Phillips 66: San Francisco Refinery

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Conoco and Phillips 66 announced on November 18, 2001 that their boards of directors had unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a "merger of equals". The merged company, ConocoPhillips, became the third-largest integrated U.S. energy company based on market capitalization and oil and gas reserves and production. On November 11, 2011 ConocoPhillips announced that Phillips 66 would be the name of a new independent oil and gasoline refining and marketing firm, created as ConocoPhillips split into two companies. ConocoPhillips kept the current name of the company and concentrated on oil exploration and production side while Phillips 66 included refining, marketing, midstream, and chemical portions of the company. Photo: Hugh Pickens all rights reserved.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


Contents

Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The 587 foot tall Mammoet PTC 140 crane, seen here from North First Street, towers over the Refinery Complex in Ponca City. The supercrane was used to move two new 232 ton coker reactor units within the refinery on September 29, 2013. Phillips was willing to invest $70 million in the two new coker reactor units because the Ponca City Refinery is one of the best run, safest, and most profitable of Phillips' fifteen worldwide refineries and Garland wants the refinery in Ponca City to continue to run smoothly and profitably. This photograph of the supercrane in Ponca City was taken from almost two miles away from the crane. Photo: Hugh Pickens All Rights Reserved.
Hugh Pickens, an analyst who closely follows Phillips 66, speaks with Phillips CEO Greg Garland (right) about the disposition of the North Tower, South Tower, and Research West at Phillips' Ponca City Refinery after Garland's speech to the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 13, 2014.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


San Francisco Refinery

Description of San Francisco Refineries at Rodeo and Santa Maria

The San Francisco Refinery is comprised of two facilities linked by a 200-mile pipeline. The Santa Maria facility is located in Arroyo Grande, Calif., while the Rodeo facility is in the San Francisco Bay Area. The combined facilities have a total crude oil processing capacity of 120 MBD. The refinery processes mainly heavy, high-sulfur crude oil. It receives California crude oil via pipeline and both domestic and foreign crude oil by tanker. Semi-refined products from the Santa Maria facility are sent by pipeline to the Rodeo facility for upgrading into finished petroleum products. A high proportion of the refinery's production is transportation fuel, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. The refinery produces CARB-grade gasoline using ethanol to meet government-mandated oxygenate requirements. The majority of refined products are distributed by pipeline, railcar and barge to customers in California.[1]

Located on 1600 acres, the Santa Maria Refinery has been in operation for more than 50 years. With 135 full-time employees and 70 specialized subcontractors, the refinery is permitted to produce a maximum of 44,500 barrels of refined crude per day. Phillips 66 has received permission for a 10 percent increase in the capacity of the refinery, from 44,500 barrels a day to 48,900 barrels a day.[2][3]

News and Views on Rodeo Refinery

The Rodeo Refinery. Semi-refined products from the Santa Maria facility are sent by pipeline to the Rodeo facility for upgrading into finished petroleum products. A high proportion of the refinery's production is transportation fuel, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. The refinery produces CARB-grade gasoline using ethanol to meet government-mandated oxygenate requirements. The majority of refined products are distributed by pipeline, railcar and barge to customers in California.[4] Photo by Thomas Hawk Flicker Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
August 5, 2017: Solano County Supervisor Opposes Increased Oil Tanker Traffic to Rodeo Refinery

The Vallejo Times Herald reported on August 5, 2017 that Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown has penned a strongly-worded letter to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, opposing Phillips 66’s proposal to more than double its oil tanker fleet to Rodeo Refinery. Brown suggests holding community meetings in Benicia and Vallejo to discuss the proposal and get feedback from constituents on the D.E.I.R. She also said that the public should be informed of the meetings by every means possible, through newspapers, social media and websites. “My constituents were impacted by the last Phillips 66 spill and deserve to have a voice in something that has already so negatively impacted them,” she said.[5]

July 27, 2017: Phillips 66 Seeks to Double Oil Tanker Traffic to Rodeo Refinery

KQED reported on July 27, 2017 that Phillips 66 wants to more than double the number of oil tankers from 59 ships a year that travel through San Francisco Bay to unload crude at its refinery in Rodeo. Phillips 66 wants to increase that limit to 135 and to raise the daily average of oil unloaded at the terminal from about 51,000 barrels to 130,000. The company says the extra tanker deliveries would replace crude oil currently delivered by pipeline. It “poses an incredible new risk of oil spills to San Francisco Bay,” Sejal Choksi-Chugh, executive director for Baykeeper, said in an interview. “We’re really concerned about the increase in the number of tankers that the refinery is proposing to bring in.”

The refinery’s move toward an increase in shipping crude to its Rodeo facility and away from pipeline transfers comes after officials in San Luis Obispo County rejected the company’s proposal to transport more oil by train to its refinery there. Paul Adler, a Phillips 66 spokesman, confirmed in an email that the oil that would be brought by extra ships to the refinery would be different from the crude transported by pipeline from Central California. He declined to comment further on the proposal, adding that he would attend Thursday’s air district public scoping meeting in Vallejo where residents could ask questions about the project.[6]

July 8, 2017: Fire Fighters Contain Blaze Near Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery
Fire Fighters Contain Blaze Near Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery. A fast-moving brush fire in Rodeo has scorched at least 370 acres of dried grass and burned its way close a Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery but firefighters were able to halt the flames from reaching the refinery.

NBA Bay Area reported on July 8, 2017 that a fast-moving brush fire in Rodeo has scorched at least 370 acres of dried grass and burned its way close a Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery but firefighters were able to halt the flames from reaching the refinery. The blaze is 75 percent contained as of Saturday night, and crews will remain on scene overnight in order to reach full containment and battle any hot spots.[7]

June 16, 2017: Phillips 66 Slapped With Two "Public Nuisance" Violations for Oil Sheen Incident at Rodeo Refinery that Resulted in 1,500 Odor Complaints and 120 Hospital Visits
Phillips 66 Slapped With Two "Public Nuisance" Violations for for Oil Sheen Incident at Rodeo Refinery that Resulted in 1,500 Odor Complaints and 120 Hospital Visits. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued two “public nuisance” violations to Phillips 66 stemming from a September 20, 2016, oil sheen incident on the San Pablo Bay that resulted in nearly 1,500 odor complaints and an estimated 120 visits to Solano County hospitals. “The air district thoroughly investigated this incident and determined the Phillips 66 Refinery and the Yamuna Spirit oil tanker operator played a role in this event and both parties will be held accountable,” said Jack Broadbent in a statement, executive officer at the district. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

The Times Herald reported on June 16, 2017 that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued two “public nuisance” violations to Phillips 66 stemming from a September 20, 2016, oil sheen incident on the San Pablo Bay that resulted in nearly 1,500 odor complaints and an estimated 120 visits to Solano County hospitals. “The air district thoroughly investigated this incident and determined the Phillips 66 Refinery and the Yamuna Spirit oil tanker operator played a role in this event and both parties will be held accountable,” said Jack Broadbent in a statement, executive officer at the district. On the day of the event, a noxious smell blanketed the city of Vallejo. The fire department reported that over 800 residents called complaining of the strong smell of natural gas, gasoline, and “rotten eggs.” The odor was so strong that it could be detected as far away as Redwood and Broadway. A shelter-in-place order was given around 8 p.m. for south Vallejo and it was lifted the following morning. Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan applauded the air district’s decision. “I hope we can find these people accountable,” Sampayan said by phone on Friday afternoon. “There was no reason to have this happen.” Fines for these violations have yet to be assessed by the air district.[8]

June 12, 2017: Bay Area Residents Asked to Comment on Proposal to Expand Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Marine Terminal
Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Photo: Michael Macor, The San Francisco Chronicle

The East Bay Times reported on June 12, 2017 that Phillips 66 wants to receive and process more crude and gas oil delivered by ship for their Rodeo Refinery while reducing the amounts of crude currently delivered to the refinery by pipeline. The revision would not affect the characteristics of the oils the refinery is able to process, the press release adds. The Bay Area air district will hold a community meeting in Hercules on June 22 about the scope and content of the upcoming environmental analysis of Phillips' marine terminal proposal. Air District staff members will make a presentation, and community members will get a chance to ask questions and make comments.[9]

Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal in October 2016

The East Bay Times reported on October 20, 2016 that the mysterious oil sheens that appeared on San Pablo Bay on September 20, 2016 were connected to a crude oil tanker or the Phillips 66 refinery, the U.S. Coast Guard announced. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Authorities were unable to determine if the sheen found in the bay originated from the Yumuna Spirit of the Phillips 66 facility. The U.S. Coast Guard said the vessel and the facility are responsible for recovering federal related response costs. The Coast Guard could not determine what caused the odor that sent dozens of people to hospitals in Vallejo with complaints of headaches, nausea and dizziness on September 20, 2016.[10]

KQED reported on October 18, 2016 that officials have revealed a clue that could help determine what caused the oil spill in San Pablo Bay a month ago and a sickening odor that sent dozens of people to the hospital in Vallejo around the same time. Results of tests taken of the substance found in the water in late September show that it was crude oil from the Middle East, according to an official with California’s lead agency for responding to oil spills. Randy Sawyer, chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa County Health Services, says the crude must have come from an oil tanker at a marine terminal in Rodeo. “Based on the analysis and where the sheen was located, the oil sheen originated from the ship while it was unloading to Phillips 66,” Sawyer said. I’s unclear how the oil might have leaked from the vessel. “I know that Phillips did check their piping and there were no leaks,” Sawyer said. “There may have been a portion of the piping (that was) not tested.”

Phillips 66 declined to comment on the investigation and activity of the Yamuna Spirit at its marine terminal. “Phillips 66 generally does not comment on activity as it relates to our crude supply and transportation arrangements,” said Aimee Lohr, a refinery spokeswoman.

When the investigation is concluded, local environmentalists say whoever is responsible should be held accountable. “The perpetrators need to face stiff penalties for this absolutely unacceptable oil spill,” said Patrick Sullivan, an Oakland-based spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity. “But even the steepest fines won’t undo the damage this oil has done to the bay,” Sullivan said. “That’s why we’ve got to move away from shipping dirty crude through California’s fragile coastal ecosystems.”[11]

May 31, 2017: San Francisco Pollution Board Moves Closer to Capping Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Phillips 66 and Other Refineries

The Times Herlad reported on May 31, 2017 that the San Francisco Bay Area’s air pollution board took a big step toward becoming the first in America to cap greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries including the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery. Air district officials said the rule to limit greenhouse gases on the Bay Area’s five oil refineries is needed to prevent an increase in the pollution if oil refineries switch to using dirtier crude oil sources from places like the Canadian tar sands area. “This rule will be part of a larger effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “This action is important in light of the anticipated withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement by President Trump.”

A divided audience of some 200 people attended a meeting about the rule. Oil refiners said the rule could end up having no impact on global climate change. Oil refining could shift from the Bay Area to states with more lenient environmental laws, providing no net reduction in greenhouse gases, oil industry representatives said. Oil refinery workers and petroleum company representatives were unhappy, saying the rule could limit production at the plants, cost jobs, and raise fuel prices.

Oil refineries are the largest single industrial source of greenhouse gases in the Bay Area. The Bay Area’s five refineries are Chevron in Richmond, Shell in Martinez, Valero in Benicia, Tesoro north of Concord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo.[12]

March 31, 2017: Proposal to Limit Greenhouse Gases Could Affect Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery

The Mercury News reported on March 31, 2017 that 120 people attended the workshop that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District held about its two proposed rules aimed at limiting air pollution from five Bay Area oil refineries near San Francisco including Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery. Environmentalists and some plant neighbors said a proposed numeral cap on greenhouse and other emissions is needed to prevent increased pollution if plants switch to dirtier crude oil sources such as from Canadian tar sands areas. “We think this cap is needed to prevent serious and irreversible effects,” said Greg Karras, a senior scientist with Communities for a Better Environment, a statewide environmental group with offices in Oakland. “The rule is designed to allow other measures to reduce emissions, but we have to stop increasing them first.”

Some oil industry workers attacked the cap. They said refineries have reduced their air emissions dramatically over the past four decades and yet the proposed cap could lead to production cuts and losses of high-paying jobs. “I am very concerned the cap would cost jobs,” said Mike Miller, president of the United Steelworkers Local 326 unit chair representing workers at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. While the push to reduce fossil fuel use will produce more solar industry jobs, Miller said, it would be difficult for refinery workers with homes and families to survive on $13-an-hour jobs as solar installers. Air pollution district managers do not support the cap. They said they fear the cap would be vulnerable to a legal challenge as unfairly singling out the oil industry. The cap also could interfere with the state’s cap-and-trade system in which industries can buy pollution credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.[13]

December 19, 2016: Vallejo Mayor Wants Phillips 66 and Other Refiners to Pay for Air Monitoring Equipment

KQED reported on December 19, 2016 that incoming mayor of Vallejo is calling on Phillips 66, Valero, Shell, and Tesoro to foot the bill for new air monitors for five Bay Area cities that sit near local refineries after a mysterious odor sickened dozens of Vallejo residents around the same time an oil spill was discovered in San Pablo Bay in September. The U.S. Coast Guard’s investigation into the oil spill concluded that the spill came from either the marine terminal for Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery or an oil tanker that was unloading crude there. “I think as a good neighbor, Conoco Phillips 66 should be concerned about providing air quality monitors to the surrounding communities,” said Mayor-elect Bob Sampayan. “I want to see a more expanded role with the oil companies in providing information should we have this kind of incident occur again.” A spokesman for Phillips 66 did not respond to a request for comment, and a representative for the Western State Petroleum Association said the industry group has no comment.[14]

October 20, 2016: Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal
Phillips 66 Responsible for Oil Sheens on San Pablo Bay from Rodeo Refinery Oil Terminal. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Photo: Michael Macor, The San Francisco Chronicle

The East Bay Times reported on October 20, 2016 that the mysterious oil sheens that appeared on San Pablo Bay on September 20, 2016 were connected to a crude oil tanker or the Phillips 66 refinery, the U.S. Coast Guard announced. The spill left two sheens on the bay, including one just over a mile long by 40 yards wide on the water in the northern San Pablo Bay area, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, the lead agency investigating the incident. A second sheen was later identified during a Coast Guard overflight near the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery marine terminal. Authorities were unable to determine if the sheen found in the bay originated from the Yumuna Spirit of the Phillips 66 facility. The U.S. Coast Guard said the vessel and the facility are responsible for recovering federal related response costs. The Coast Guard could not determine what caused the odor that sent dozens of people to hospitals in Vallejo with complaints of headaches, nausea and dizziness on September 20, 2016.[15]

KQED reported on October 18, 2016 that officials have revealed a clue that could help determine what caused the oil spill in San Pablo Bay a month ago and a sickening odor that sent dozens of people to the hospital in Vallejo around the same time. Results of tests taken of the substance found in the water in late September show that it was crude oil from the Middle East, according to an official with California’s lead agency for responding to oil spills. Randy Sawyer, chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer for Contra Costa County Health Services, says the crude must have come from an oil tanker at a marine terminal in Rodeo. “Based on the analysis and where the sheen was located, the oil sheen originated from the ship while it was unloading to Phillips 66,” Sawyer said. I’s unclear how the oil might have leaked from the vessel. “I know that Phillips did check their piping and there were no leaks,” Sawyer said. “There may have been a portion of the piping (that was) not tested.”

Phillips 66 declined to comment on the investigation and activity of the Yamuna Spirit at its marine terminal. “Phillips 66 generally does not comment on activity as it relates to our crude supply and transportation arrangements,” said Aimee Lohr, a refinery spokeswoman.

When the investigation is concluded, local environmentalists say whoever is responsible should be held accountable. “The perpetrators need to face stiff penalties for this absolutely unacceptable oil spill,” said Patrick Sullivan, an Oakland-based spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity. “But even the steepest fines won’t undo the damage this oil has done to the bay,” Sullivan said. “That’s why we’ve got to move away from shipping dirty crude through California’s fragile coastal ecosystems.”[16]

December 7, 2016: Court Orders Further Review of Phillips 66 Project at Rodeo Refinery

The East Bay Times reported that Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Barry Goode has voided a land use permit and the certification of an environmental report for a propane project at the Phillips 66 petroleum refinery issuing an order voiding the land use permit and the Environmental Impact Statement's certification, pointing to shortcomings in the EIR’s analysis of emissions and air pollution. The Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project calls for installing new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning the fuel at the refinery or flaring off excesses. The refinery has said the project will reduce pollution while creating well-paying jobs and generating taxes. It would involve construction of new distillation columns and absorber towers, a hydrotreater, six propane storage vessels, a loading rack, two rail spurs, some additions and modifications to ancillary facilities, and perhaps a new steam boiler.

