We did it Friends!!

After delaying the vote last month, the Air District Board voted this morning in favor of rule 6-5, the rule requiring refineries to clean up their air pollution.   

This is a BIG deal and many activists have worked hard to make this happen. It’s been a years’ long coalition effort, but organizing works. The health and environmental justice arguments and dogged appeals to each board member (finally) paid off.

A big special thank you

to our folks who stepped up to contact their representatives on the Board, and kudos to the coalition of community groups who put in years of effort. Huge gratitude to Communities for a Better Environment, Sunflower Alliance, APEN, and the health professionals from PSR and Climate Health Now. The headlines are already reading: ​​Northern California requires oil refiners to slash air pollution — in which 350 Bay Area leader, Jan Kirsch, is quoted. 

“I was there for the vote. Great victory for all involved. I will send a thank you to John Bauters from my esteemed home of Emeryville” — 350 Bay Area Leader

Thank your representative too!

The final vote was 19 YES and 3 NO.

“The Air District Board’s decision to step up and fulfill the mandate of our regional Air District was necessary to protect lives and the health of our communities, particularly the already-disadvantaged communities in the path of the emissions monsters. We recognize that it took political courage to stand up to the refineries and other fossil fuel interests, who pulled out all the stops with an aggressive disinformation campaign as the decision neared. The community responded to this disinformation campaign robustly and with a focus on justice. That alone is a win for the Bay Area.

The win at the Air District is one that we embrace, and we welcome the eventual improvement in the air around the Bay Area. We are grateful to the large coalition of community organizations and individuals who spent many years collaborating and educating. We remain concerned that these common sense solutions that save lives and money still take so much work to enact, and are committed to continuing the work of improving air quality and phasing out fossil fuels to save lives and climate stability.” — Nik, 350 Bay Area Staff

A well deserved celebration is in order today (YAY), and don’t forget to thank any/all representatives who voted YES in this historic vote.

For truly cleaner air,

Your 350BA Organizers

PS More About Rule 6-5 

CBE’s Press Release:

The rule will likely require the Chevron Richmond and PBF refineries to install “wet gas scrubbing” technology on their worst polluting units. This technology is already in widespread use at a majority of refineries across the country — including the majority of PBF’s own facilities. For a more comprehensive list of sources explaining this and other facts, visit CBE’s information hub at: https://www.cbecal.org/organizing/northern-california/richmond/cat-cracker-rule-6-5/ 

Rule 6-5 represents a win-win policy for workers and public health. According to an analysis by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Inclusive Economics, this policy would result in significant economic benefits, including creating thousands of community supporting jobs, through the installation of the new technology to cut the pollution that has been blatantly harming communities of color.