The Central Coast has a great oil production history, but we still lament the 60-year-old refinery’s location on the Nipomo Mesa. No one would locate a refinery on the Central Coast today.
Oil fracking offers Phillips 66 a new supply. Its controversial rail project will bring 80 tankers five days per week. That is actually 10 million gallons of crude oil or the equivalent of 1,365 tanker truck deliveries per week. Presently, the refinery receives crude oil via an existing pipeline. The proposed train tanker routes are down the Cuesta Grade and up through Santa Barbara.
Train safety and environmental concerns have repeatedly been reported in The Tribune. Under federal law, currently Union Pacific does not have to even disclose the contents of a tanker. The revised impact report details the inevitable oil spills, noise and smell, and then sugarcoats this in statistical frequency.
Let the refinery ship oil by rail to its existing pipeline entry points. That would be a prudent compromise for the needs of business and quality of life for those of us that live here.