There is a lot of concern and misinformation about the proposed Phillips 66 railroad extension project at the Santa Maria refinery.
The project would allow the refinery the flexibility it requires to operate at capability, which is a maximum of 48,000 barrels of oil refined per day. Right now, because of the rising cost of crude oil and the dwindling sources via pipeline, the refinery is only operating at 50 percent of capacity. The project, which will be built entirely on its property, will allow it to operate the refinery at a capacity necessary to keep the local economy working as well as meet the rising demand for oil.
Without having the option of seeking affordable oil from other sources by train, the company will have increasing difficulty in keeping it open, operating efficiently and keeping people from losing their jobs.
As long as we are a nation that uses oil and gasoline, it is better — and cheaper — to refine it in California, which boasts the most stringent environmental regulations in the world. With the rail extension, we can use North American oil rather than becoming more dependent on costly foreign oil from countries with lax environmental and public safety regulations.