Again and again, the employees of Phillips 66 beat that tired drum that “it’s about jobs.” When crumbling infrastructure is noted, or that five additional milelong trains will be coming to and from the refinery spewing additional diesel emissions that are classified as Class 1 impacts that cannot be mitigated, their answer is right out of Mad magazine: “What, me worry?”
While we can explain what these impacts mean to the supporters of the rail extension project, we can’t comprehend it for them. So let’s see what the final impact report has stated about jobs.
The project has “independent utility” under the California Environmental Quality Act, since the ability of the refinery to operate at the maximum approved throughput level is based on the existing infrastructure and currently available crude supply; it is not dependent on the rail spur project.
Which means it’s not about jobs. It’s about Phillips 66 seeking a few more marginal dollars out of advantaged and dirtier tar sands crude at the risk to the public health and safety of communities up and down the mainline. With domestic crude now being shipped offshore (so much for “we need the crude for oil independence”), yet another of Phillips 66’s arguments is cast aside.
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Laurance Shinderman, Nipomo