“Phillips 66 is pleased with the court’s conclusion that the county’s environmental analysis was performed correctly regarding almost every claim raised by the plaintiffs,” refinery spokesman Paul Adler said in an email this week. “With respect to the limited issues in the air impacts analysis that the Court found lacking, we are reviewing that portion of the Court’s decision.”[17]

September 28, 2016: Health Official Says Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Needs to Notify Local Agencies Faster Next Time it Learns of an Oil Spill Near its Facility

KQED News reported on September 28, 2016 that a top Bay Area health official said Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery needs to notify local agencies faster next time it learns of an oil spill near its facility. Randy Sawyer, Contra Costa County’s chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer, said Phillips 66 took 10 hours to tell his agency about the spill, a delay that could have impacted the investigation. “Hours later the sheen was gone and there was no evidence of it at that location,” Sawyer said. “So we lost some valuable time in trying to determine where the oil came from.” Phillips 66 has not responded to requests for comment on its delay in contacting the county.

The refinery told the California State Warning Center shortly before 9 a.m., according to Shawn Boyd, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The company told Contra Costa’s hazardous materials program at 11 a.m., Sawyer said. The lack of answers frustrates at least one Vallejo city official. Councilwoman Katy Miessner said the possibility that an oil spill may have sickened some of the city’s residents is cause for concern. “I think this is something we’re going to have to address,” Miessner said. “Personally, I had no idea that we were vulnerable to the refineries across the bay.”[18]

The Times Herald reported on September 27, 2016 that the City of Vallejo has released an official statement about the pungent and mysterious odor that hung heavy in Vallejo last week. Residents reported an “unknown odor” primarily centered in South Vallejo that smelled of gasoline or natural gas. After dozens of patients began arriving at local hospitals in connection with breathing problems after inhaling the odor, the city issued a shelter-in-place order and advised residents to avoid being outside if possible. After the smell was noticed, a one-mile-by-40-foot sheen in the waterways was discovered near the the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Marine Terminal. The odor in Vallejo gradually dissipated throughout the night. Though the shelter-in-place warning in Vallejo was lifted at 6 a.m. Wednesday, some residents took to social media to report still being able to detect something in the air. As the second day progressed, an additional sheen was eventually detected in the surrounding waters and city officials were informed about a leak that was found across the waterway at the Phillips 66 refinery.

“To date, no entity has shared any information with city officials about a possible cause of the unknown odor,” according to the city’s statement. One Vallejo resident, Liz Harkness, is not satisfied with the city’s answers about the incident and has started a petition to the “decision makers” of Vallejo and Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo to release more definitive answers. “Is the air truly safe?” Harkness wrote in the petition. “People are still feeling ill today! Just what is the sheen made of? Is it effecting wildlife, the bay and rivers? How much is moving upstream with the tides? Are the wetlands in danger? Especially those along Highway 37 that were just restored. Too many questions. No answers in this age of science? I feel we’re being left out. They know more than they let on, and a lot of us in the city know it.”[19]

September 21, 2016: Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill
Officials Investigate Whether Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery Tied to San Pablo Bay Oil Spill. Tthe U.S. Coast Guard and state officials are investigating an oil spill in San Pablo Bay that may have produced an odor that sickened dozens of Vallejo residents. Crews deploy a boom near a pier in San Pablo Bay at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, Calif., on September 21, 2016. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

KQED reported on September 21, 2016 that the U.S. Coast Guard and state officials are investigating an oil spill in San Pablo Bay that may have produced an odor that sickened dozens of Vallejo residents Tuesday night. It’s possible the Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo could be connected to the incident. Vallejo city officials issued a shelter-in-place order after hundreds of residents complained of a gas-like odor, which sent dozens to the hospital. “We had over 800 calls to our dispatch center of complaints of the smell, questions about what the smell is,” Vallejo Fire Department spokesman Kevin Brown said. “Several dozen of them were medical complaints, so we took several dozen patients into local hospitals.” The U.S. Coast Guard, the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are investigating.

KQED Science Editor Craig Miller, who lives in Vallejo, described the odor as it first began wafting through the area. “The air up here first starting turning acrid around 7:00 or 7:30 last evening and gradually became more intense. I would describe the smell as some kind of heavy petroleum distill,” Miller said. “It’s similar to the smell you would get driving by an oil tank farm except much, much more intense to the point where the city finally issued a shelter in place alert around 8:30.”

A light oily sheen was discovered shortly after 8 a.m. today at the Phillips 66 Refinery Marine Terminal in Rodeo, company spokesman Paul Adler wrote in an email to KQED. "At the time, a tanker was berthed at the marine terminal," wrote Adler. "Our internal response team immediately responded to the incident and we notified the National Response Center (NRC) and the United States Coast Guard. Operations at the marine terminal have been temporarily shut down and we are working closely with the Coast Guard and other agencies regarding the response." The email indicates the exact amount of oil released is not known, and the cause of the incident is under investigation."[20]

August 3, 2016: Phillips 66 to Pay Nearly $800,000 over Pollution Violations at Rodeo Refinery

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on August 3, 2016 that Phillips 66 has agreed to pay $793,250 to settle air pollution violations at its Rodeo Refinery. The settlement covers 87 notices of violation issued to Phillips 66 for non-compliance at its refinery from 2010 through 2014. About one-third of the violations stemmed from an unplanned refinery shutdown in October of 2010, which included heavy smoke from flaring. In 2011, the company was written up three times for public nuisances after the refinery was found to be spewing odors. Finally, in June of 2012, a sour water tank ruptured at the refinery, sending numerous gases, including hydrogen sulfide, into neighboring communities, according to the air district. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District fined the Rodeo refinery $230,000 in 2014. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the refinery as the biggest releaser of toxic chemicals in the Bay Area.

“We are not anti-business or anti-refinery, but we want them to function properly, to put in place the equipment that needs to trap the gases that come out,” said Janet Pygeorge, president of Rodeo Citizens Association. “We breathe it. We live it every day. They need to think more about the public than the mighty old dollar.”[21]

June 28, 2016: Phillips Reports Process Upset at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported flaring from a process upset at its Rodeo, California refinery on June 28, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. [22]

June 22, 2016: California Refineries Brace for Potential Disruptions Ahead of Possible Blackouts This Summer

Reuters reported on June 22, 2016 that refiners in southern California are bracing for potential disruptions ahead of possible blackouts this summer after the closure of a key natural gas field prompted state regulators to warn of power and gas shortages. Phillips 66 has two refineries that could potentially be affected: the Santa Maria Refinery and the Rodeo Refinery. The Santa Maria facility is located in Arroyo Grande, Calif., while the Rodeo facility is in the San Francisco Bay Area. The combined Phillips refineries have a total crude oil processing capacity of 120,000 bpd. According to Reuters concerns about disruptions to refining operations have intensified as a heat wave swept the region, testing power grids that rely heavily on natural gas for fuel. Power generators face strained gas supplies after operations stopped at SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon facility, the second largest natural gas field in the Western United States. The six major refineries operating in the region require immense amounts of natural gas and electricity delivered on a consistent basis to run smoothly.

Any stoppages at the refineries would likely cause gasoline prices to rise in California, which is largest and most expensive gasoline market in the continental United States. In the event of even a brief power outage, a refinery would need between five to seven days to return to full production, assuming there is no damage, according to industry players. "Our facilities are designed to run at a steady-state - not ramp up and down sporadically. The notion of 'turning down' a facility does not take into account the physical nature of the refining process," the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) said in a statement.[23]

June 3, 2016: Western States Petroleum Association Sues State of California Over Emission Standards at Rodeo Refinery

Courthouse News Service reported on June 3, 2016 that the Western States Petroleum Association, or WSPA, sued the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in Contra Costa Superior Court, claiming the agency acted arbitrarily when it installed new rules aimed at curtailing emissions at five Bay Area refineries by 20 percent. The refineries include Chevron in Richmond, Tesoro outside of Convord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo, Valero in Benicia and Shell in Martinez. WSPA — along with Valero Refining, Tesoro Refining & Marketing and Phillips 66 — say the district did not perform the necessary environmental review, known as a CEQA analysis, when it implemented the new rules. It further asserts the mandate unfairly targets the oil and gas industry as the emissions reduction was not implemented in any other industry. The plaintiffs want the court to order the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to set aside the rules aimed at curtailing emissions at the five locations, as well as an injunction that prohibits the agencies from implementing certain provisions in the future. WSPA says the five refineries that comprise the Contra Costa-Solano refinery belt — the largest in California — account for less than three percent of air pollutants in the area.[24]

May 5, 2016: Phillips Reports Leak from Hydrocracker at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a small hydrogen leak from a hydrocracker at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. [25]

April 29, 2016: Phillips Is Not Actively Seeking to Divest Santa Maria, Wilmington, and Rodeo Refineries in California

In answer to a question from Neil Mehta, Kevin Mitchell told analysts during the 2016 first quarter earnings conference call on April 29, 2016 that although Phillips has talked about divestitureof its California refineries in the past at this point Phillips will just hold on to them at this point in time. "California we talked about a lot the hold cost or the option value is really not much there is not a lot of capital in front of us in California last few year margins have been very good in California so it's a net cash contributor," said Mitchell. "And you think about could you sell asset probably but could we did good value for it, probably not and so I think we just hold it at this point in time they're good assets, they're probably mid back in terms of where they set their cost structure, but given the option value to keep, I think it'll just hang on."[26]

April 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported emissions and a release of sulfur dioxide at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.[27]

April 20, 2016: Air Board Approves Rule Requiring Sulfur Dioxide Pollution Reductions from Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery

The Chico News reported on April 21, 2016 that the Bay Area air board approved a rule requiring large sulfur dioxide pollution reductions from the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery that recycles coke, a hard, black refining byproduct. Those reductions will amount to a 1 percent or more cut in the total emissions from the Bay Area's refining industry, the air district estimated.

Bay Area oil refineries including Chevron in Richmond, Shell in Martinez, Tesoro north of Concord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo, and Valero in Benicia will be required to increase monitoring of air pollution leaving their plants and, for the first time, disclose properties of crude oil coming in, under a regional air board rule adopted. The emissions tracking rule was adopted 18-3 by the air district board after more than 20 people spoke on the proposal developed over three years. Bay Area oil refineries include Chevron in Richmond, Shell in Martinez, Tesoro north of Concord, Phillips 66 in Rodeo, and Valero in Benicia. For the first time in California, refineries from a region will be required to give detailed information about properties of crude oil stock, including concentrations of toxic benzene and sulfur dioxide.

The rule is the latest in a series of pollution reduction measures proposed after a large fire at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond in 2012 sent thousands of people to hospitals with smoke-related symptoms. For years, refinery neighbors have demanded more monitors to track air pollution from the plants. Environmentalists say the rule fails to go far enough because it doesn't set hard limits on total emissions from refineries. "There is some good in this rule, but it's a sideshow that distracts from the district's need to set an overall cap on refinery pollution," said Greg Karras, scientist with Communities for a Better Environment, a statewide environmental group.[28]

March 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Compressor Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a compressor shutdown and excessive flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery on Monday.[29]

March 12, 2016: Phillips Reports HCU Malfunction, Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a hydrocracker unit (HCU) malfunctioned, which resulted in flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The company said the refinery continued operating.[30]

February 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency[31]

February 16, 2016: Phillips Says Hydrogen Plant Next to Rodeo Refinery, Experienced Flaring

Phillips on Wednesday said a hydrogen plant operated by Air Liquide, located adjacent to its Rodeo refinery in California experienced flaring on Tuesday. The hydrogen plant unit, which provides the Rodeo refinery with hydrogen, was shut to investigate the cause of the flaring, Contra Costa Times said on Tuesday. [32]

February 16, 2016: Phillips 66 Investigates Noise and Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on February 16, 2016 that a hydrogen plant unit's startup led to a burst of noise that was audible in some homes near Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery. "There was overpressuring, and the start-up created a boom sound, and flaring did occur," said spokesman Paul Adler. The unit, which was being started up for the first time, was immediately shut down so workers could investigate. On social media, residents in Rodeo and Hercules took note of the loud burst. "We believe that there is no more noise occurring, but it probably was loud," Adler said. "We've got superintendents monitoring, and I can understand why the community is wondering what is going on."[33]

February 14, 2016: Phillips Reports Unplanned Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported flaring due to an unplanned unit shutdown at its Rodeo, California refinery on Sunday, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Service Department. Refinery operations were continuing and no evacuations or injuries were reported, it added.[34]

February 12, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery Releasing Over 500 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide

Nasdaq reported on February 12, 2016 that Phillips 66 reported flaring and equipment malfunction on February 12, 2016 at its refinery in Rodeo, Calif. "RQ [reportable quantity] is exceeding greater than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide being released at the refinery due to an equipment malfunction," according to a statement on the website of the California Emergency Management Agency.[35]

February 1, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency[36]

February 1, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.[37]

January 27, 2016: Phillips Reports Unit Upset, Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips on January 27 reported a unit upset, release of benzene from an exchanger, and flaring at its Rodeo, California refinery.[38]

January 25, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery Releasing 500 pounds of Sulfur Dioxide

Nasdaq reported on January 25, 2016 that Phillips 66 reported flaring of gases at Rodeo Refinery while conducting schedule shutdown procedures, which caused a flare releasing more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The filing said the flaring happened Friday, adding "there should be no environmental impacts from the release."[39]

January 22, 2016: Phillips Reports Flaring Due to Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported its refinery was conducting shutdown procedures which caused a flare releasing more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide[40]

January 17, 2016: Phillips Reports Upset at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a plant upset and emissions at its Rodeo, California refinery on January 17.[41]

January 17, 2016: Phillips Reports Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported emissions from a diesel hydrotreater unit at its Rodeo, California, refinery on Sunday, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.[42]

November 3, 2015: Phillips Says Rodeo Refinery Returning to Normal Operations

Phillips said its Rodeo, California refinery was in the process of returning to normal operations after it experienced operational issues.[43]

October 28, 2015: Phillips Reports Small Hydrocarbon Leak Contained at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips on Wednesday reported a small hydrocarbon leak was contained at its Rodeo, California refinery[44]

October 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips Reports Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery [45]

September 9, 2015: Contra Costa County Sfficials Say Warning System Worked 'As Designed' in August 2 Rodeo Refinery Fire

The San Jose Mercury News reported on September 9, 2015 that Contra Costa County officials appeared at a town hall meeting on September 7, 2015 and told the 50-strong audience at the Crockett Community Center that according to Randy Sawyer, the county's chief environmental health officer, the "system worked as designed for that level" of emergency. Two Phillips 66 communications officials were in attendance, but largely deferred to county officials.

But many in the audience were not buying official reassurances, complaining that residents, especially those with disabilities and people with asthma and other respiratory issues, should have been notified by phone or other means, and that officials were downplaying the seriousness of the incident. "Relying on Twitter and Facebook is useless. Going to a webpage is time-consuming," Crockett resident Margaret Faria said moments after the meeting concluded shortly before 9 p.m. "Receiving a phone call, text or email is the only way to inform the public. With the fire at Phillips 66, there was no notification. It appeared on their webpage later. By then, anyone with respiratory issues that is not aware (of the incident) would be at risk without knowing. The system should not rely on social media. We have many older citizens that do not use it."[46]

August 31, 2015: Community to Discuss Complaints Over Lack of Community Notifaction After August 2 Fire at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on August 31, 2015 that there will be a public meeting on September 8, 2015 in Crockett, California to discuss complaints over a lack of community notification after the fire at Rodeo Refinery on August 2, 2015. Margaret Faria of the Crockett Improvement Association, which is organizing the community meeting, said she is not aware of any communication from the refinery during the incident or that its warning siren ever sounded. "I haven't found a single person who got a phone call or heard the siren go off," Faria added. Tony Semenza of the Community Awareness Emergency Response group will attend the meeting, the improvement association said in a news release, and representatives of Phillips 66 have been invited as well.[47]

August 2, 2015: Fire Extinguished at Rodeo Refinery
A small fire on August 2, 2015 at Phillips Rodeo Refinery spurred the county health department to issue a public health advisory for the towns of Rodeo and Crockett. Photo: Contra Costa Times. Courtesy of Jason Sutton

The Contra Costa Times reported on August 2, 2015 that a small fire on August 2, 2015 at Phillips Rodeo Refinery spurred the county health department to issue a public health advisory for the towns of Rodeo and Crockett. The Contra Costa County incident warning system issued an alert just before 3:15 p.m. that staff concerned with hazardous materials were responding to a report of a fire at the refinery. County officials advise people with respiratory sensitivities to avoid the area or stay inside and rinse any irritated area with water but added that most people should not be affected. No injuries were reported, and the fire's cause is under investigation.[48]

August 2, 2015: Phillips Identifies Coker Unit as Source of Fire at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips has identied a coker unit as the source of a fire at Rodeo Refinery according to a report from Reuters on August 11, 2015.[49]

July 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Exchanger Shut after Leak at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips on Tuesday shut down the exchanger on a unit after a hydrogen sulfide spill at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa County Health Services.[50]

June 26, 2015: Native American Environmental Activists Make 12 Mile Healing Walk to Rodeo Refinery

Rucha Chitnis reported at TruthOut on June 20, 2015 that Native American environmental activists made a 12 mile "Healing Walk" to Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery to draw increased attention to the high rates of asthma, cancer and environmental racism experienced by neighbors of the five large oil refineries in the northeast San Francisco Bay area. "I have lived in Richmond in the shadow of the Chevron refinery for many decades now, raising my children in this refinery town," said Alison Ehara-Brown, one of the organizers of the Refinery Corridor Healing Walks. "When our children have high asthma rates, when our family members are getting cancer and collapsed lungs at an early age … then we know that we are living in a culture that needs healing."

