Credo Action

Keep tar sands oil out of the San Francisco Bay

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    Keep tar sands oil out of the San Francisco Bay

    Phillips 66 wants to double tar sands tanker traffic into California.

    We’ve been here before. Last year, we battled the company to stop hundreds of oil trains bound for California and prevent a huge increase in greenhouse gases – and we won.1

    It is crucial to win this fight too. Remind California regulators that we need clean energy and clean air – not more tar sands tankers. The agency in charge of approving the marine terminal expansion that would allow more oil ships is taking public comments. If we flood regulators with opposition, we may be able to stop them from rubber stamping this dangerous plan.

    Send a quick comment to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and tell them that California doesn't need more tar sands tankers.

    Phillips 66 wants to expand the marine terminal at their refinery in Rodeo, California, increasing the amount of crude and gas oil brought by ship.2 Just like the construction of oil pipelines, expanding the use of oil transport ships is another way companies are trying to get more tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. But a tar sands spill off the California coast could be even more catastrophic than a pipeline leak.

    Alberta tar sands oil is far more toxic than conventional oils. Because tar sands oil does not float, it is impossible to clean up a tar sands spill in the ocean.3 Tar sands oil also take more time to biodegrade, making the risk of long-term environmental impacts even higher.4 Just as terrifying, an increase in tar sands oil production will affect the climate for generations.

    Last year, Phillips 66 spilled an unknown amount of crude oil that left a 40-yard wide, mile-long oil sheen floating in the San Francisco Bay just outside of this same refinery. That spill sent more than 100 residents of Vallejo to the hospital and prompted more than 1,400 odor complaints.5 Increasing tar sands tanker traffic will put California at risk of even worse spills.

    With the Trump administration blocking – and in many cases reversing – federal climate action, stopping dirty energy at the local level is our best hope for saving our climate. If we stop these extreme energy proposals close to home, we can help keep fossil fuels in the ground.

    Send a quick comment to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and tell them that California doesn't need more tar sands tankers.

    References:

    1. Monica Vaughan, "SLO County supervisors deny Phillips 66 oil-by-rail appeal," The San Luis Obispo Tribune, March 14, 2017.
    2. Bay Area Air Quality Management District, "Notice of Preparation and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting: Phillips 66 Marine Terminal Permit Revision Project - Draft Environmental Impact Report," June 14, 2017.
    3. Natural Resources Defense Council, “The tar sands tanker threat: American waterways in industry’s sights,” 2016.
    4. Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines: A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response,” The National Academies Press, 2016.
    5. Ted Goldberg, "Refinery, Tanker Firm Cited for Fumes That Sickened Scores in Vallejo," KQED, June 16, 2017.