There are presently no limits on how much GHGs and toxic emissions each East Bay refinery can emit. Either a switch to dirtier tar sands crude, or an increase in production for export, could result in increasing emissions at a time when we urgently need to do the opposite.
As a result of community pressure the Board has agreed to study capping emissions and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is currently in process to accomplish that. Staff Management's opposition tactics have included; repeatedly calling the Board into closed sessions which excludes public participation; and also the delay tactic of pairing the caps proposal with an unrelated, staff generated “alternative" Health Risk Assessment proposal, which could take years to implement. Both proposals are now paired in one EIR.
We think we are close to a majority of the current Board supporting the caps proposal. However the refineries have a record of packing the meetings with their paid employees. We need to be sure that the Board hears loudly and clearly from us, that the public requires and expects them to follow through on their intention to create a backstop to prevent rising emissions by passing a Caps Rule.
We have been guaranteed by the Board that if the EIR process is slowed down by pairing with the HRA proposal, they will separate them to allow the Caps Proposal to move forward. We will be at this meeting to insure that the Board keeps this commitment and holds a hearing to make a decision at their May meeting.
Each of us will have an opportunity to speak for two minutes. We will also have a couple of minutes to ask the Board to stop subsidizing Natural Gas or Propane as an alternative in replacing wood burning stoves in their next initiative to reduce dangerous woodsmoke.
If you would like to carpool from Marin please call or email Richard below