There are four healing walks organized this year by Native American environmental advocates; these walks traverse refineries lining the East Bay, crude-by-rail tracks, neighborhoods, bridges and the bay. The third healing walk, organized June 20 began from Benicia and ended in the city of Rodeo, which is home to a Phillips 66 refinery, the first major oil refinery in the Bay Area. The Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of the refinery, alarming environmental advocates. The refinery sits on an earthquake liquefaction zone, and local residents are worried that the expansion plans could exacerbate air pollution and public safety. "Why should any community be a sacrifice zone for the fossil fuel industry? Would those making these types of decisions allow their families to live in these sacrifice zones? If not, then no one should live in them," concluded Opal Plant. The final healing walk for 2015 is on Sunday, July 19, from Rodeo's Conoco Phillips 66 Refinery to Richmond, which is home to Chevron Refinery.[51]

May 19, 2015: Phillips Says Rodeo Refinery Continues to Operate after Malfunction

May 18 Phillips said its Rodeo, California refinery was operating following an unspecified process interruption late on May 18, 2015. The company said an investigation will be conducted to determine the exact cause according to a report from Reuters on May 19, 2015.[52]

May 19, 2015: No Injuries After Flare at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on May 19, 2015 that no one was injured when a processing unit at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo flared late on May 18, 2015, producing a bright flare in Contra Costa County. The refinery remained operational Tuesday, and Phillips 66 officials said they would conduct an investigation to determine what caused the flare. As of mid-Tuesday morning, the flare was still going as the refinery continued to burn off excess material, officials said, but it was less visible in daylight. After the flare, Contra Costa County issued a Level 1 community warning for the incident, the lowest possible alert level. While oil company officials say flaring is a normal part of refinery operations and happens less frequently than it did decades ago, large flares continue to draw attention.[53]

May 18, 2015: Phillips Reports Unplanned Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported an unplanned shutdown at Rodeo Refinery according to a report from Reuters on May 21, 2015.[54]

April 30, 2015: Garland Says California is a Challenged Place to Do Business

In answer to a question from Paul Cheng of Barclays on whether management views California as a core part Phillips long-term portfolio, Greg Garland announced during the 2015 first quarter earnings conference call that Phillips' management thinks California is really a challenged place to do business. "And we think we have kind of - we have good assets, but we think they’re average you have crossed that portfolio. And so we’ll continue to work the thick strategy around the West Coast as we look at more optionality around getting the advantage crude into those assets so kind of cost structure, et cetera, around those assets. But I would say, there’s nothing that’s changed our fundamental view on West Coast assets today."[55]

April 7, 2015: Op-ed in San Fransisco Chronicle Says Phillips Refinery Plan Threatens Rodeo Resident's Safety

An op-ed in the San Fransisco Chronicle by Janet Pygeorge and Laurel Impett on April 7, 2015 asserts that the fracking boom in North Dakota and increased recovery of tar sands oil in Canada have prompted dramatic growth in transport of crude oil by rail throughout the United States from regions that pipelines don’t serve. Bay Area refineries and oil and gas companies already are planning for increased rail traffic and expanded operations. These plans are understandably alarming residents because of the potential for oil-train explosions. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, however, does not share this alarm.[56]

March 27, 2015: Residents Push for more Information on Crude by Rail to Rodeo Refinery

Marin News reported on March 27, 2015 that residents of Rodeo, Crockett and Martinez say they want assurances that state and federal agencies are doing everything they can to keep them safe with plans advancing for crude oil by rail to the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo. If plans are approved, an estimated five cars a week, each hauling 80 train cars, would travel between an unloading facility in Santa Maria and along the Amtrak Capitol Corridor before arriving at the refinery in Rodeo. "The oil companies are getting all the benefits and the communities who live near them are taking all the risk," said Nancy Rieser, who lives in Crockett and is a member of Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment, a community organization. Her group is pushing the railroad industry to release its risk-assessment information, required for insurance purposes, to better understand what kind of plans companies have in an event of an emergency and whether their insurance policies would cover a large incident. Railroad companies have so far declined to release the information. "You need to have hospitals at the ready, you need to have first responders, so if you keep it a secret, it's as if the plan didn't exist," she said. "You can't be coy with the communities."

"No human activity is completely risk-free," said Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, adding that railroad companies are already shifting to new cars -- outfitted with heat shields, thicker tank material and pressure-relief devices and that the spill rate for trains transporting crude was roughly four times higher than accidents involving pipelines. "Communities are resistant to crude by rail and they are against pipelines, but they also want to go to the pump and be able to fill up their car."[57]

March 17, 2015: Recent Lawsuits Signal a Litigious Future for Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries

Rhys Heyden writes in the Santa Maria Sun that three recent lawsuits filed in Contra Costa County against the Propane Recovery Project at Rodeo Refinery highlighted an important similarity between the two Philips 66 refineries. Namely, that Phillips operates a refinery in each county, and a proprietary pipeline links the two and that legal action has a direct connection to SLO County and the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. “Folks who are watching the Santa Maria Refinery and its rail spur extension project should also keep a close eye on Rodeo,” said Roger Lin, an attorney representing environmental group Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in one of the three suits. “We’ve always held the position that the two refineries are really just one whole.”

"In an oversimplified sense, Lin’s opinion is the nexus of the trio of lawsuits," writes Heyden. "Phillips 66 insists that a “propane recovery project” at the Rodeo Refinery and the rail spur project at the Santa Maria Refinery are discrete entities, and their opponents insist that the two projects are inextricable." “The county improperly ‘piecemealed’ its review of the [propane recovery] project from other related projects … designed to accommodate the switch from California crudes to out-of-state imports,” argues the SAFER suit. “People in SLO County, just like those in Contra Costa County, have the right to have all these impacts evaluated in one place,” said Marc Joseph, an attorney representing SAFER California. “It’s truly baffling that the powers that be refuse to analyze this project as a whole.”

“We’ve been saying all along that the fastest way to a conclusion is for Phillips 66 to just admit that these two projects are linked,” Lin said. “If Phillips 66 wants to shortcut this legal process and just tell the truth, we welcome that.” As for how Phillips 66—the prime mover of this entire situation—thinks legal action in Contra Costa County could affect its SLO County proposal, it’s anyone’s guess. In response to that exact question, Phillips spokesman Dennis Nuss simply answered, “We remain committed to the proposed Santa Maria rail project.”[58]

March 9, 2015: Phillips Reports Minor Pipeway Leak at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 reported a minor pipeline leak at Rodeo Refinery on March 9, 2015.[59]

March 6, 2014: Phillips 66 Project Faces Additional Lawsuits Over Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project

The San Jose Mercury News reported on March 6, 2015 that on March 4, 2015 Communities for a Better Environment sued the county and Phillips 66, contending the propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo refinery is part of a grander plan to process heavy, dirty tar sands crude that would come to California by rail. On March 5, 2015 Rodeo Citizens Association filed suit in Contra Costa Superior Court, Martinez against Contra Costa County and the Phillips 66 Co., contending Phillips wants to transport heavy and dirty tar sands crude by rail from outside the state to a sister refinery in San Luis Obispo County and pipe the semi-refined oil to Rodeo. On March 5, 2015 Safe Fuel Energy Resources of California, a group representing workers at the Rodeo refinery, sued the county and Phillips 66 in Superior Court, Martinez, according to an announcement by the firm Public Good PR LLC. "Following two years of careful analysis by the Contra Costa County board (of Supervisors) and its expert staff, claims that this project is a crude by rail project were dismissed," said Phillips 66 spokesman Paul Adler.[60]

March 4, 2015: Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project Subject to Legal Challenge

The Fort Bragg Advocate-News reported on March 4, 2015 that the environmental group "Communities for a Better Environment" has sued Contra Costa County over its approval of a propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo refinery, contending it is a piece of a grander plan to process heavy, dirty tar sands crude that would come to California by rail. CBE has said that the refinery, with the acquiescence of authorities, seeks to "piecemeal" what the environmental group describes as "a tar sands refining project that could worsen pollution, climate, and refinery and rail explosion hazards." The EIR, CBE contends, "hid the project from the public and failed to mitigate its significant environmental impacts." Phillips 66 spokesman Paul Adler said Wednesday the company would be issuing a statement in response to the filing. Officials at County Counsel Sharon Anderson's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Along with the Rodeo project's EIR, the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 3 rejected two appeals of a November 2013 county Planning Commission-approved use permit for the project. The appellants were CBE and the law firm of Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger on behalf of the Rodeo Citizens Association. The board vote was 4-1, with Supervisor John Gioia voting no.[61]

February 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo, California Refinery

Phillips 66 reported flaring at Rodeo Refinery on February 14, 2015.[62]

February 14, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a unit upset led to flaring at its Rodeo refinery in northern California on Saturday, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. The filing did not specify the unit involved or say if there had been any impact on production.[63]

February 5, 2015: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a substance was released to flare due to unit upset at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to the California Emergency Management Agency.[64]

February 3, 2015: County Supervisors Approve Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project

The San Jose Mercury News reported on February 3, 2015 that in a 4 - 1 decision the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors has approved Phillip 66's propane and butane recovery project at the Rodeo Refinery after more than a year of wrangling over the project's scope, its impacts on health and the environment, and safety concerns. The project "will help ensure the long-term viability of the Rodeo refinery and the many jobs it provides," said Phillips spokesman Paul Adler after the vote. "Protecting our people, our environment and our communities guides everything we do," added Adler, who previously worked for the county as a district representative for Supervisor Federal Glover. But opponents, including the environmental advocacy group Communities for a Better Environment, vowed to continue the fight. "This is an example of environmental injustice," said Roger Lin, attorney for CBE, adding that "procedural and substantive errors" accompanied the board's decision.[65]

January 25, 2015: Phillips Reports Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a flaring event at its Rodeo, California refinery led to sulfur dioxide emissions on Sunday, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency.[66]

January 31, 2015: Rodeo Refinery Propane and Butane Recovery Project Faces Stiff Opposition at Contra Costa County Hearing

The Contra Costa Times reported on January 31, 2015 that the propane and butane recovery project at a Rodeo petroleum refinery that has faced stiff opposition from some local residents as well as regional and national environmental groups as the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors prepares to hold a hearing on February 3, 2015. The Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project calls for installing new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning the gases at the Rodeo refinery or flaring off excesses. Phillips 66 has said the project would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by removing sulfur compounds from refinery fuel gas, and reduce other pollutants and greenhouses gases, but environmentalists and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District have questioned those claims. The hearing will include two appeals of the November 2013 approval by the county Planning Commission of a land use permit for the project, as well as consideration of a recirculated Environmental Impact Report. Opponents have said the Rodeo project should be considered as one together with a proposed rail spur at another Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County while Phillips has countered that the two projects are independent of each other.[67]

December 17, 2014: Air board Approves Plan to Cut Pollution at Area Refineries Including Rodeo Refinery and Santa Maria Refinery

The San Jose Mercury News reported on December 17, 2014 that the regional air pollution regulators have approved a far-reaching blueprint to cut Bay Area oil refinery emissions by 20 percent. More rigorous monitoring of refinery emissions will be required. To assure continued clean air improvements, refiners will be required periodically to assess their pollution and ways to reduce it. "This strategy will ensure that refineries are taking the strongest steps to cut emissions and minimize their impacts on neighboring residents and the region as a whole," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer.[68]

December 9, 2014: Environmentalists Concerned About Canadian Oil Sands Crude Deliveries to Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries

Tom Lochner reported in the Okaland Tribune on December 9, 2014 that environmentalists are concerned about deliveries of Canadian Oil Sands Crude to the Santa Maria Refinery. Sleuthing through the reports of the Santa Maria project and a liquefied petroleum gas project at another Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, the group concluded that the propane and butane to be recovered at the Bay Area facility would come from tar sands oil and a diluting agent used to prepare it for transport -- first, as diluted bitumen coming by rail to Santa Maria, then, semi-refined, by pipeline to Rodeo. The October 2014 DEIR specifically rules out delivery of Bakken to the Santa Maria Refinery, although it does not say exactly where the oil would come from.

Tar sands oil is "even worse than Bakken," contends CBE senior scientist Greg Karras. In diluted bitumen form, it is just as volatile, he said, and processing it consumes greater quantities of fossil fuels and produces more greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The heavy tar sands oil also contains more copper, vanadium, nickel, lead, sulfur and nitrogen than other crudes. The comments call tar sands oil among "the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet." The high sulfur content, moreover, makes the oil corrosive. Sulfur corrosion, the comments note, was a factor in an August 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond that sickened thousands. Diluted bitumen also is a powerful water pollutant, Karras said, particularly difficult to clean up because it is so heavy that it settles at the bottom of waterways.[69]

December 3, 2014: Deadline for Comments to Environmental Report on Proposed Propane and Butane Recovery Project at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on December 3, 2014 that December 5, 2014 is the deadline for comments to an environmental report on a proposed propane and butane recovery project at the Phillips 66 petroleum refinery. The project calls for installing new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning the gases at the refinery or flaring off excesses. While Phillips 66 has said the project would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by removing sulfur compounds from refinery fuel gas, and reduce other pollutants and greenhouses gases, environmentalists and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District questioned those claims. The project suffered a string of setbacks after breezing through early stages of the approval process, beginning with the endorsement of the Rodeo Municipal Advisory Council in 2013, followed by county Planning Commission approval of a land use permit later that year. Two environmental groups appealed the Planning Commission's approval, characterizing the original draft environmental impact report as inadequate and incomplete. The air district, meanwhile, said the project's emissions and possible health effects should be considered cumulatively with other petroleum industry-related projects in the East Bay and North Bay.[70]

December 2, 2014: Local Resident Claims She Saw Fire at Rodeo Refinery

Inside Bay News reported on December 2, 2014 that refinery and county officials dismissed a resident's report of a fire on November 28, 2014 at Phillips 66's Rodeo Refinery saying what she saw was a glow from sodium lights shining through a steam plume. "In fact, what this community member saw was the lighting on the structure reflecting through steam," said Amy Lohr, a Phillips 66 spokeswoman. "Under certain conditions, the light when viewed through steam can appear as (it) did that night."

Crockett resident Nancy Rieser was driving past the refinery on her way home late Saturday afternoon when she saw what she described as "a fireball" and profuse smoke at the base of a coker, a unit that processes residual oil into certain gases, gas oils, and petroleum coke. Rieser says she also saw a charred, adjacent tall tank. She took several photos that she forwarded to this newspaper. "A security guard pulled up in a truck and told me to leave, despite the fact I was standing in a public road," said Rieser, a member of the environmental group CRUDE (Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment), recounting the incident. "He advised me that I could not take pictures as refineries were all now part of Homeland Security. I said I had a right to take a picture of a fire at a refinery, especially this one, as it was close to the community and was a public safety issue." As Rieser recalled it, the security guard then told her, "It wasn't a fire ... It was something else. I am not allowed to tell you what that is but ... this is not a fire."

