On 2012 Labor Day-Enough Is Enough-Nationalize Chevron Under Worker-Community
Control and Prosecute The Criminals Running This Out Of Control Empire.opinion/commentary/la-oe-0814-
Rally & Press Conference in Front of Richmond Chevron Refinery
Contact: Steve Zeltzer: (415)867-0628
Contact: Steve Zeltzer: (415)867-0628
Monday September 3, 2012 10:00 AM
841 Chevron Way, Richmond California 94801
Speakers from union and community.
Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Freedom Party Candidate For Vice President of the United States
Charles Smith, Richmond Resident and AFSCME 444 Delegate To Alameda Labor Council and United Public Workers For Action UPWA
Mark Mason, San Pablo Bay Ecological Preservation Association
Mary Flanagan, Richmond Teacher, Member of United Teachers Of Richmond UTR
Charles Rachlis, Industrial Hygienist/UPWA
The explosion and fire at the Chevron Richmond refinery is a man made disaster for the workers and community
in Richmond and the East Bay. It was caused by the criminal negligence of the Chevron corporation
which did not want to replace a worn gas pipe to save more money for the corporation. They continually
violate the environmental regulation and rules as well as OSHA rules and yet there are no serious actions taken
against them by these agencies and both the California government and US government.
This is for a company that made $26.9 billion last year.
The continuing contamination with 30% of the children of Richmond having Asthma and many other diseases
is unacceptable and an outrage to me and that is why I and Roseann Barr are calling for the immediate
seizure and nationalization of the Chevron refinery and other oil companies and for them to be run by workers and for the community and
people of California. This is not only a problem at Chevron but the many other refineries in California and the US.
We the people of the United States cannot be terrorized by these outfits like Chevron who pollute the world
and then terrorize people in the United States by their refusal to do proper maintenance on the refineries
here in the bay area and throughout the United States.
We support that the profits from a nationalized refinery be immediately put to use to prevent further
accidents, for the establishment of free healthcare for the people of Richmond and and for the funding
of education for the children of Richmond.
We are also calling for the criminal prosecution of Chevron managers, executives and owners for putting
the residents and workers in deadly danger and causing illness through their drive for profit.
We support a major program of the development of alternative energy sources including solar which should
be required on all new construction in the California and the US and a massive government funded program
for all housing in the state and the country along with mass transportation to limit the use of oil for automobiles.
We also condemn the silence of Governor Brown and the Obama administration about these continuing
man made disasters and the refusal to call for the criminal prosecution of these corporations.
In California Governor Brown has put the OSHA health and safety inspectors on furloughs even though they
are not paid for by the state budget and the 182 inspectors are not enough to properly protect the 18 million workers
On Labor Day September 3, I will be joining labor and community and environmental activists at the Chevron Refinery to
in Richmond to call for the refinery to be nationalized and for it to be run by the workers for the benefit of the workers and
We cannot afford another Chevron disaster. Enough is Enough.
For more information contact
Chevron's refinery, Richmond's peril
The facility that caught fire violates pollution rules and is a daily threat to workers and neighbors.
People view the fire at the Chevron Richmond Refinery. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, sending a giant black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, thousands of feet into the air and out across the bay. (Lance Iversen / San Francisco Chronicle / Associated Press / August 6, 2012)
August 14, 2012
Stay inside, close your windows and doors, and turn off air conditioning and heating units. Pets and all children in sporting activities should be brought inside, and have duct tape ready should you need to further seal windows and doors.
These are among the "shelter in place" warnings made to Bay Area residents last week in response to a massive fire at theChevron Corp.refinery in Richmond. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, sending a giant black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, thousands of feet into the air and out across the bay. While automated calls went to more than 18,000 people, some 160,000 residents live in the areas directly affected by the warning. More than 5,700 people have sought medical treatment.
Chevron is the world's eighth-largest corporation and hands-down the largest in California. The Richmond refinery is also the state's single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, having released 4.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2010 alone.
Built in 1902, the refinery shows its age. Rather than use its $27 billion in 2011 profits to run the cleanest, safest and most transparent refinery possible, Chevron operates a refinery that is in constant violation of federal and state law and a daily threat to the health and safety of its workers and neighbors.
More than 25,000 people, including those in two public housing projects, live within just three miles of the refinery. Nearly 85% of the residents live below the federal poverty line; the same percentage is listed as "minorities" according to the U.S. Census. Within one mile of or abutting the refinery are businesses, houses, an elementary school and playgrounds.
