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View Diary:  Chevron Amazon Disaster on 60 Minutes/UPDATE with clip (249 comments)

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  •  Even at home, Chevron is a tyrant. (35+ / 0-)

    They are being sued by the community, and refuse to pay their taxes, even after a cowed City Council let them have a questionable expansion permit.

    Meanwhile the community gets sicker from the pollution of the refineries.

    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

    by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 02:20:06 PM PDT

    •  good story there (5+ / 0-)

      "The due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government." George Washington

      by bob zimway on Sun May 03, 2009 at 02:26:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How is that tyrannical? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, dogemperor

      Read the articles you posted.  

      Chevron did an environmental impact statement; the argument is over whether there should be another one.  The tax increase pertains to Richmond's attempt to raise taxes on an existing refinery, despite rather suspect legal standing under California law.  I'm not sure what the question surrounding the expansion permit might be.

      I am all in favor of a $4/gallon tax on fuel, which would do more for conservation and emissions reduction than all the CAFE rules the government can come up with.  But the objections you cite deal not with pollution but with the simple issue of rule of law: a business - or any other entity - needs to know that when it makes a deal with the government, the government will honor its end of the bargain.  Waking up twenty years on and slapping a windfall tax on a company is the stuff of tinpot dictators, not stable republics.

      One way or another we need to modernize and expand our refining capacity.  That means strict environmental standards and the best technology we can come up with.  It also means that when we get through an environmental review, the review stands.  Otherwise you have the situation we have today, where no refinery has been built in thirty years.

      •  If you lived in the neighborhood (8+ / 0-)

        and rushed to bring the kids in during "stay in place" alarms that go off many times each year, you would not cut this corporation so much slack. Industrial pollution unfairly impacts the poorest neighborhoods in the country.

        Here is the argument against the expansion to dirty fuels at Chevron Richmond.

        "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

        by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:00:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  P.S. The EIS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, 1BQ

          deserves court scrutiny.

          That day comes on May 20.

          "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

          by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:05:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Then Where? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Progrocks, truong son traveler

          That is an argument against building refineries (or power plants, or smelters, etc), not an argument that a refinery operator is behaving like a "tyrant."

          We consume refined products.  The refinery is going to be somewhere.  Let's find the best place and put in place the best technology to minimize pollution.  But then we need to stand by our deals and let the projects go forward.

          Perhaps you don't like Chevron, or you wish the entire Richmond refinery were somewhere else.  That's a fine point of view.  But the constant appeal of environmental impact statements has become an end in itself, a method of ensuring nothing gets done.  It is what kept Cape Wind from happening long enough for Ted Kennedy to kill it.  It is what will happen if California ever gets serious about building a SF-LA train - good luck getting over the Pacheco Pass without decades of litigation.

          •  We agree on one thing... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You say: "Let's find the best place and put in place the best technology to minimize pollution."

            Minimizing pollution is not what Chevron is interested in. They want to expand the facility to refine dirtier fuels, which will increase pollution over poor neighborhoods. They bribed the city into issuing a permit for the expansion, and the city signed off despite protests by a majority of the residents.

            That is what the court will hear arguments about on May 20.

            If you have other arguments in defense of the Chevron Refinery expansion at Richmond, I suggest you contact the army of corporate lawyers they have assembled.

            The grassroots activists think we will win with our non-profit legal team.

            See you in court.

            "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

            by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:42:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If only other countries have Non-Profit Legal (0+ / 0-)

              Team...welcome to America's imperialist system. Dominate, Destroy and Defend.

              •  The Ecuadoran lawyers for the locals are great (0+ / 0-)

                And they are on the winning side of the argument. Godspeed to them.

                Chevron is about to get its ass handed to it on two continents.

                And that will be a lovely day for environmental justice.

                "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

                by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 09:55:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Justice that cant be enforced (0+ / 0-)

                  Well i will call it Justice when i see it Lol. Even Alaska couldnt win in the United States with the best of lawyers on their side.

                  $5billion to $500 million and the payment is still not made yet..Go figure.

                  Now we are talking about $17 billion...i just dont see it happening...maybe im one of the Nay sayers, but knowing what they have done in Niger Delta, Nigeria...i wont bet against the oil Companies.

                  •  "i wont bet against the oil Companies" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bob zimway

                    You have certainly proven that tonight.

                    That's fine, don't bet against Chevron, but please stop spinning a defense of this bad actor.

                    Democrats believe in regulated capitalism and that citizens have the right to protect themselves, even from scary powerful corporations who are used to getting their way.

                    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

                    by greendem on Sun May 03, 2009 at 10:09:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i am not trying to prove anything (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Nor am i in favor of the Oil companies. I am probably more angry with them than most because of the state of the corruption and pollution in Nigeria.

                      I have learned to control my anger and have realistic expectation. I have also come to learn that we Americans (majority by the way) are really indifferent to the needs and aspirations of other countries. A loss of judgment by the Oil companies might mean increase in gas prices...thus more Americans will care more about that than fighting for the livelihood of the Ecuadorians.

                      I wish we would all do more...instead of just talk about it. We can join hands as thousands and support the folks in Ecuador and let our govt know we are serious about Justice. Thats all i am saying.

            •  Big kids (0+ / 0-)

              They're plenty able to take care of themselves.

              But I'd love to hear your take on where you would like the products to be refined.  Because if a century-old refinery on an industrial waterfront with sheltered tanker access to the Pacific and access to every inland mode of transport doesn't work for you, we're going to have a hard time getting things built in this country.

        •  this is called (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ms badger

          Environmental Racism.  I worked on the Environmental justice panel years back in DC, and it was a problem then too!

          •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Chevron built the Richmond refinery in 1902.  All of two thousand people lived there at the time.  

            It is absurd to claim racism when anyone with access to Google Maps can see a pretty obvious reason someone would want to build the refinery where they put it.

            •  Yes, I never liked the term (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              it describes a reality, but badly. The term is meant to describe the situation where a wealthy group can afford/control town planning to ensure anything or anyone unsightly isn't in their part of town. Poor people tend to live in these areas, and why not? The conflation comes because, more often than not, the lines of race and class are parallel.

              Even if the refinery is built first - as it seems to have been - the result could still be a town design based on having the wealthy living far from its noisy confines.

              I hope that helps explain the response, even though, as I say, the term might be inappropriate.

      •  Chevron strong armed its way out of property tax (8+ / 0-)

        on massive improvements to the Richmond facility it claimed were "repairs" not capital improvements.  Screwed the community out of millions of dollars in property tax base.

        My Karma just ran over your Dogma

        by FoundingFatherDAR on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:39:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, we should let 'em run roughshod (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        over us (just like the friggin' banks).

        "The perpetrators must be on the winning side, and never subject to prosecution for anything-by anyone. THAT is a coup d'etat".

        by eddienutzak on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:47:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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