Don Bristol, chief environmental officer at Phillips 66, responded in an email to a Crockett resident, which was forwarded to members of the CRUDE group that it was steam, not smoke visible in the photo. But he added, "Thanks again for sending the pictures, without seeing them for myself I would not have believed how much it looked like a fire. I have shared the pictures to the entire organization, and we are actually thinking about changing the lights to bright white LED lights."[71]

November 5, 2014: Phillips Begins Planned Maintenance at Rodeo Refinery

Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide reported on November 5, 2014 that Phillips began planned maintenance at RodeoRefinery. One source said the affected unit is the refinery’s hydrocracker, which would impact distillate supply.[72]

October 15, 2014: Air Quality Officials Want Refineries near San Francisco To Cut Emissions By 20 Percent

The Contra Costa Times reported on October 15, 2014 that Bay Area air quality officials want the five Bay Area refineries to cut oil refinery emissions by 20 percent. The refineries include Valero Energy Corp’s 132,000 b/d Benicia, Chevron Corp’s 245,271 b/d Richmond, Tesoro Corp’s 166,000 b/d Martinez, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 156,400 b/d Martinez, and Phillips 66’s 120,200 b/d Rodeo. By a 15-0 vote (with seven members absent), the air board gave its staff marching orders to come up with an emission reduction plan, and approved two related actions. By next spring or earlier, the board said it will consider a new rule to more rigorously determine current baseline emissions for refineries, and then track changes over time. Also by spring, the board said it will consider a rule barring refineries from increasing emissions as a result of equipment changes or modernizations. "This is a way to improve the lives of communities around refineries," said Marilyn Bardet of Benicians for a Healthy and Safe Community.[73]

Guy Bjerke, Bay Area manager of the Western States Petroleum Association, said the district is wrong to consider any reduction target before it has completed its new inventory of emissions at the five refineries. "The reductions must be based on sound science, not on speculation," Bjerke said. Industry lawyers also said the district has no evidence that a 20 percent cut would improve public health.[74]

August 24, 2014: Rodeo Refinery Unaffected by August 24 Earthquake

The five crude oil refineries in the San Francisco Bay area said their operations were unaffected by Sunday morning’s 6.0 magnitude earthquake. The refineries include Valero Energy Corp’s 132,000 b/d Benicia, Chevron Corp’s 245,271 b/d Richmond, Tesoro Corp’s 166,000 b/d Martinez, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s 156,400 b/d Martinez, and Phillips 66’s 120,200 b/d Rodeo.[75]

August 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Small Leak Contained at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a small valve leak that was contained on August 1 at its Rodeo, California refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services.[76]

June 27, 2014: Phillips Reports Hydrogen Plant Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported the hydrogen plant went down on June 27 at its Rodeo, California, refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa County Health Services. [77]

June 4, 2014: County Supervisors Order More Environmental Study for Rodeo Refinery Expansion

Jean Tepperman reported at the East Bay Express on June 4, 2014 that Contra Costa residents and environmentalists fighting pollution from oil refineries scored two wins at the board of supervisors as county supervisors voted to send a proposal by Phillips 66 for a new project at its Rodeo refinery back for another round of environmental review. The previous environmental impact report (EIR) of the Phillips 66 proposal — to construct new storage tanks for propane and butane — was “flawed,” explained Catherine Kutsuris, director of the Department of Conservation and Development. Many comments from community residents, as well as a letter from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, pointed out that the original EIR failed to address the “cumulative impacts” of the Phillips 66 proposal together with other local oil industry projects.[78]

According to Tepperman, refinery workers packed the chamber and spoke in support of the Phillips 66 project, while members of local groups such as Crockett Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE), along with representatives of environmental organizations, supported the recommendation to revise and re-circulate the EIR. At the invitation of Supervisor Federal Glover, Larry Silva, manager of health and safety at the Phillips 66 plant, described the environmental benefits of the project, including lowering sulfur dioxide emissions and the potential for flaring. He said other projects have not had to do a cumulative health impact and asked for fair treatment.[79]

June 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Unit Upset at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a unit upset led to flaring at its Rodeo refinery in northern California on June 1, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services.[80]

June 3, 2014: Rodeo Refinery Propane Recovery Project Delayed Again Over Environmental Impact

Rick Jones reported on the Martinez News-Gazette on June 3, 2014 that Contra Costa County officials want to recirculate the environmental impact report (EIR) for the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery propane and butane recovery project that calls for the installation of new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning it as fuel at the refinery or flaring off excesses. The project would reduce emissions of several pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, the refinery has said. Appeals, by Communities for a Better Environment and the Rodeo Citizens Association, contend the report understates potential impacts of the project and warn that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier crude oil. Phillips has described those contentions as incorrect and speculative.[81]

May 13, 2014: Phillips Reports Several Minor Units Shut at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported several minor unspecified units were shut due to a brief power disruption at its Rodeo refinery in northern California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing did not mention whether the shutdowns affected production or regular operations at the refinery. There were no offsite consequences and the refinery has stabilized, the filing added. [82]

April 18, 2014: Phillips Reports Small Gasoline Leak at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported a gasoline leak from a pipeline at its Rodeo, California, refinery, according to a filing with Contra Costa Health Services. About 2–3 barrels of gasoline were released within the refinery and the leak was contained, the filing said. [83]

April 4, 2014: Hearing on Rodeo Refinery Project Postponed until May 13

The Contra Costa Times reported on April 4, 2014 that a public hearing on a propane-and-butane recovery project at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo was postponed by Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to May 13. New equipment would enable the refinery to recover propane and butane instead of using it as fuel in its boilers or burning off excesses in a process called flaring, the company argued. It added it does not need to refine heavier crudes to make the project work. Opponents of the project argued the environmental report does not adequately study many of the project's potential impacts and it overstates the baseline amounts of propane and butane currently produced at the refinery. They also warned that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier oil. Phillips 66, characterizing many of the appellants' objections as speculative and based on incorrect assumptions, asserted the project would reduce emissions of the pollutant sulfur dioxide. Moreover, Phillips 66 said, there are no restrictions on the kinds of crude the refinery can process now or in the future.[84]

March 10, 2014: Phillips Fined $239k for Air Quality Violations at Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009

Denis Cuff reported in the Contra Costa Times that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced on March 10, 2014 that it had reached a civil settlement with Phillips for the payment of $230,900 in air pollution penalties for 19 air quality violations at their Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009 that included late or missed flare gas samples, failure to install and inspect required emission controls on the wastewater system, and operating a storage tank while control valves were open.The refinery also exceeded hydrogen sulfide limits in fuel gas. "The air district has the responsibility to ensure that refineries operate their facilities in full compliance of air quality regulations to protect the health of local residents," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer. "Any violation of these regulations, no matter how minor, will not be tolerated."[85] Officials at Phillips said the company had disclosed most of the violations to the air district and fixed the problems quickly. "We continue to make improvements in our procedures, training and monitoring to minimize if not eliminate the likelihood of recurrence," said Janet Grothe, a spokeswoman for Phillips.[86]

February 28, 2014: Phillips Faces Compliance Hearing for Pollution Monitoring System at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on February 28, 2014 that the Contra Costa County Zoning Administrator will hold a compliance meeting on March 3, 2014 on the land use permit of the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery to determine if the fence line pollution monitoring system, deemed deficient in October, has been fixed. The system is supposed to function 95 percent of the time, according to an agreement between the refinery and an environmental working group that is a condition of a Clean Fuels Expansion Project. According to the staff report, a contractor found the monitoring system exceeded the 95 percent standard during four months of a 10-month period, and failed to meet the standard during six of those months.[87]

January 29, 2014: Phillips 66 Agrees To Pay $6,000 In State Fines for Water Pollution Violations from Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on January 29, 2014 that Phillips has agreed to pay $6,000 in fines to the state for exceeding discharge limits for selenium on two different occasions at its Rodeo refinery along San Pablo Bay that occurred on July 2, 2012 and September 5, 2012. Phillips agreed to waive its right to a hearing and to settle the matter under the board's Expedited Payment Program. The settlement is pending acceptance by the board's executive officer following a public comment period that runs until 5 p.m. on February 28, 2014.[88]

October 30, 2013: Garland Says the Option Value to Hold onto West Coast Refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco is Not High

In answer to a question from Bradley Olsen of Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. Securities, Inc. Garland told analysts at the third quarter earnings conference on October 30, 2013 that the option value to hold onto West Coast Refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco is not high. "I think in any time we look at an asset and we’re going to let an asset go, if we are going to get value for PSX shareholders, it has to be tax efficient in terms of the transaction itself. And we look at these assets East and West Coast, we’ll put in advantaged crudes, so that we think we can make them better and drive more value ultimately and optionality that thing, we look at these assets both east and west, we don’t have to put a lot of money into these assets," said Garland. "The option value to hold on is not high for us and again they are generating positive cash or generating maybe single-digit returns, but they are adding value to the portfolio overall. So we don’t feel like there it is stressed assets, we just have to move today. So we’ll hold them for some option value. We’ll consider multiple ways to create values with these assets, but in the mean time we’re going to work to make them better."[89]

October 7, 2013: Phillips Pitches Rodeo Refinery Modernization Project to Hercules City Council

The Contra Costa Times reported on October 7, 2013 that Phillips will make a presentation to the Hercules City Council on October 8, 2013 to promote a modernization project at its Rodeo refinery that would increase the recovery of propane and butane from the refining process in a campaign to generate public support for the project, which Phillips says will benefit the environment by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions, and create well-paying jobs at the refinery and in the surrounding community. Opponents of the plan say the new jobs would be mostly temporary and that the project would bring noise and threaten public safety citing the dangers of storing hydrocarbons and transporting them by rail.[90]

October 3, 2013: Phillips Reports Small Fire in Process Unit at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 reported a small fire in the insulation of a process unit at its Rodeo refinery in northern California, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services. [91]

August 23, 2013: Expansion of Rodeo Refinery Worries East Bay Residents

KGO-TV reported on August 23, 2013 that a plan to build a propane storage facility at Phillips' Rodeo Refinery has some residents fearing for their safety, especially after the big explosion at a propane plant in Central Florida last month. "You can run from a fire, you cannot run from an explosion," says Tegan Clive of Rodeo. "It's too close to people." Phillips says they're just trying to catch up to their competitors in the Bay Area, that all the others already have propane plants on site. "Right now, we currently utilize propane and butane and burn it in our furnaces here. So, it's a fuel source. We're going to replace that with natural gas, something that's cleaner burning than propane and butane," says Phillips spokesman Mark Hughest. Phillips 66 says their plan has been reviewed by safety experts and the risks are low. The Contra Costa Planning Commission has approved a draft environmental impact report. If the full board of supervisors approves a final plan, Phillips hopes to begin construction early next year.[92]

June 10, 2013: Equipment Problem at Rodeo Refinery

4-traders reported on June 10, 2013 that according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program, sulfur dioxide was burned off after an unspecified equipment problem at Rodeo Refinery. The filing did not give a date.[93]

April 18, 2013: Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery by April 18.[94]

April 12, 2013: Phillips Cuts Production at Rodeo Refinery to Repair Pump

Bloomberg reported on April 12, 2013 that Phillips cut production at Rodeo Refinery to repair a pump at the No. 246 hydrocracker that was damaged after overheating on April 10, 2013. The work is expected to last about three days, said a person familiar with operations at Rodeo, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.[95]

April 10, 2013: Rodeo Refinery Flared Gases for Six Hours after a Unit Shut

Bloomberg reported on April 11, 2013 that Rodeo refinery flared gases for six hours after a unit shut, the company said in a notice to Contra Costa County regulators on April 10, 2013.[96]

March 20, 2013: Phillips Signs Deal that Could Boost Deliveries of Cheap Crude to Rodeo Refinery

Eliot Caroom reported on Bloomberg on March 20, 2013 that Phillipshas signed a pact with Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS) for five years to provide rail-unloading and barge-loading services in Tacoma, Washington for about 30,000 barrels a day of U.S. and Canadian crudes that will go to the Ferndale Refinery. Phillips’s Rodeo refinery near San Francisco could also receive crude deliveries, displacing imports from outside North America. “We are aggressively pursuing increased access to advantaged crudes in North America by partnering with leading third-party transportation providers and better leveraging our own system capabilities,” Greg Garland, Phillips 66 chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “Increasing our utilization of those advantaged crudes should allow us to capture significant value in our refining and marketing businesses.”[97]

February 13, 2013: Phillips Reports Gasoline Leak at Rodeo Refinery

According to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services, Phillips 66’s refinery in Rodeo, California, experienced a small gas leak of several gallons from a seal on a pump February 11. The company reported that it isolated and stopped the leak.[98]

February 5, 2013: Canadian Crude is Being Transported to San Francisco Refinery

Reuters reported on February 5, 201 that Tim Taylor, Phillips executive vice president for commercial, marketing, transportation and business development, told the Credit Suisse energy conference that Phillips has begun moving cut-price Canadian crude to its California refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco via rail. "We're beginning to deliver Canadian crude to our California refineries by rail," said Taylor. Garland told Reuters on January 30, 2013 that Phillips was looking at coiled tube cars that are suited to bitumen in Canada's heavy oil deposits that must be heated in order to flow.[99]

February 1, 2013: Unspecified Unit Outage at Rodeo Refinery

Fox Business reported on February 6, 2013 that an unspecified unit outage occurred at Philips Rodeo refinery on February 1, 2013.[100]

January 30, 2013: Garland Does Not Rule Out a Sale of San Francisco Refinery

Reuters reports that Greg Garland told investors on January 30, 2013 at the 4th quarter earnings conference that Phillips did not rule out a sale of Phillips two California refineries, one at Los Angeles and one at San Francisco, given challenges with state regulatory requirements and high costs. "We're studying any and all options for California in terms of where do we go long-term in the business," said Garland. "We are doing everything we can to improve it. I don't feel it's a distressed asset. We want to take our time and be thoughtful."[101]

Garland told analysts that Phillips 66 was looking at getting railcars capable of hauling even cheaper Canadian heavy crude to the company's refineries in California. However, he said resistance to such a move was likely. A 2006 California law requiring sharp cuts in emissions has a component that would require refineries to run crudes produced in environmentally friendly ways. Canadian crude production comes with high emissions. Plus, California has the huge Monterey shale, estimated by the U.S. government to have more reserves than the prolific Eagle Ford in Texas or Bakken in North Dakota. But output has been spotty with geology that differs from those other plays. Given those uncertainties, Garland told Reuters in an interview that for the time being, Phillips 66 will focus on improving the California refineries' single-digit returns while studying a possible sale, joint venture or spinoff. "The option value to hold California is zero. It really costs us nothing."[102]

January 22, 2013: Unspecified Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Fox Business reported on February 6, 2013 that an unspecified shutdown occurred at Philips Rodeo refinery on January 22, 2013.[103]

January 9, 2013: Phillips Reports Sulfur Dioxide Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 reported emissions of sulfur dioxide from an unspecified unit at its Rodeo refinery very early morning on January 9, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The filing did not specify the cause of the emissions, which lasted for more than seven hours.[104]

January 9, 2013: Phillips Restarts an Unspecified Unit at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported an unspecified unit restart at its Rodeo refinery early on January 9, according to a filing with local environmental regulators. No further detail is provided in the filing.[105]

October 31, 2012: California Refineries are in Lower Performing Part of Refinery Portfolio and Must Improve

Tim Taylor was asked at the Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference on October 31, 2012 if Phillips' position with its two major refineries in California was sufficiently advantaged to warrant continued participation and replied that when Phillips looks at the West Coast, it's been one of the more challenged markets from a recovery standpoint post-recession. "In California, specifically, it's a tough regulatory environment, as well, so costs are higher. And there is a lot of potential additional costs as new regulations come into effect. That said, it's still a very significant market and we think it's really important to look at how can we get some of these crudes out of the middle part of the country into the West Coast, particularly California. So we're working hard on that to try and change that. The comment I'd make in Washington is that that's got a natural access to the Bakken in North Dakota and Canadian crudes. We separate the Washington piece from the California piece that way. But everyone's working hard to look at some crude solutions for the West Coast to improve its competitive position."[106]

"I think we look at the market and say demand continues to struggle out there, as well, post-recession," added Taylor. "And then I think you look more fundamentally at the operating environment and the costs associated with particularly the environmental regulations. And we think that's going to continue to keep pressure on operations and operating costs out there. So, yes, I would say that from a California perspective it is one of the more challenged parts of our portfolio in terms of the basic value equation. So that's why we're still looking at the crude side of it. And continuing to stay abreast and on top of what it's going to take to comply with things like AB32 to really maintain your operations out there."[107]

Asked if California would still remain part of Phillips' core portfolio Taylor replied that right now California is in the lower performing part of Phillips portfolio. "So I think that if our assessment would become that it's going to be challenged for some period of time, we've either got to find a way to improve that operation or find some other way to deal with that."[108]

September 10, 2012: Unplanned Flaring Event at Rodeo Refinery

Nasdaq reported on September 20, 2012 that unplanned flaring event took place on September 10, 2012 at the Rodeo Refinery, according to the California Emergency Management Agency. It wasn't known which units were affected.[109]

August 29, 2012: Fire at Rodeo Refinery Said to Have Shut Down Coker Plant

Bloomberg reported on August 30, 2012 that according to Rick Johnson, a Phillips 66 spokesman, a “small fire” was extinguished in a unit at the Rodeo Refinery on August 29, 2012. According to a person with knowledge of the incident who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public, the fire was said to have shut down the coker plant and the unit, which converts heavy oil feedstocks into lighter products such as naphtha and heating oil, was not expected to run at 50 percent of capacity until after 4 pm on August 30, 2012 and not at full rates until the end of the week. Phillips 66 declined to comment on the unit’s status.[110]

August 24, 2012: Rodeo Refinery Shuts Down Hydrocracking unit due to Equipment Failure

Reuters reported that the Rodeo Refinery shut the hydrocracking unit August 24, 2012 due to an equipment failure, according to a notice filed with California pollution regulators. "Equipment failure at the unicracker required shutdown and flaring," according to the notice filed with the Contra Costa County Health Department Hazardous Materials Program.[111]

August 10, 2012: Sources Allege Phillips Delaying Work on a Hydrocracker at Rodeo Refinery to Take Advantage of Record Profits

Businessweek reported on August 10, 2012 that Phillips is said to made the decision to delay work on a hydrocracker at the Rodeo refinery in Northern California to take advantage of a fuel-price surge after a fire that cut production at Chevron Corp's Richmond plant. The Rodeo refinery put off maintenance for at least a month at a hydrocracking unit, which makes gasoline and jet fuel, said a person with knowledge of the schedule. The work on the hydrocracker was to have taken six weeks.[112] Phillips 66 delayed a hydrocracker turnaround at the Rodeo refinery in Northern California by a month to profit from a price surge following an Aug. 6 fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery, a person with direct knowledge of the work said.[113]

