST

Where: Cedar Room, WIC-Native American Health Center, 3124 International Blvd, Oakland, CA, 94601 

Online: The panel will be livestreamed online at facebook.com/standearth.

ABOUT THE TEACH-IN AND PRAYER WALK

What: A peaceful teach-in and prayer walk for Bay Area residents to learn more about the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion and how they can participate in upcoming events.

Who: Hosted by Indigenous Women of the Americas: Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty with support from Idle No More SF Bay and Stand.earth. From 2014-2017, Idle No More SF Bay hosted monthly refinery healing walks at refineries in the Bay Area to raise awareness of the fossil fuel corridor, communities living in nearby sacrifice zones, and the devastating health impacts to people living near the refineries.

When: Saturday, September 22, 11am-1pm

Where: Meet at Lone Tree Point, 24 Pacific Avenue, Rodeo, CA 94572

BACKGROUND ON PHILLIPS 66 SAN FRANCISCO REFINERY EXPANSION

Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery is currently seeking permits to expand its wharf capacity and more than double the number of oil tankers traveling to its refinery through San Francisco Bay. Some of those oil tankers would carry tar sands from Canada. Read more: Phillips 66 seeks to increase number of oil tankers on San Francisco Bay (Benicia Independent)

Canada has shipped crude oil to California for years. According to a 2018 Greenpeace report, over the last five years, two thirds of tankers loaded with crude oil from the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline went to California. Bay Area activists are concerned about the potential for increases in tar sands tankers coming to California from both the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Despite a recent Canadian Federal Court of Appeal ruling that puts construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion on hold while requiring proper consultation with First Nations and an examination of vessel traffic impacts to the Southern Resident Killer Whales, the Canadian federal government has indicated it wants to resume construction on the expansion project as soon as possible.

Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff recently approved an administrative permit allowing Phillips 66 to increase its hydrocracking capacity to be able to process larger quantities of heavy crude oil like tar sands, all of which could arrive by tanker if the refinery’s wharf expansion is permitted. Activists argue this administrative permit allows the refinery to “piecemeal” its larger wharf expansion project to bring in more tar sands tankers and should be considered as a single expansion project for environmental review.

The permit was issued without any public review or notice while BAAQMD Chief Air Pollution Control Officer Jack Broadbent was out of town. Broadbent, a key decision maker on Phillips 66’s permits for the wharf expansion; John Gioia, a member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and board member of BAAQMD; and other BAAQMD board members were in Canada to meet with industry and First Nations representatives about the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

Watch a YouTube video by Gioia about the trip and his thoughts on the risks to the Bay Area from the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary, virginia@stand.earth, 510-858-9902