Since at least April 2009, the refinery has been in noncompliance of the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System in every quarter but one. Until July 2010, the refinery had been in "high-priority violation" of Clean Air Act compliance standards, the most serious level of violation noted by the EPA, since at least 2006. Under constant pressure from community organizations, Chevron has been assessed hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties for repeated Clean Air Act violations — nearly 100 citations in just the last five years, including 23 in 2011 alone.A 2008 study by UC Berkeley and Brown University researchers concluded that the air inside some Richmond homes was more toxic than that outside because of harmful pollutants from the refinery being trapped indoors.
The Contra Costa County Health Services Department lists the residents of Richmond as one of the "most at-risk groups" in the county: They are hospitalized for chronic diseases at significantly higher rates than the county average, including for female reproductive cancers, which are more than double the county rate. Chevron is one of four refineries in Contra Costa County where nearby incidence of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers are the second highest in California, and where nearby residents suffer higher rates of asthma, childhood asthma and asthma-related deaths.
The Aug. 6 fire is the third major disaster at the refinery in 12 years, each caused by an old leaking pipe. In January 2007, an explosion rocked the refinery, leading to a five-alarm fire. A leaking corroded pipe "that should have been detached two decades ago," according to investigators, was to blame. In 1999, an 18,000-pound plume of sulfur dioxide smoke was released after an explosion caused by a leak in a pipe that was more than 30 years old.
But neither Richmond nor Chevron is alone. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, an independent federal agency that investigates major incidents at oil refineries, concluded last month that nationwide safety at U.S. refineries has not improved, despite scores of fatalities, over the last decade, and won't until companies develop better safety systems.
In a 2007 report about BP's 2005 Texas City oil refinery disaster, which killed 15 workers, the board warned of a pervasive "complacency toward serious safety risks" across the leading oil companies' refinery operations. It called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to "require these corporations to evaluate the safety impact of mergers, reorganizations, downsizing and budget cuts."
This year so far, serious oil refinery fires have broken out at a ConocoPhillips refinery in Los Angeles, twice at one BP refinery in Indiana, and in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington and at other locations. Using industry-reported data, the United Steelworkers estimates that at least one fire occurs every week at a U.S. oil refinery. Operating in noncompliance with federal and state regulations, moreover, appears to be all-but-standard operating procedure across the industry.
Oil industry operations are not clean, safe or healthful. But they can certainly be far cleaner, safer, more healthful and more transparent than current industry practice.
Big Oil is the wealthiest industry the world has known. The companies can and must be forced through stricter federal and state regulation, aggressive enforcement and direct community and worker oversight to be held to the highest possible standard, including current law.
Richmond has always been a company town. But in 2006 its residents rebelled, rejecting Chevron's handpicked political candidates and electing as mayor the Green Party's Gayle McLaughlin. State and federal officials who serve as the industry's handmaidens should anticipate an even broader rebellion as the outcome of this latest tragic, yet painfully predictable, oil company disaster.
Antonia Juhasz is the author of several books on the oil industry, including "The Tyranny of Oil." She is also the editor and lead author of three Alternative Annual Reports on Chevron and the former director of the Chevron Program at San Francisco-based Global Exchange.
Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times
Labor/Community Rally initiated by United Public Workers For Action UPWA
Enough Is Enough-Labor Community Control Of Richmond's Chevron RefineryLabor Day Rally 9/3/2012 For Public Worker/Community Control Of Richmond Chevron Refinery
Whereas, there have have been continuous fires at the Chevron refinery for many years
including this past August 6, 2012 at unit 4 and in 1999 when another unit burned and,
Whereas, the management and owners of the Chevron refinery have refused to provide
proper health and safety protection for the workers and community and
Whereas, this company made $26.9 billion last year yet refuses to provide compensation for
the contamination of the the community and an epidemic of asthma and cancer directly
caused by the emissions of the plant.
Whereas, the company refuses to provide information about the contaminants and the dangers
that have been spewing into the community and,
Whereas, by their putting profit before health and safety of the workers and the community they
have lost the right their right to operate a refinery in California and,
Whereas, working people should be in control of the energy industry for real energy efficiency and
mass transportation and alternative energies and,
Whereas, their labor and
to fight demands by refinery
the community for strongerenvironmental and health and
safety laws and,
Whereas the profits from theChevron refinery have not
been used for education and
people of Richmond,California and the people of
Therefore be it resolved wesupport a rally on Labor Day
September 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Chevron
Richmond refinery located at 841 Chevron Way, Richmond California 94801
The demands of the rally are:
For the public control of ofthe Chevron Refinery in
Richmond and for it to be run
for the working people andcommunity.
For full compensation and lifetime full healthcare benefits for all residents of Richmond and for the refinery workers,
For criminal prosecution ofChevron managers and owners
for putting the workers and
deadly danger and violatinghealth and safety rules and
environmental rules and,
Call for concurrence by all other affiliated bodies of this organization including the labor councils, state
organizations and national union.
Initiated By United Public Workers For Action