August 1, 2012: Phillips to Run 30,000 bpd of Advantaged Crudes to Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported during their second-quarters earnings report on August 1, 2012 that Phillips wants to move the shale crudes from 120,000 to ultimately 450,000 to 460,000 barrels a day and has a plan to get advantaged crude into most of Phillips' refineries. "We are trying to get those crudes to every refinery we can," said Phillips CEO Greg Garland. "Smaller Rodeo we can get at 30,000 barrels a day."[114]

July 25, 2012: Valve Leak Causes Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 25, 2012 that a leaking valve caused flaring and the release of excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide on July 24, the Rodeo, Refinery according to a California Emergency Management Agency Hazardous Materials Spill Report.[115]

July 19, 2012: Pump Fire at Rodeo Refinery

Bloomberg reported on July 19, 2012 that Phillips 66 extinguished a fire on a pump at the 76,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo plant, according to Rich Johnson, a company spokesman in Houston.[116]

June 27, 2012: Contra Costa Health Department to Address Concerns About Rodeo Refinery Chemical Release

The San Fransisco Chronicle reported on June 27, 2012 that the Contra Costa Health Department will hold a meeting on July 2nd to address concerns and answer questions about the Phillips 66 refinery chemcial release, which occurred on June 15th and affected residents in Pleasant Hill & Martinez. On June 15, the seam of a tank storing processed water at the Phillips 66 refinery separated and allowed hydrogen sulfide vapors into the air, causing a rotten egg odor. The release persisted throughout the area and people may have felt nausea, had headaches or people with respiratory sensitivities may have affected their breathing. Hazardous Materials Ombudsman Michael Kent said it is important to be transparent when such incidents occur so the public is aware of what happened, what is being done and what follow-up actions are taking place. Speakers at the meeting will include representatives from Phillips 66 and County Supervisor Federal Glover’s office, Public Health Director Dr. Wendel Brunner and Chief Environmental Health and Hazardous Materials Officer Randy Sawyer.[117]

June 16, 2012: Crews Pumped Hundreds of Thousands Of Gallons Of "Sour Water" from a Ruptured Tank at Rodeo Refinery

Rick Hurd reported in the Contra Costa Times on June 16, 2012 that hazardous materials crews pumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of "sour water" from a ruptured tank at a Phillips 66 petroleum refinery in Rodeo as they continued to clean up from a leak the day before. Hydrogen sulfide is not dangerous in low concentrations, but its offensive rotten-egg smell is strong and easily noticed, and can cause dizziness and nausea, said Randy Sawyer, the county's chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer. The threshold for the gas becoming a health hazard is 30 parts per million, and the highest measurement in the area surrounding the refinery was 1 part per million. Crews laid down a blanket of firefighting foam in the tank, and a contractor will rivet and tape down a heavy chemical resistant tarp. The cause of the rupture remains unknown, and the investigation likely won't be finished for weeks.[118][119]

June 15, 2012: Gas Release from Rodeo Refinery Causes Concern in Benicia

JB Davis reported in the Benicia Patch that a leak at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in Rodeo caused a gaseous smell that greeted morning walkers in Benicia as ground level monitors in Benicia that track air quality did showed an uptick in hydrogen sulfide, a colorless, flammable gas that has a rotten egg smell. The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials team and the county’s health department determined that the leak created a “non-harmful nuisance odor,” according to Division Chief Nick Thomas of the Benicia Fire Department. “Just prior to 8 a.m. was the height of the readings but they are back to normal now,” said Benicia Fire Chief Steve Vucurevich who also reported that the City has received nearly 400 phone calls about the odor.[120] Phillips 66 reported that a leak from a storage tank caused a release of water used in the refining process. The water has a foul smell like rotten eggs. Refinery production was unaffected.[121]

June 4, 2012: Planned Overhaul Completed at Rodeo Refinery

Reuters reported on June 4, 2012 that Phillips 66 has completed a planned overhaul at Rodeo Refinery that began on April 24.[122]

June 1, 2012: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions due to a Flaring Event at Rodeo Refinery

Reuters reported that Phillips 66 reported sulfur dioxide emissions due to a flaring event at its refinery in Rodeo, California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing with California Emergency Management Agency said the release would not pose threat to local residents. Flaring usually indicates refinery operations are interrupted by planned maintenance or an unplanned breakdown.[123]

June 4, 2014: County Supervisors Order More Environmental Study for Rodeo Refinery Expansion

Jean Tepperman reported at the East Bay Express on June 4, 2014 that Contra Costa residents and environmentalists fighting pollution from oil refineries scored two wins at the board of supervisors as county supervisors voted to send a proposal by Phillips 66 for a new project at its Rodeo refinery back for another round of environmental review. The previous environmental impact report (EIR) of the Phillips 66 proposal - to construct new storage tanks for propane and butane - was "flawed," explained Catherine Kutsuris, director of the Department of Conservation and Development. Many comments from community residents, as well as a letter from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, pointed out that the original EIR failed to address the "cumulative impacts" of the Phillips 66 proposal together with other local oil industry projects.[124]

According to Tepperman, refinery workers packed the chamber and spoke in support of the Phillips 66 project, while members of local groups such as Crockett Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE), along with representatives of environmental organizations, supported the recommendation to revise and re-circulate the EIR. At the invitation of Supervisor Federal Glover, Larry Silva, manager of health and safety at the Phillips 66 plant, described the environmental benefits of the project, including lowering sulfur dioxide emissions and the potential for flaring. He said other projects have not had to do a cumulative health impact and asked for fair treatment.[125]

June 3, 2014: Rodeo Refinery Propane Recovery Project Delayed Again Over Environmental Impact

Rick Jones reported on the Martinez News-Gazette on June 3, 2014 that Contra Costa County officials want to recirculate the environmental impact report (EIR) for the Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery propane and butane recovery project that calls for the installation of new equipment to recover and sell propane and butane instead of burning it as fuel at the refinery or flaring off excesses. The project would reduce emissions of several pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, the refinery has said. Appeals, by Communities for a Better Environment and the Rodeo Citizens Association, contend the report understates potential impacts of the project and warn that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier crude oil. Phillips has described those contentions as incorrect and speculative.[126]

April 4, 2014: Hearing on Rodeo Refinery Project Postponed until May 13

The Contra Costa Times reported on April 4, 2014 that a public hearing on a propane-and-butane recovery project at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo was postponed by Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to May 13. New equipment would enable the refinery to recover propane and butane instead of using it as fuel in its boilers or burning off excesses in a process called flaring, the company argued. It added it does not need to refine heavier crudes to make the project work. Opponents of the project argued the environmental report does not adequately study many of the project's potential impacts and it overstates the baseline amounts of propane and butane currently produced at the refinery. They also warned that Phillips plans to process more and dirtier oil. Phillips 66, characterizing many of the appellants' objections as speculative and based on incorrect assumptions, asserted the project would reduce emissions of the pollutant sulfur dioxide. Moreover, Phillips 66 said, there are no restrictions on the kinds of crude the refinery can process now or in the future.[127]

March 10, 2014: Phillips Fined $239k for Air Quality Violations at Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009

Denis Cuff reported in the Contra Costa Times that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced on March 10, 2014 that it had reached a civil settlement with Phillips for the payment of $230,900 in air pollution penalties for 19 air quality violations at their Rodeo Refinery in 2008 and 2009 that included late or missed flare gas samples, failure to install and inspect required emission controls on the wastewater system, and operating a storage tank while control valves were open.The refinery also exceeded hydrogen sulfide limits in fuel gas. "The air district has the responsibility to ensure that refineries operate their facilities in full compliance of air quality regulations to protect the health of local residents," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer. "Any violation of these regulations, no matter how minor, will not be tolerated."[128] Officials at Phillips said the company had disclosed most of the violations to the air district and fixed the problems quickly. "We continue to make improvements in our procedures, training and monitoring to minimize if not eliminate the likelihood of recurrence," said Janet Grothe, a spokeswoman for Phillips.[129]

February 28, 2014: Phillips Faces Compliance Hearing for Pollution Monitoring System at Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on February 28, 2014 that the Contra Costa County Zoning Administrator will hold a compliance meeting on March 3, 2014 on the land use permit of the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery to determine if the fence line pollution monitoring system, deemed deficient in October, has been fixed. The system is supposed to function 95 percent of the time, according to an agreement between the refinery and an environmental working group that is a condition of a Clean Fuels Expansion Project. According to the staff report, a contractor found the monitoring system exceeded the 95 percent standard during four months of a 10-month period, and failed to meet the standard during six of those months.[130]

January 29, 2014: Phillips 66 Agrees To Pay $6,000 In State Fines for Water Pollution Violations from Rodeo Refinery

The Contra Costa Times reported on January 29, 2014 that Phillips has agreed to pay $6,000 in fines to the state for exceeding discharge limits for selenium on two different occasions at its Rodeo refinery along San Pablo Bay that occurred on July 2, 2012 and September 5, 2012. Phillips agreed to waive its right to a hearing and to settle the matter under the board's Expedited Payment Program. The settlement is pending acceptance by the board's executive officer following a public comment period that runs until 5 p.m. on February 28, 2014.[131]

October 30, 2013: Garland Says the Option Value to Hold onto West Coast Refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco is Not High

In answer to a question from Bradley Olsen of Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. Securities, Inc. Garland told analysts at the third quarter earnings conference on October 30, 2013 that the option value to hold onto West Coast Refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco is not high. "I think in any time we look at an asset and we're going to let an asset go, if we are going to get value for PSX shareholders, it has to be tax efficient in terms of the transaction itself. And we look at these assets East and West Coast, we'll put in advantaged crudes, so that we think we can make them better and drive more value ultimately and optionality that thing, we look at these assets both east and west, we don't have to put a lot of money into these assets," said Garland. "The option value to hold on is not high for us and again they are generating positive cash or generating maybe single-digit returns, but they are adding value to the portfolio overall. So we don't feel like there it is stressed assets, we just have to move today. So we'll hold them for some option value. We'll consider multiple ways to create values with these assets, but in the mean time we're going to work to make them better."[132]

October 7, 2013: Phillips Pitches Rodeo Refinery Modernization Project to Hercules City Council

The Contra Costa Times reported on October 7, 2013 that Phillips will make a presentation to the Hercules City Council on October 8, 2013 to promote a modernization project at its Rodeo refinery that would increase the recovery of propane and butane from the refining process in a campaign to generate public support for the project, which Phillips says will benefit the environment by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions, and create well-paying jobs at the refinery and in the surrounding community. Opponents of the plan say the new jobs would be mostly temporary and that the project would bring noise and threaten public safety citing the dangers of storing hydrocarbons and transporting them by rail.[133]

October 3, 2013: Phillips Reports Small Fire in Process Unit at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 reported a small fire in the insulation of a process unit at its Rodeo refinery in northern California, according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services. [134]

August 23, 2013: Expansion of Rodeo Refinery Worries East Bay Residents

KGO-TV reported on August 23, 2013 that a plan to build a propane storage facility at Phillips' Rodeo Refinery has some residents fearing for their safety, especially after the big explosion at a propane plant in Central Florida last month. "You can run from a fire, you cannot run from an explosion," says Tegan Clive of Rodeo. "It's too close to people." Phillips says they're just trying to catch up to their competitors in the Bay Area, that all the others already have propane plants on site. "Right now, we currently utilize propane and butane and burn it in our furnaces here. So, it's a fuel source. We're going to replace that with natural gas, something that's cleaner burning than propane and butane," says Phillips spokesman Mark Hughest. Phillips 66 says their plan has been reviewed by safety experts and the risks are low. The Contra Costa Planning Commission has approved a draft environmental impact report. If the full board of supervisors approves a final plan, Phillips hopes to begin construction early next year.[135]

June 10, 2013: Equipment Problem at Rodeo Refinery

4-traders reported on June 10, 2013 that according to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program, sulfur dioxide was burned off after an unspecified equipment problem at Rodeo Refinery. The filing did not give a date.[136]

April 18, 2013: Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips to Restart Hydrocracker after Pump Repairs at Rodeo Refinery by April 18.[137]

April 12, 2013: Phillips Cuts Production at Rodeo Refinery to Repair Pump

Bloomberg reported on April 12, 2013 that Phillips cut production at Rodeo Refinery to repair a pump at the No. 246 hydrocracker that was damaged after overheating on April 10, 2013. The work is expected to last about three days, said a person familiar with operations at Rodeo, who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public.[138]

April 10, 2013: Rodeo Refinery Flared Gases for Six Hours after a Unit Shut

Bloomberg reported on April 11, 2013 that Rodeo refinery flared gases for six hours after a unit shut, the company said in a notice to Contra Costa County regulators on April 10, 2013.[139]

March 20, 2013: Phillips Signs Deal that Could Boost Deliveries of Cheap Crude to Rodeo Refinery

Eliot Caroom reported on Bloomberg on March 20, 2013 that Phillipshas signed a pact with Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS) for five years to provide rail-unloading and barge-loading services in Tacoma, Washington for about 30,000 barrels a day of U.S. and Canadian crudes that will go to the Ferndale Refinery. Phillips's Rodeo refinery near San Francisco could also receive crude deliveries, displacing imports from outside North America. "We are aggressively pursuing increased access to advantaged crudes in North America by partnering with leading third-party transportation providers and better leveraging our own system capabilities," Greg Garland, Phillips 66 chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. "Increasing our utilization of those advantaged crudes should allow us to capture significant value in our refining and marketing businesses."[140]

February 13, 2013: Phillips Reports Gasoline Leak at Rodeo Refinery

According to a filing with the Contra Costa Health Services, Phillips 66's refinery in Rodeo, California, experienced a small gas leak of several gallons from a seal on a pump February 11. The company reported that it isolated and stopped the leak.[141]

February 5, 2013: Canadian Crude is Being Transported to San Francisco Refinery

Reuters reported on February 5, 201 that Tim Taylor, Phillips executive vice president for commercial, marketing, transportation and business development, told the Credit Suisse energy conference that Phillips has begun moving cut-price Canadian crude to its California refineries at Los Angeles and San Francisco via rail. "We're beginning to deliver Canadian crude to our California refineries by rail," said Taylor. Garland told Reuters on January 30, 2013 that Phillips was looking at coiled tube cars that are suited to bitumen in Canada's heavy oil deposits that must be heated in order to flow.[142]

February 1, 2013: Unspecified Unit Outage at Rodeo Refinery

Fox Business reported on February 6, 2013 that an unspecified unit outage occurred at Philips Rodeo refinery on February 1, 2013.[143]

January 30, 2013: Garland Does Not Rule Out a Sale of San Francisco Refinery

Reuters reports that Greg Garland told investors on January 30, 2013 at the 4th quarter earnings conference that Phillips did not rule out a sale of Phillips two California refineries, one at Los Angeles and one at San Francisco, given challenges with state regulatory requirements and high costs. "We're studying any and all options for California in terms of where do we go long-term in the business," said Garland. "We are doing everything we can to improve it. I don't feel it's a distressed asset. We want to take our time and be thoughtful."[144]

Garland told analysts that Phillips 66 was looking at getting railcars capable of hauling even cheaper Canadian heavy crude to the company's refineries in California. However, he said resistance to such a move was likely. A 2006 California law requiring sharp cuts in emissions has a component that would require refineries to run crudes produced in environmentally friendly ways. Canadian crude production comes with high emissions. Plus, California has the huge Monterey shale, estimated by the U.S. government to have more reserves than the prolific Eagle Ford in Texas or Bakken in North Dakota. But output has been spotty with geology that differs from those other plays. Given those uncertainties, Garland told Reuters in an interview that for the time being, Phillips 66 will focus on improving the California refineries' single-digit returns while studying a possible sale, joint venture or spinoff. "The option value to hold California is zero. It really costs us nothing."[145]

January 22, 2013: Unspecified Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery

Fox Business reported on February 6, 2013 that an unspecified shutdown occurred at Philips Rodeo refinery on January 22, 2013.[146]

January 9, 2013: Phillips Reports Sulfur Dioxide Emissions at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips 66 reported emissions of sulfur dioxide from an unspecified unit at its Rodeo refinery very early morning on January 9, according to a filing with the California Emergency Management Agency. The filing did not specify the cause of the emissions, which lasted for more than seven hours.[147]

January 9, 2013: Phillips Restarts an Unspecified Unit at Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported an unspecified unit restart at its Rodeo refinery early on January 9, according to a filing with local environmental regulators. No further detail is provided in the filing.[148]

October 31, 2012: California Refineries are in Lower Performing Part of Refinery Portfolio and Must Improve

Tim Taylor was asked at the Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference on October 31, 2012 if Phillips' position with its two major refineries in California was sufficiently advantaged to warrant continued participation and replied that when Phillips looks at the West Coast, it's been one of the more challenged markets from a recovery standpoint post-recession. "In California, specifically, it's a tough regulatory environment, as well, so costs are higher. And there is a lot of potential additional costs as new regulations come into effect. That said, it's still a very significant market and we think it's really important to look at how can we get some of these crudes out of the middle part of the country into the West Coast, particularly California. So we're working hard on that to try and change that. The comment I'd make in Washington is that that's got a natural access to the Bakken in North Dakota and Canadian crudes. We separate the Washington piece from the California piece that way. But everyone's working hard to look at some crude solutions for the West Coast to improve its competitive position."[149]

