Our Richmond residents and our local building trades’ men and women need the long awaited jobs Chevron’s Modernization Project will provide. We have waited long enough and should not be made to suffer further delays to a well-planned project. Chevron and city staff members worked together to produce an 1,100-plus-page report that is among the most comprehensive ever prepared involving an oil company seeking to modernize facilities, our own Attorney’s have reviewed and analyzed this report in detail.
The appearance that State Attorney General Kamala Harris' office criticized Richmond's draft environmental impact report recently made public does not tell the full story. The letter, dated June 6, did not take into consideration the final draft of the environmental impact report that came shortly out after. In fact, a spokesperson for Attorney General Kamala Harris quickly released a statement clarifying Harris’ position on the environmental review process for the Chevron Richmond refinery modernization project. “Our office met with Chevron and city officials to address many of these concerns,” spokesperson David Beltran said. “We are currently reviewing the revised EIR and expect that many of these concerns will have been addressed.” Chevron has worked with both the city and Attorney General’s office to meet their concerns. Chevron has pledged the unprecedented commitment to no net increase in criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions.
The modernization project will replace a hydrogen plant operating on 1960s-era technology with a more energy-efficient version, and enhance the refinery’s sulfur recovery units. It would not change the grade of crude oil processed at the refinery but will enable crude with higher sulfur content to be used. Most importantly, the modernization project will produce about 1,000 construction jobs plus it will add approximately 3,000 secondary jobs, and could restore tax revenues much needed for city services like police, fire, and roads for the City of Richmond.
We all want a safe and modern Chevron facility. Sufficient planning and research has been done to ensure the project will do just that. Still, our residents, union members, and skilled craftspeople need work now! Delaying unnecessarily puts an undue burden on the working people of the City of Richmond.
- Greg Feere, CFO, Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council