The Trump Administration wants to dredge the channel into the Carquinez Strait deeper to allow bigger oil tankers to access the Contra Costa refineries. This will open the door for dirty Tar Sands Crude coming to Phillips 66 and the other refineries. Tankers will foul our air with diesel and potentially spill into the bay. Tar Sands production will devastate indigenous lands in Canada and seal the fate of our climate.
For these and so many other reasons – we can’t let that happen!
The Army Corps of Engineers is holding a hearing this Wednesday November 13, 6-8 pm at the Pinole Library. Please plan on being there to testify. Also raise hell with Contra Costa supervisors if you live there. They and the Western States Petroleum Association are “partners” on the dredging project.
For more information and to sign the petition in opposition – visit the Sunflower Alliance webpage. Also check out below talking points by Sunflower’s Charlie Davidson.
We hope to see you there! All event details here.
- The USACE’s proposed deepening of the shipping channel in the Carquenez Strait primarily serves four refineries (Phillips 66, Valero, Shell/now PBF and Marathon), plus Nustar, which is Phillips 66’s product exporter, and C&H Sugar.
- The USACE’s dredging and deepening should be viewed in the context of fossil fuel refining and transport. The San Francisco Bay Area refineries are already some of the world’s most specialized in refining high-sulfur heavy crude oils
- Deepening the shipping channel will facilitate the Bay Area refineries’ processing of Canadian tar sands crude, the world’s heaviest, most dense crude oil. It’s mined as a semi-solid and is diluted with highly flammable solvents so it can flow through pipes as DilBit (diluted bitumen).
- Phillips 66 and Valero have previously tried, unsuccessfully, to obtain Canadian tar sands crude oil by rail, but now Phillips 66 is aggressively priming its refining capacity to accept large amounts of Canadian DilBit delivered by ship.
- The concurrent three-fold expansion of the TransMountain pipeline (to Keystone XL size) by the Canadian government, from northern Alberta to the Port of Vancouver, will also make possible the significantly increased ocean-going deliveries of tar sands crude oil to Bay Area refineries.
- The USACE plan projects a total of 10 additional Panamax tankers per year importing crude oil to four Bay Area refineries by 2040. But a single refinery, Phillips 66, has plans for 76 more crude oil tankers per year.
- The USACE plan predicts that over 80% of the Panamax tanker increase will not be for imports of crude oil, but rather for exports of petroleum products, mostly to Asia.
- Refining the bitumen in DilBit will lead to an increase in local emissions of toxic pollution and carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change.
- Canadian tar sands DilBit is a non-floating oil that sinks in water, gets carried in currents and then permanently adheres to whatever surface it touches. An aquatic DilBit spill cannot be contained with booms. The 2010 Kalamazoo River Pipeline Spill has cost over $1.2 billion dollars to date and remains unremediated.
- Massive USACE dredging (of 2 million tons of sediment) to increase depth in the shipping channel will likely release significant amounts of fugitive, potentially toxic sediments.
- Although the entire project is in Contra Costa County, the lead agency for the USACE dredging is not the county, but the Port of Stockton (57 mlles upstream from the project).
- Selby Slag is a former metals refining toxic superfund site adjacent to Phillips 66 and the USACE’s Pinole Shoal dredging. It’s slag has been open to SF Bay waters since 1871. Mud near the site has never been tested for heavy metals contamination.
- Combined, these dredging and construction projects (USACE and Selby) will likely deposit significant amounts of fugitive toxins onto the Pinole Shoal mudflats:
- USACE dredging to increase depth (along the Pinole Shoal Channel, including near Selby Slag)
- Five-berth Port of Selby plan (deepening required)
- Pile driving for a 4,450 foot retaining wall for the Selby Slag Remediation Project
- Accidents happen. We have a Bay and Carquinez Strait that we love and want to keep healthy and alive.