"I think we look at the market and say demand continues to struggle out there, as well, post-recession," added Taylor. "And then I think you look more fundamentally at the operating environment and the costs associated with particularly the environmental regulations. And we think that's going to continue to keep pressure on operations and operating costs out there. So, yes, I would say that from a California perspective it is one of the more challenged parts of our portfolio in terms of the basic value equation. So that's why we're still looking at the crude side of it. And continuing to stay abreast and on top of what it's going to take to comply with things like AB32 to really maintain your operations out there."[150]

Asked if California would still remain part of Phillips' core portfolio Taylor replied that right now California is in the lower performing part of Phillips portfolio. "So I think that if our assessment would become that it's going to be challenged for some period of time, we've either got to find a way to improve that operation or find some other way to deal with that."[151]

September 10, 2012: Unplanned Flaring Event at Rodeo Refinery

Nasdaq reported on September 20, 2012 that unplanned flaring event took place on September 10, 2012 at the Rodeo Refinery, according to the California Emergency Management Agency. It wasn't known which units were affected.[152]

August 29, 2012: Fire at Rodeo Refinery Said to Have Shut Down Coker Plant

Bloomberg reported on August 30, 2012 that according to Rick Johnson, a Phillips 66 spokesman, a "small fire" was extinguished in a unit at the Rodeo Refinery on August 29, 2012. According to a person with knowledge of the incident who asked not to be identified because the information isn't public, the fire was said to have shut down the coker plant and the unit, which converts heavy oil feedstocks into lighter products such as naphtha and heating oil, was not expected to run at 50 percent of capacity until after 4 pm on August 30, 2012 and not at full rates until the end of the week. Phillips 66 declined to comment on the unit's status.[153]

August 24, 2012: Rodeo Refinery Shuts Down Hydrocracking unit due to Equipment Failure

Reuters reported that the Rodeo Refinery shut the hydrocracking unit August 24, 2012 due to an equipment failure, according to a notice filed with California pollution regulators. "Equipment failure at the unicracker required shutdown and flaring," according to the notice filed with the Contra Costa County Health Department Hazardous Materials Program.[154]

August 10, 2012: Sources Allege Phillips Delaying Work on a Hydrocracker at Rodeo Refinery to Take Advantage of Record Profits

Businessweek reported on August 10, 2012 that Phillips is said to made the decision to delay work on a hydrocracker at the Rodeo refinery in Northern California to take advantage of a fuel-price surge after a fire that cut production at Chevron Corp's Richmond plant. The Rodeo refinery put off maintenance for at least a month at a hydrocracking unit, which makes gasoline and jet fuel, said a person with knowledge of the schedule. The work on the hydrocracker was to have taken six weeks.[155] Phillips 66 delayed a hydrocracker turnaround at the Rodeo refinery in Northern California by a month to profit from a price surge following an Aug. 6 fire at Chevron's Richmond refinery, a person with direct knowledge of the work said.[156]

August 1, 2012: Phillips to Run 30,000 bpd of Advantaged Crudes to Rodeo Refinery

Phillips reported during their second-quarters earnings report on August 1, 2012 that Phillips wants to move the shale crudes from 120,000 to ultimately 450,000 to 460,000 barrels a day and has a plan to get advantaged crude into most of Phillips' refineries. "We are trying to get those crudes to every refinery we can," said Phillips CEO Greg Garland. "Smaller Rodeo we can get at 30,000 barrels a day."[157]

July 25, 2012: Valve Leak Causes Flaring at Rodeo Refinery

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 25, 2012 that a leaking valve caused flaring and the release of excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide on July 24, the Rodeo, Refinery according to a California Emergency Management Agency Hazardous Materials Spill Report.[158]

July 19, 2012: Pump Fire at Rodeo Refinery

Bloomberg reported on July 19, 2012 that Phillips 66 extinguished a fire on a pump at the 76,000-barrel-a-day Rodeo plant, according to Rich Johnson, a company spokesman in Houston.[159]

June 27, 2012: Contra Costa Health Department to Address Concerns About Rodeo Refinery Chemical Release

The San Fransisco Chronicle reported on June 27, 2012 that the Contra Costa Health Department will hold a meeting on July 2nd to address concerns and answer questions about the Phillips 66 refinery chemcial release, which occurred on June 15th and affected residents in Pleasant Hill & Martinez. On June 15, the seam of a tank storing processed water at the Phillips 66 refinery separated and allowed hydrogen sulfide vapors into the air, causing a rotten egg odor. The release persisted throughout the area and people may have felt nausea, had headaches or people with respiratory sensitivities may have affected their breathing. Hazardous Materials Ombudsman Michael Kent said it is important to be transparent when such incidents occur so the public is aware of what happened, what is being done and what follow-up actions are taking place. Speakers at the meeting will include representatives from Phillips 66 and County Supervisor Federal Glover's office, Public Health Director Dr. Wendel Brunner and Chief Environmental Health and Hazardous Materials Officer Randy Sawyer.[160]

June 16, 2012: Crews Pumped Hundreds of Thousands Of Gallons Of "Sour Water" from a Ruptured Tank at Rodeo Refinery

Rick Hurd reported in the Contra Costa Times on June 16, 2012 that hazardous materials crews pumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of "sour water" from a ruptured tank at a Phillips 66 petroleum refinery in Rodeo as they continued to clean up from a leak the day before. Hydrogen sulfide is not dangerous in low concentrations, but its offensive rotten-egg smell is strong and easily noticed, and can cause dizziness and nausea, said Randy Sawyer, the county's chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer. The threshold for the gas becoming a health hazard is 30 parts per million, and the highest measurement in the area surrounding the refinery was 1 part per million. Crews laid down a blanket of firefighting foam in the tank, and a contractor will rivet and tape down a heavy chemical resistant tarp. The cause of the rupture remains unknown, and the investigation likely won't be finished for weeks.[161][162]

June 15, 2012: Gas Release from Rodeo Refinery Causes Concern in Benicia

JB Davis reported in the Benicia Patch that a leak at the Phillips 66 oil refinery in Rodeo caused a gaseous smell that greeted morning walkers in Benicia as ground level monitors in Benicia that track air quality did showed an uptick in hydrogen sulfide, a colorless, flammable gas that has a rotten egg smell. The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials team and the county's health department determined that the leak created a "non-harmful nuisance odor," according to Division Chief Nick Thomas of the Benicia Fire Department. "Just prior to 8 a.m. was the height of the readings but they are back to normal now," said Benicia Fire Chief Steve Vucurevich who also reported that the City has received nearly 400 phone calls about the odor.[163] Phillips 66 reported that a leak from a storage tank caused a release of water used in the refining process. The water has a foul smell like rotten eggs. Refinery production was unaffected.[164]

June 4, 2012: Planned Overhaul Completed at Rodeo Refinery

Reuters reported on June 4, 2012 that Phillips 66 has completed a planned overhaul at Rodeo Refinery that began on April 24.[165]

June 1, 2012: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions due to a Flaring Event at Rodeo Refinery

Reuters reported that Phillips 66 reported sulfur dioxide emissions due to a flaring event at its refinery in Rodeo, California, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing with California Emergency Management Agency said the release would not pose threat to local residents. Flaring usually indicates refinery operations are interrupted by planned maintenance or an unplanned breakdown.[166]

News and Views on Santa Maria Refinery

The Santa Maria Refinery. Semi-refined products from the Santa Maria facility are sent by pipeline to the Rodeo facility for upgrading into finished petroleum products. A high proportion of the refinery's production is transportation fuel, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel. The refinery produces CARB-grade gasoline using ethanol to meet government-mandated oxygenate requirements. The majority of refined products are distributed by pipeline, railcar and barge to customers in California.[167] Photo by 350.org Flicker Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
August 15, 2017: Hancock College Receives $25,000 donation from Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery

The Santa Maria Times reported on August 15, 2017 that Hancock College received a $25,000 donation from Phillips 66 to support students seeking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Designed as a four-day orientation to introduce freshmen and their parents to STEM education, the program features hands-on activities and presentations focusing on topics such as applying for financial aid, transitioning from high school to college and highlighting student resources. As part of the program, students will tour the Phillips 66 refinery in Santa Maria.[168]

July 5, 2017: Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Donates $25,000 to Dunes Center

The Santa Maria Sun reported on July 5, 2017 that Phillips 66 is donating $25,000 to Guadalupe's Dunes Center to go toward educational opportunities to underserved students in programs such as science, technology, engineering, and math. Education programs that will benefit from funding include guided student field trips to Oso Flaco Lake, classroom science presentations, and informal programs available through 10-week-long after-school programs held in partnership with local schools and community organizations. Recent topics include geology and botany; oceanography will be offered this summer.[169]

July 1, 2017: Two Oil Tanker Crashes Raise Concerns About Safety of Oil Trucks Going to Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery
Two Oil Tanker Crashes Raise Concerns About Safety of Oil Trucks Going to Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery. the recent crash of a tanker truck carrying 6,200 gallons of highly-flammable crude oil to Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery has raised concerns about the 52 trucks a day carrying thousands of gallons of crude that rumble through San Luis Obispo County to the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa for at least another year. Another Phillips 66 oil tanker crash occurred last fall that ended in a driver’s death. Photo Cal Fire SLO

The Tribune reported on July 1, 2017 that the recent crash of a tanker truck carrying 6,200 gallons of highly-flammable crude oil to Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery has raised concerns about the 52 trucks a day carrying thousands of gallons of crude that rumble through San Luis Obispo County to the Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa for at least another year. The crash occurred 2.5 miles from its destination at the Phillips 66 refinery when the brakes went out and it rolled off the road to avoid a car. No one was injured, and less than a gallon of oil spilled. “It gives us concern that if that happened before, it will happen again. That’s just the inevitability of it,” said Laurance Shinderman, of Nipomo, who is active in the Mesa Refinery Watch Group. The intersection of Willow Road and Highway 1 where the semitruck crashed last week is frequented by tanker trucks and is a concern to local residents like Shinderman, who witness cars zooming by in low visibility sometimes caused by low-lying fog. They are especially concerned because of a sharp right turn near the intersection.

Another Phillips 66 oil tanker crash occurred last fall that ended in a driver’s death. According to the California Highway Patrol, Elias Garcia, 45, of Bakersfield had just unloaded his truck when his wife called to check on him about 2 a.m. Sept. 13, 2016. Garcia told her he was tired and on his way home. He never made it. Officers suspect he fell asleep at the wheel around 7:30 a.m. on Highway 166 near New Cuyama. The tanker swerved over the double-yellow lines and slammed into several oncoming trucks. He was ejected into a dirt field and pronounced dead at the scene.

Hundreds of tanker trucks have been delivering oil to Santa Maria Refinery, and to a pump station in Santa Maria to fill a supply gap created by the shutdown of the Plains All American Pipeline in Santa Barbara County in May 2015. The district last year issued a notice of violation to the company for violating Health and Safety Code and county rules by failing to inform the county about the refinery receiving oil trucks. Phillips 66 wracked up civil penalties for 61 days that could have been assessed at up to $610,000. It settled the violation with the county in May by agreeing to pay $15,914 to the district.[170]

May 26, 2017: Phillips 66 Get Go-Ahead to Sue San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Over Santa Maria Refinery Oil Train Terminal

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on May 26, 2017 that San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Barry T. LaBarbera said he will allow Phillips 66 to sue the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in a lawsuit that includes new allegations based on what happened at hearings on the project March 13 and 14 when speakers from across California urged the board to reject the so-called bomb trains. Supervisors voted 3-1 to deny the company’s plan to extend railroad at its Santa Maria Refinery on the Nipomo Mesa to allow deliveries of crude by rail from across North America.

The judge has now ruled against the county and environmental groups with a decision to allow Phillips 66 to file a new civil complaint. Environmental groups had argued that the company’s litigation was an attempt “to undermine and circumvent local agency jurisdiction.” LaBarbera said he would not address that issue and cited case law that said, generally, a judge will not consider the validity of the proposed complaint when deciding whether it can be filed. In its lawsuit, the company will ask the court to direct the board to set aside its findings about environmentally sensitive habitat at the location of the proposed project. The case will return to court in August.[171]

April 17, 2017: Phillips 66 Won't Appeal Decision to Stop Oil Trains Coming to Santa Maria Refinery But the Fight is Not Over

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 17, 2017 that Phillips 66 won’t appeal San Luis Obispo County’s decision rejecting its oil-by-rail plan to the California Coastal Commission, but it will continue the fight in court. “The window is closed, and they did not file an appeal. The Board of Supervisors’ decision stands,” said Cassidy Teufel, a senior energy scientist with the Coastal Commission.

However in an amended petition filed against the county on March 22 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Phillips 66 contends the county missed a filing deadline over the issue of environmentally sensitive habitat and also that the zoning law is unconstitutional because it doesn’t allow Phillips an opportunity to be heard. If Judge Barry LaBarbera agrees with the company, the county Planning Department would have to revisit its findings, triggering a new land-use decision. His decision could be challenged to an appellate court. “They knew they were going into strong headwinds (if Phillips filed an appeal with the Coastal Commission). Now they’re going to try to make an end run around on a technicality,” said Laurance Shinderman, a volunteer with the rail spur-opposition group, Mesa Refinery Watch Group. “A good neighbor wouldn’t do that."[172]

April 5, 2017: Small California Towns Are Facing Off Against Oil Companies Like Phillips 66 and Winning
Small California Towns Are Facing Off Against Oil Companies Like Phillips 66 and Winning. “[This] is a pretty new effort to work with leaders and community organizations to engage in local elections that are critical for climate and environmental justice issues,” said Whit Jones, the East Coast–based campaign director for Lead Locally. “We partnered with community organizations in California last year to make sure that voters’ demands to stop oil train terminals, or to stop fracking, were heard at the ballot box.” Photo: Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refiney project protest, July 11, 2015 by Stand.Earth Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Grist reported on April 5, 2017 that on March 14, 2017 the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors shut down a Phillips 66 crude-by-rail plan to bring oil into its Nipomo Mesa refinery. The 3-to-1 vote (with one recusal) against the proposal represented a huge change in a county that for years had supported refinery projects. “[This] is a pretty new effort to work with leaders and community organizations to engage in local elections that are critical for climate and environmental justice issues,” said Whit Jones, the East Coast–based campaign director for Lead Locally, a new project of the Advocacy Fund and which provided electoral support in Benicia, Oxnard, and Arvin. “We partnered with community organizations in California last year to make sure that voters’ demands to stop oil train terminals, or to stop fracking, were heard at the ballot box.” Another new group, Leadership for a Clean Economy, also worked in these communities, in partnership with many local environmental justice organizations.

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration now headed by Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier, environmentalists may attempt more victories at the local level. “They’re simpler, in a way,” Jones said of local policy campaigns. “The people in the community understand the issues because these things are proposed in their backyards. This isn’t some obscure, abstract conversation about the nation’s energy policy or climate change; this is about whether or not a polluting facility will be sited in their town.”

Other California towns have also successfully fought large oil companies. In the Kern County town of Arvin, which 10 years ago won the dubious distinction of having the smoggiest air of any U.S. city, a 23-year-old city councilman was elected mayor on a promise to regulate the oil industry and protect the city’s water and air — a huge task in California’s biggest oil-producing county. Benecia, a small refinery town in Northern California stood up against its biggest employer and taxpayer. Valero, the Texas-based petroleum giant, had sought routine approval for a huge crude-by-rail project. The city council of Benicia, however, decisively rejected Valero’s proposal. “We had a small, but extremely well-informed group of people who have been working on these issues for a long time,” said Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson, “and I give all the credit to that group.” Patterson is a longtime environmentalist who has been mayor since 2007 and was reelected in November.[173]

April 3, 2017: Deadline Looms for Phillips 66 to Appeal Rejection of Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 3, 2017 that Phillips 66 only has until April 14 to appeal San Luis Obispo County’s rejection of its proposed Santa Maria Refinery oil-by-rail project to the California Coastal Commission. The county issued a notice of final county action last week, announcing that Phillips 66 had exhausted its appeals at the county level and can now appeal the matter to the Coastal Commission, triggering a 10-business-day countdown to the filing deadline. The company has not announced whether it will appeal to the commission.[174]

March 26, 2017: How Local Citizens Built a Successful Movement to Keep Phillips 66's Oil Trains Out of their Backyard Near the Santa Maria Refinery

How Local Citizens Built a Successful Movement to Keep Phillips 66's Oil Trains Out of their Backyard Near the Santa Maria Refinery. Bakken crude killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic [Quebec].” “Obliterated a whole town,” said Shinderman. When Phillips said it would transport crude oil in “the absolute safest tankers that exist,” said Akel, the group did its homework. There are no fail-safe tankers. “Guess what? When they fall over, they rupture and everything goes boom.” Photo: Police helicopter view of Lac-Mégantic, the day of the derailment Wikipedia

In December 2013, a couple of neighbors from an upscale residential development on California's Central Coast attended a community meeting at a middle school in Arroyo Grande to learn about a new project proposed by oil giant Phillips 66 for its Santa Maria refinery, which sits near the ocean below the Nipomo Mesa, where they live.

