Give your comments at the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors meeting when they discuss the proposed conversion of the Marathon refinery in Martinez and the much larger-scale proposed conversion of the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo from refining petroleum to refining “biofuel.”
The Planning Commission has rubber-stamped woefully inadequate environmental impact reviews of these two projects. The supervisors need to hear from county residents!
The proposed projects would make Contra Costa County the world’s largest producer of liquid biofuels based on the refining of animal fats and vegetable oils.
Biofuels are promoted as a green alternative to petroleum on the theory that the absorption of carbon dioxide by growing plants balances the carbon dioxide released by burning the oils the produce. The truth is much more complicated.
Refining biofuels creates potential local and global hazards. It requires higher temperatures than refining petroleum, creating the potential for more fires, explosions, and flaring. It requires larger amounts of hydrogen, usually produced in a process that releases methane, a toxic gas that is a more powerful GHG than carbon dioxide.
Some feedstocks, especially animal fats, create potential odor problems, and plant and animal fats have the potential to gum up refinery equipment.
Growing enough crops for biofuels has the potential to divert agricultural land from food crops, raising global food prices. There is also a danger that demand for biofuel feedstock will lead to increased deforestation.
The EIRs passed by the Planning Commission fail to give adequate analyses of these hazards and possible mitigations. Come and tell the supervisors we need a thorough environmental reviews of these hazardous projects.
For more info:
Summary of problems with Phillips 66 EIR,
Summary of problems with Marathon EIR
More detailed analysis from Biofuelwatch
Tuesday. May 3, 9 AM
Board Chambers, Administration Building
1025 Escobar St., Martinez
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