Now the LA Times has published a major story on March 26, 2017 about how a group of 12 California citizens stated a movement with one burning mission: to keep Phillips 66's oil trains out of their backyard in Nipomo, California. For more than two years, Martin Akel emailed a professional-caliber, monthly newsletter to about 2,000 supporters, 1,000 government officials and several hundred members of the media. At public hearings, the oil train opponents delivered lots of grim news about the dangers of crude oil trains, which they called “bomb trains,” but overall they were upbeat. Wearing referee shirts, they would set up tables adorned with bowls of candy. “We’d say, ‘Stop by the zebra table and we will orient you,” said Akel. “If they spoke, we would give them candy. I spent a lot of money on candy, and I didn’t put in for reimbursement.”

What the neighbors, mostly retired professionals who had moved here from places such as Irvine and New Jersey, loved most about the area was its bucolic splendor, lower cost of living, and slower pace. Phillips 66 had always shipped oil to and from the Santa Maria refinery by pipeline. Now it was proposing a new way to deliver the crude: by train. And it would have to build a new rail spur at its refinery to accommodate mile-long oil trains, coming in on Union Pacific’s main line, at the rate of three a week, each carrying 2.2 million gallons of crude.

Each time Phillips 66 or its proponents claimed that oil trains were safe, that the kind of oil it wanted to transport was safe, or that Union Pacific tracks are safe, the Mesa Refinery Watch Group was able to point and laugh. They researched every oil train derailment and explosion, the type of oil transported, the type of tankers used, and track conditions. “They said we aren’t going to bring in any oil that’s dangerous,” Akel said, “and we stood up at a meeting and said, ‘Are you bringing in Bakken crude from North Dakota?’ And they said, ‘We may.’ We went crazy on that. Bakken crude killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic [Quebec].” “Obliterated a whole town,” said Shinderman. When Phillips said it would transport crude oil in “the absolute safest tankers that exist,” said Akel, the group did its homework. There are no fail-safe tankers. “Guess what? When they fall over, they rupture and everything goes boom.”

“Phillips 66 used to come to Trilogy every year and ply residents with shrimp and booze,” said Akel. “Around Christmas,” said Gary McKible. “It was a goodwill thing.” “They haven’t been for two years,” said Akel. “Maybe it was something we said.”[175]

March 13, 2017: San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Chambers Packed for Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Appeal Hearing

San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Chambers Packed for Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Appeal Hearing. Oil train opponents gathered at noontime outside the courthouse across the street from the government center for a "SLO Clean Energy Crossroads Rally," which featured a human train and chants of, "Hey, Phillips, what do we know?" "No, trains in S-L-O." Photo: David Middlecamp The Tribune

The Santa Maria Times reported on March 13, 2017 that the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors chambers were filled with 160 opponents of a controversial proposal by Phillips 66 to bring crude oil to its Santa Maria Refinery via trains. Half of those spoke during the daylong meeting and most speakers voiced opposition to the plans. "This is the first time in 15 years we have ever spoken outside Santa Barbara County," said Ken Hough, Santa Barbara County Action Network executive director. "We never had the need to ... until now." Hough told the supervisors that his organization stands with Santa Barbara County in its opposition to the proposed rail spur project. Oil train opponents gathered at noontime outside the courthouse across the street from the government center for a "SLO Clean Energy Crossroads Rally," which featured a human train and chants of, "Hey, Phillips, what do we know?" "No, trains in S-L-O."

Phillips 66 has argued the rail spur is necessary for the company to support plant operations because it doesn't own local crude oil production fields and must transport crude to the facility. Crude oil now is piped to the Phillips 66 facility that's located on the Nipomo Mesa, as well as trucked in to the plant. "I'm here to tell about a project that's crucial to the viability of the refinery," said Jim Anderson, Phillips 66 maintenance superintendent, noting that since the shutdown of the Plains All American pipeline, which spilled near Refugio State Beach in 2015, production at the refinery has been reduced by 50 percent.[176]

People from the Central Coast as well as from Northern California protested, some carrying signs that said “No Way in San Jose” and “Stop Oil Trains.” U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, Northern Chumash Tribal Council spokesman Fred Collins and Northern Chumash Tribal Council member Violet Cavanaugh were among the speakers. Afterward, protesters marched from the County Government Center through downtown, led by a symbolic train formed by members of 350 Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based climate change group. “We came to speak out against the oil trains. It also affects us,” said Justin Massey, who traveled to San Luis Obispo with the Sacramento Climate Coalition. “It’s an immense risk for a very shortsighted profit for Phillips 66.”[177]

March 10, 2017: Judge Rules Against Phillips 66's Legal Appeal over Planning Commission’s Decision to Reject Santa Maria Refinery Rail Spur Project

Cal Coast News reported on March 10, 2017 that San Luis Obispo Judge Barry LaBarbera ruled against a legal appeal filed by Phillips 66 over the SLO County Planning Commission’s decision to reject the oil company’s Nipomo rail spur project paving the way for board of supervisors hearings on the project to begin next week. Phillips 66 sought to obtain a court order sending the case back to the planning commission on the grounds that the commission misapplied land use rules in designating an area to be an environmentally sensitive habit area (ESHA), and thus rending the location undevelopable. The planning commission made the designation after the rail spur project was already accepted, violating a land use ordinance deadline and wasting the company’s time and money, Phillips 66’s attorneys argued.

The judge sided with Phillips 66 on one point. The oil company had argued that the ordinance the planning commission used to reject the project was unconstitutional because it is vague. The California Constitution bars the county from ruling on that matter, LaBarbera said. According to LaBarbera’s ruling, Phillips 66 can file an amended complaint pertaining to the constitutionality issue alone. Special board of supervisors hearings on the Phillips 66 appeal are set to begin Monday and continue through the week.[178]

February 17, 2017: San Jose Residents Rally To Derail Plan That Would Send Phillips 66 Oil Tankers Through Their City to Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery

The Mercury News reported on February 17, 2017 that San Jose residents and local activists have organized a march Sunday and community meeting Thursday to remind the public that the fight to prevent flammable crude oil from being hauled on rail through Willow Glen and other neighborhoods up and down the state isn’t over. Although the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission last year denied Phillips 66’s request to expand its refinery in Santa Maria, the company appealed the decision to that county’s board of supervisors, which is expected to review the proposal next month. If the board approves the refinery expansion, Phillips 66 plans to send 80 tank cars carrying about 2.2 million total gallons of Bakken crude oil from Canada or North Dakota roughly 2,500 miles to the refinery, cutting through Diridon Station and northern Willow Glen along the way. “A lot of people in San Jose think this project is over with because the planning department in San Luis Obispo rejected it,” said Stew Plock, a member of 350 Silicon Valley. “The problem is the oil company can appeal it, which is what they’ve done. That’s why we’re trying to reawaken people to the fact that this is not over yet.”

District 6 Councilwoman Devora “Dev” Davis, who grew up in North Dakota where much of the crude oil would come from, is no stranger to the controversial project. A number of derailments and other disasters related to oil trains have been documented in her native state over the past several years, which is why she doesn’t want them coming through her district. “Running oil trains through residential areas is dangerous, and I am opposed to it,” Davis said in a statement. “Oil trains in other parts of the country have caused tragic disasters over the last few years. We must avoid the danger through our densely populated city.”

Representatives from Phillips 66 declined to comment.[179]

January 12, 2017: Six Environmental Groups Join Against Phillips 66 Lawsuit Regarding Santa Maria Rail Project

Edhat Santa Barbara reported on January 12, 2017 that six environmental groups were granted permission to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Phillips 66, challenging the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission's denial of the company's proposal to construct a crude oil train terminal for the Santa Maria Refinery. Phillips 66's lawsuit challenges the Planning Commission's determination that the site for the proposed oil train terminal contains rare and valuable habitat that is protected under the California Coastal Act and the County's local policies and ordinances. In granting the motion to intervene, the court ruled that the groups have an interest in protecting the environment as well as an interest in participating in further hearings on the project. The court allowed the environmental groups to join the lawsuit so that they could "continue to participate in and protect the environmental review process" as it relates to the Phillips project and the determination that the project would impact environmentally sensitive habitat. Now that the environmental groups are parties to the lawsuit, they plan to file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case as premature. The hearing on that motion is scheduled for February 16, 2017.[180]

October 20, 2016: Phillips 66 Appeals Santa Maria Rail Project to San Luis Obispo County Supervisors

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on October 20, 2016 that Phillips 66. has appealed San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission’s rejection of its oil-by-rail plan to the county Board of Supervisors, setting the stage for lengthy and passionate hearings over a project that has drawn statewide attention. Phillips 66, in its appeal filed Wednesday afternoon, also is asking county supervisors to set aside the issue while it seeks an order from San Luis Obispo Superior Court that would direct the county planning department to correct what Phillips 66 says are misapplications of county land-use rules. The petition, filed Wednesday in Superior Court, also asks the court to direct the Planning Commission to set aside its findings for denial and reconsider Phillips 66’s application. A case management conference is set for Dec. 5. The Planning Commission voted 3-2 on Oct. 5 to reject the project, with Commissioners Don Campbell and Jim Harrison dissenting. Commissioner Jim Irving joined Commissioners Eric Meyer and Ken Topping on Wednesday to deny the plan.

In the meantime, environmental groups are gearing up for another fight. One such group, 350 Silicon Valley, is part of a statewide coalition of climate organizations focused on stopping the Phillips 66 project and plans to give county supervisors numerous reasons to reject the proposal, said Stew Plock, development manager for the group.[181]

October 5, 2016: San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission Votes to Deny Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur Project

KCBX reported on October 5, 2016 that the proposal by Phillips 66 to increase the number of trains bringing crude oil to its Santa Maria refinery will not move forward with a recommendation by the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission with three out of five Commissioners voting to deny the request to build a rail spur at the facility. Mesa Refinery Watch Group Spokesperson Laurance Shinderman said that the issue is now likely headed to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, but believes the recent vote helps set a tone for future debate. "When you have the planning staff saying no to it, and now the planning commissioners saying not to it...the sentiment seems to be leaning our way," said Shinderman.

Phillips 66 Spokesperson Dennis Nuss sent a statement to KCBX via email: "We presented a strong proposal, and will review the concerns raised today and consider our options, including the right to appeal."[182]

July 22, 2016: Phillips' Santa Maria Rail Spur Project May Be in Jeopardy

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on July 22, 2016 that Phillips 66 has been given an August 15 deadline to give the San Luis Obispo County department of planning and building additional information about the Santa Maria Rail Spur Project and to pay more than $240,000 in fees or the project application will be withdrawn. County policy requires that development applicants pay all the county’s costs in processing their permit, including the cost to hire consultants and write an environmental impact report. The county has estimated the cost of processing the application through the Board of Supervisors appeal hearing to be $240,697.73. In a July 8 letter to the company, county supervising planner Ryan Hostetter wrote, “This letter serves to inform Phillips 66 that without the necessary information and funding, the county cannot complete processing the application as directed by the Planning Commission.” As of July 22, the county had received only part of the information it has requested and none of the money, Hostetter said. Phillips 66 did not respond directly to questions by The Tribune on Friday as to whether the company plans to meet the county’s Aug. 15 deadline to pay the fees and provide the missing information. Instead, it sent this statement: “Phillips 66 presented a strong proposal, and we remain confident about the project,” the statement said. “We understand and respect the review and approval process with the county, and look forward to the next step in the EIR process.”

Phillips 66 also faces questions regarding their recent decision to truck oil directly into the refinery which according to the county is likely a violation of the county’s permit and will require a new permit as well as a trucking plan detailing the new oil-by-truck method. “Bringing in crude by truck is a modification of the refinery and, additionally, may have the potential to cause significant impacts,” Hostetter said in a June 30 letter to Phillips 66. The refinery’s maintenance supervisor, James Anderson, responded to the county in a letter dated July 14 in which he denied the assertions that the trucking of oil is a modification of the refinery and disputes the notion that a trucking plan is required. The letter refers to the refinery’s official name, the Santa Maria Refinery. “Phillips 66 does not need any new permits or modifications to its existing permits to deliver feedstocks by rail to SMR (Santa Maria Refinery) in the manner in which it is currently performed,” Anderson’s letter stated. “Such activity has been a long-standing practice, albeit intermittent, and is not part of the rail extension project.”[183]

July 14, 2016: A Catastrophic Oil Train Derailment in Oregon Raises Fears of Phillips 66's Rail Spur Proposal on California's Central Coast

The Los Angeles Times reported on July 14, 2016 in a major story by Robin Abcarian titled "A catastrophic oil train derailment in Oregon raises fears on Central Coast" that Alene Burns, mayor of Mosier, Oregon, spoke to activists in San Luis Obispo about hat happened when a mile-long train loaded with crude oil derailed in Mosier in June 16, 2016.

Sixteen of 96 cars toppled from the tracks. Four exploded. The area, a windsurfing mecca known for its constant high winds, was spared more explosions only because the air was unusually still that day. “If it had been a normal, windy day,” Burns said, “the explosions would have had a domino effect.” Still, a monstrous plume of black smoke could be seen for miles. About 200 yards away, 225 schoolchildren were evacuated and began their summer vacation a week early. Their school was quickly converted to an incident command center. Twenty-three miles of I-84, which runs along the southern edge of the Columbia River, was closed, blocking access to Mosier. “Guess who couldn’t help us?” Burns said. “The first responders. They were stuck in gridlock traffic.” The Mosier fire burned for 15 hours. No one was hurt, but the town’s sewage treatment plant was inundated with 10,000 of the 42,000 gallons of spilled Bakken crude oil — a volatile, highly flammable mix. For days, toilets didn’t flush and showers didn’t work.

According to Abcarian, supervisors in counties up and down the state have officially opposed Phillips 66's Rail Spur Project to the Santa Maria Refinery. So have at least 22 city councils, from Berkeley to Los Angeles. The crude oil boom in places like North Dakota has lead to a significant increase in the number of such trains, along with a significant increase in derailments. Most people don’t want potentially explosive cargo barreling through their community. "As long as we depend so heavily on oil, we will have these battles. It makes economic sense for oil companies like Phillips to fight on," writes Abcarian. "But I take what Mayor Burns said to heart. Oil trains will derail. They are disasters waiting to happen. San Luis Obispo County supervisors are in a unique position to help protect every Californian who lives within a mile of Union Pacific’s tracks, often called “the blast zone.”"[184]

July 9, 2016: Activists Rally Against Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Spur Proposal

Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refiney project protest in San Luis Obispo, July 11, 2015. More than 150 activists gathered for a rally at Mitchell Park in downtown San Luis Obispo to protest a proposed Phillips 66 rail spur that would add five tracks and allow crude oil to be hauled to their Santa Maria Refinery. The rally commemorated the three-year anniversary of a derailment near Lac-Mégantic, Quebec where a stopped train hauling 72 crude oil tank cars rolled downhill and derailed near the center of town. Forty-seven people were killed in ensuing explosions and fires. Flickr Creative Commons "Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refiney project protest, July 11, 2015" Photo: Stand.Earth Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on July 9, 2016 that more than 150 activists gathered for a rally at Mitchell Park in downtown San Luis Obispo to protest a proposed Phillips 66 rail spur that would add five tracks and allow crude oil to be hauled to their Santa Maria Refinery. The rally commemorated the three-year anniversary of a derailment near Lac-Mégantic, Quebec where a stopped train hauling 72 crude oil tank cars rolled downhill and derailed near the center of town. Forty-seven people were killed in ensuing explosions and fires.

Mayor Arlene Burns of Mosier, Oregon, spoke at the rally about a fiery oil train derailment near her town in June and urged San Luis Obispo County residents to stop the spur project. Attendees then marched to the nearby Amtrak station, many waving yellow “Stop Oil Trains Now” signs. The June 3 incident in the Columbia River Gorge near Mosier was caused by broken track bolts that derailed a train hauling more than 90 tank cars of crude oil. Some of the cars leaked oil and caught on fire, prompting Mosier, a tiny town of about 430, to evacuate its schools and many residents. “Trains derail,” said Burns. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.”[185]

July 8, 2016: Opponents of Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur to Stage Protest Rally in San Luis Obispo

The Santa Maria Times reported on July 8, 2016 that opponents of Phillips 66's plan to bring oil trains to Santa Maria Refinery will gather for a "Stop the Oil Trains Rally" on July 9, 2016 at Mitchell Park in downtown San Luis Obispo. Guest speakers at the rally will include Arlene Burns, mayor of Mosier, Oregon, who will talk about her experiences being a part of a blast zone after a Union Pacific Railroad train, towing cars filled with crude oil, derailed and exploded near her community early last month, according to organizers. Fourteen cars were involved in the June 4 Columbia River Gorge accident, causing the evacuation of schools in Mosier and the shutdown of Interstate 84 between Hood River and The Dalles. Organizers plan to lead a peaceful march at 1:15 p.m. from the park to the nearby Amtrak station, where additional speakers will address the crowd.[186]

June 22, 2016: California Refineries Brace for Potential Disruptions Ahead of Possible Blackouts This Summer

Reuters reported on June 22, 2016 that refiners in southern California are bracing for potential disruptions ahead of possible blackouts this summer after the closure of a key natural gas field prompted state regulators to warn of power and gas shortages. Phillips 66 has two refineries that could potentially be affected: the Santa Maria Refinery and the Rodeo Refinery. The Santa Maria facility is located in Arroyo Grande, Calif., while the Rodeo facility is in the San Francisco Bay Area. The combined Phillips refineries have a total crude oil processing capacity of 120,000 bpd. According to Reuters concerns about disruptions to refining operations have intensified as a heat wave swept the region, testing power grids that rely heavily on natural gas for fuel. Power generators face strained gas supplies after operations stopped at SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon facility, the second largest natural gas field in the Western United States. The six major refineries operating in the region require immense amounts of natural gas and electricity delivered on a consistent basis to run smoothly.

Any stoppages at the refineries would likely cause gasoline prices to rise in California, which is largest and most expensive gasoline market in the continental United States. In the event of even a brief power outage, a refinery would need between five to seven days to return to full production, assuming there is no damage, according to industry players. "Our facilities are designed to run at a steady-state - not ramp up and down sporadically. The notion of 'turning down' a facility does not take into account the physical nature of the refining process," the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) said in a statement.[187]

May 18, 2016: Opponents Vow to Stay in Fight Against Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Project

Chris McGuinness wrote in the New Times on May 18, 2016 that feelings ran high at the meeting of the SLO County Planning Commission when commission members moved forward with plans to approve a modified version of the proposed Phillips 66 rail spur project, with members of the audience booing commissioners who expressed their support of the project, and cheering those who did not. Heidi Harmon, a local activist and opponent of the project, said that the commissioners' actions at the meeting may have been disheartening but would also serve to further galvanize those who oppose it. "I think they were disappointed and disgusted, but not discouraged," Harmon said. "I think they were trying to thread the needle," said Laurance Shinderman, a member of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, an organization that opposes the project. "They bought into Phillips' shell game. ... We were disappointed." Whatever the commission's final decision is, it can still be appealed to the SLO County Board of Supervisors, the California Coastal Commission, and eventually the court system. The project will come back before the Planning Commission Sept. 22, and will include reopening public comment.[188]

May 16, 2016: SLO County Planning Commission Agrees to Move Forward with Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project

KSBY reported on May 16, 2016 that the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission agreed to move forward with a proposal to extend a rail spur at the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery. There was a consensus by straw vote to approve the project in the future but no formal vote was put on the record. Many people have expressed concerns over the safety risks associated with the project, which is expected to result in three oil trains traveling into the refinery each week. The commissioners suggested some conditions for the project that will be later formalized. Another Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for September 22, when the commissioners will open up those conditions for public comment. Even if the Planning Commission does give final approval to the project, it still would have to go through the County Board of Supervisors for an appeals process and then the Coastal Commission.[189]

May 3, 2016: Rancher Files Lawsuit Against Phillips 66 for Pollution from Pipeline from Santa Maria Refinery

Cal Coast News reported on May 3, 2016 that Rob Rossi, an owner of the more than 14,000 acre Santa Margarita Ranch, filed a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66 on Friday for allegedly operating a pipeline that has contaminated a portion of his ranch. The pipeline extends 78 miles from Phillips 66's Santa Maria refinery to a junction pipe station in the San Joaquin Valley. In the years since the pipeline was constructed, the defendants removed or replaced the pipeline twice. During one of the maintenance projects, hydrocarbons were discovered to have leaked into the soil, according to the lawsuit. The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board then opened an investigation that led to the discovery of oil related contaminants in the soil and groundwater in areas adjacent to the pipeline. The contaminates discovered showed that the leaks were not only historical but current, as some of the chemicals found were not added to oil until 2000, according to the lawsuit. In his lawsuit, Rossi is seeking that the defendants stop any continuing pipeline leaks, clean up any contamination from its pipeline on the property, reimburse Rossi for expenses related to the leaks, indemnify Rossi, pay damages for injury to the property, pay civil penalties for contaminating drinking water and pay Rossi’s legal costs. “Defendants’ petroleum hydrocarbon contamination on the headquarters property, in addition to posing a continuing threat to human health and the environment, has impeded and, until abated, will continue to impede Rossi’s ability to freely and beneficially use, enjoy and develop his property,” the lawsuit says.[190]

April 29, 2016: Phillips Is Not Actively Seeking to Divest Santa Maria, Wilmington, and Rodeo Refineries in California

In answer to a question from Neil Mehta, Kevin Mitchell told analysts during the 2016 first quarter earnings conference call on April 29, 2016 that although Phillips has talked about divestitureof its California refineries in the past at this point Phillips will just hold on to them at this point in time. "California we talked about a lot the hold cost or the option value is really not much there is not a lot of capital in front of us in California last few year margins have been very good in California so it's a net cash contributor," said Mitchell. "And you think about could you sell asset probably but could we did good value for it, probably not and so I think we just hold it at this point in time they're good assets, they're probably mid back in terms of where they set their cost structure, but given the option value to keep, I think it'll just hang on."[191]

April 29, 2016: Santa Maria Refinery Continues to Be Affected by Plains Pipeline Outage

Greg Garland told analysts during the 2016 first quarter earnings conference call on April 29, 2016 that the Santa Maria continues to be affected by the Plains Pipeline outage.[192]

March 11, 2016: Public Comment Closes on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project

KSBY reported on March 11, 2016 that more than 120 people, both proponents and opponents, took the podium for the final day of comment on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project. The first three days of public hearings drew more than 400 people from all around the state. "It's been a long day, it has been a long four weeks," said San Luis Obispo Planning Commissioner Don Campbell. "We are happy to begin deliberations now. We have a lot of information to go through."

In the previous hearings, hundreds of people spoke out, stating how the risk of a derailment would be catastrophic. Supporters of the proposal pointed to the company's safety record as well as the jobs that would be created from the extension. Commissioners will be reviewing comments received from the public and federal laws on the proposed project. They will also be meeting with the county's attorneys regarding local laws and other legal obligations if they decide to approve the project. "It's going to take us some time to digest what we've heard from the public and to review all the components before we can make a decision on the project," said Campbell.[193]

February 25, 2016: Comments Are Evenly Split at Second Hearing for Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on February 25, 2016 that the first two days of the hearing on Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project held on February 4 and 5 drew hundreds of people to San Luis Obispo, with many urging county planning commissioners to reject the rail spur extension project but the second hearing of the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, held on February 25, 2016 heard from more than 20 people with comments evenly split between opponents and supporters.

Several of the supporters who work at the refinery stressed Phillips' commitment to safety and track record of “being a good neighbor.” “It is the safest company that I’ve ever worked for,” said Jerry Harshbarger, who works in purchasing. “We still have a strong demand for fossil fuels and stopping this project will not stop that demand.” Another San Luis Obispo resident said the products of gas and oil could be seen throughout the room, and urged: “We as a community should work toward how to do this.” “You drive a car and go up to the pump,” Laura Mordaunt said. “A truck is there filled with gas that is way more volatile. Your vehicle parked in your garage is far more dangerous than this process and yet you continue to drive.” For some who spoke Thursday, it is their jobs and the jobs of their loved ones on the line. “The refinery is really concerned about their ability to stay operational. That affects 200 families, We are concerned with that,” explained Vince Herrera, a Santa Maria resident who works as a Process Control Engineer at the Santa Maria Refinery. In recent hearings, Phillips 66 said if the rail project is denied, the company will deliver the oil anyway, using 100 trucks per week. Company officials say three trains per week would be safer and less disruptive.

Opponents, meanwhile, say that commissioners should not take into account the company’s safety record or personal relationships. “Their plan is an irreversible disaster,” Nipomo resident Nora Lee said. “The effects will be felt instantly with poisonous air pollution.”

The hearing is expected to be continued to March 11, where the commission could ask questions, deliberate and even make a decision — or continue the process once again to a future date.[194][195]

February 4, 2016: Hundreds Condemn Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project in Public Hearings

Hundreds Condemn Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Project in Public Hearings. Hundreds of local residents and others from around California attended a public hearing to urge the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to reject Phillips 66 Co.’s request to receive crude oil by rail at its Santa Maria Refinery. For several hours, planning commissioners heard appeals from 83 people — a combination of residents from San Luis Obispo County, and northern and southern California, as well as elected officials — all urging they reject a proposal to build a 1.3-mile spur with five parallel tracks from the main rail line to the Nipomo Mesa refinery, an unloading facility at the refinery and on-site pipelines. Photo: San Luis Obispo Tribune

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on February 4, 2016 that hundreds of local residents and others from around California attended a public hearing to urge the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to reject Phillips 66 Co.’s request to receive crude oil by rail at its Santa Maria Refinery. For several hours, planning commissioners heard appeals from 83 people — a combination of residents from San Luis Obispo County, and northern and southern California, as well as elected officials — all urging they reject a proposal to build a 1.3-mile spur with five parallel tracks from the main rail line to the Nipomo Mesa refinery, an unloading facility at the refinery and on-site pipelines. About 390 people had grabbed speaker comment slips as of Thursday afternoon, including those who spoke that day. Public comment will continue Friday and possibly to a future date, depending on how many of the speakers turn out. None of the 83 public speakers on Thursday spoke in favor of the Phillips 66 proposal. San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx was among the elected officials or their representatives who urged denial of the project. “Whether it’s five or three trains, our city would be placed at unique risk to this project,” she said.

At lunch, about 600 people from around the state rallied across the street from the hearing to protest the project. Some supporters were seen too, with green “Protect Jobs” signs, but they were far outnumbered by opponents with “Stop Oil Trains Now” posters and signs proclaiming, “We Risk, They Benefit” and “Invest in Solar.”

Representatives from Phillips 66 urged the commissioners to approve an alternate plan to allow three trains a week instead of five. “The three-train-per-week project is now our proposed project,” said Jocelyn Thompson of Alston & Bird LLP. It “eliminates all of the Class 1 impacts with respect to onsite activities,” she added, referring to the highest level of negative impacts to air quality and biological resources referenced in the project’s final Environmental Impact Report. The county staff report states that three trains a week — or 150 a year — would reduce the significant toxic air emissions to no longer be considered a “Class 1 significant impact.” However, the county’s planning staff said other significant impacts still would harm the environment even with three trains per week rather than five: construction of the facilities would still disturb environmentally sensitive habitat, and emissions of diesel particulate matter would still remain a “Class 1” impact.

Thompson added that if the project is denied, crude oil will still come into California by rail and eventually reach the refinery, albeit by a different route: Oil would arrive in the Central Valley by train and then be trucked about 110 miles through San Luis Obispo County to Santa Maria, where it would be pumped into a pipeline and sent to the refinery. “It’s impermissible for you to say that you’re going to deny the project because there’s a train on the tracks,” she said. “The train will come to the San Joaquin Valley and you will be dealing with trucks.”

When asked during a break if layoffs could happen if the project is denied, Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said, “We’re going to wait and see what is going to happen with the process.”[196]

January 27, 2016: Planning Commission Approves Phillips 66’s Oil Pipeline Replacement Plan to Santa Maria Refinery

The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved Philips 66’s plans for the replacement of a 70-year-old crude oil pipeline in the Santa Maria Valley, California. The 1.2-mile pipeline carries crude from Line 300 that originates from offshore Platform Irene and the Lompoc area. The modernizations include an automatic shutdown system that can isolate the line in case of an emergency. The existing line will be purged, cleaned and abandoned in place, the report said, but it will continue to be utilized while the new line is being put into place to avoid an interruption of service.[197]

January 25, 2016: San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning Recommends Denial of Phillips 66 Rail Project at Santa Maria Refinery

KSBY reported on January 25, 2016 that the San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building is recommending to planning commissioners that they deny a proposal by Phillips 66 to bring in crude oil to its Santa Maria Refinery by rail. According to the staff report the project would be detrimental to health, safety and welfare of the public, it includes significant and unavoidable environmental impacts including a cancer risk to nearby residents, and it has no benefits that outweigh the risk to the environment.[198]

Significant local, regional, and statewide concern has been expressed throughout the various phases of the Project including land use incompatibilities, toxic air emissions adjacent to the project site and adjacent to the UPRR mainline; risk of derailment, spill, and explosion in areas adjacent to the mainline; threat of impact to agricultural, biological, cultural, and water resources due to spill, fire, and explosion along the mainline; and, inadequate fire and emergency response services along UPRR mainline throughout the state in the event of a spill, fire or explosion. The Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) concluded that the Project, for components only on the project site, would result in two significant and unavoidable impacts (Class I impacts) stemming from diesel particulate matter emissions and toxic air emissions generated by increased locomotive activity at the Santa Maria Refinery site.[199]

October 23, 2015: LA Times Reports that Nipomo Retirees are Taking on Phillips 66

The Los Angeles Times reported on October 23, 2015 that retirees in Nipomo are pooling their resources to fight Phillips plans to build a railroad terminal that would accommodate 260 crude oil-carrying trains a year at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery.

I imagine these folks are kind of a nightmare for Phillips 66. Ranging in age from 61 to 73, they are highly educated professionals with backgrounds in science, engineering, economics, air pollution and hospital administration, and they are, mostly, retired. Which means they have time. Time for research. Time to make PowerPoint presentations. Time to lobby mayors and city councils and school boards all over San Luis Obispo County, and the rest of the state. Time to appear at club meetings. Time to write newsletters. Time to compile lists of oil train derailments. Time to comb through the 2012 Phillips 66 annual report that described how employing a new "crude-by-rail strategy" would bring cheaper (or "cost-advantaged") oil to its refineries, boosting profits. "We became concerned because we are within shouting distance of their proposed terminal," said Martin Akel, 67, who owns a marketing consulting firm. "We saw a problem that affected health, safety and our very way of life."

"The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission is to take up the matter early next year. After that, the proposal goes to the county Board of Supervisors," writes Robin Abcarian. "No one knows how they will vote. But I'm putting my money on the retirees."[200]

October 21, 2015: Laurence Shinderman Writes: "It's about more than oil

Laurence Shinderman had an op-ed in the Santa Maria Sun on October 21, 2015 opposing Phillips plans to bring oil trains to the Santa Maria Refinery.

A train terminal off-loading tar sands five times a week is not a risk we need to take. With 11 Class 1 impacts that cannot be mitigated both within the refinery and along the mainline as identified in the re-circulated DEIR (draft environmental impact report)—that relate to air quality and environmental and public health and safety—this project should be stopped in its tracks. Phillips has circulated 11 reasons for the project to move forward, none of which stand up to the light of day and public scrutiny.

"To use the specious argument that we already have risk and hazardous products coming down the track does not mean that we should add more risk," concludes Shinderman.[201]

October 9, 2015: Al Fonzi Writes: "Fear campaign against Phillips 66 oil rail extension"

Al Fonzi has a letter to the editor in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on October 9, 2015 that there's a cynical campaign to terrorize the public with the specter of exploding rail tank cars carrying innocuous crude oil to the Santa Maria Refinery.

I say innocuous because trains carrying crude oil have been transiting the county for decades, from the oil fields of San Ardo in southern Monterey County to refining facilities in Los Angeles. It’s happening now. It’s been happening several times a week for 20 years, and nobody notices. It’s the same type of crude that Phillips 66 wants to bring in — high-sulfur crude similar to local crude oil for which the Santa Maria Refinery was specially designed.

We’re told there’s insufficient emergency response or hazmat capability. Not true. The county has a Hazardous Materials Team, most recently employed in Atascadero two weeks ago. Fire departments have combined resources to support a multi-agency response and routinely incorporate mutual aid for any incident, even routine structure fires. Phillips 66 and the railroads conduct joint training with fire departments, with Phillips 66 funding training for local responders at national training sites. Some local fire personnel are scheduled for such training in November.

"Numerous city and county government bodies have passed resolutions asking that SLO County not approve the Phillips 66 project in the hopes that will halt the 'bomb trains'," writes Fonzi. "Sadly, the resolutions passed by so many provide not safety, but a false sense of security."[202]

October 6, 2015: Milpitas City Council Opposes Plan to Run Crude Oil Trains Through City

The Daily Democrat News reported on October 6, 2015 that the Milpitas City Council voted unanimously Sept. 15 to adopt a resolution opposing the transport of crude oil by trains along the Union Pacific Railroad lines through Milpitas to an unloading facility in San Luis Obispo County near Phillips 66's Santa Maria refinery. Specific to the City of Milpitas, Union Pacific rail lines run north and south through the city -- through heavily populated residential and commercial zones. "We're a suburban, urbanized community," said Milpitas City Manager Tom Williams. "It's really a safety issue." William said other area cities actively opposed to this plan include Fremont, Union City, Hayward and Oakland. Williams noted a copy of the Milpitas council's resolution will be sent to Union Pacific Railroad as well as other entities in protest to these crude oil trains.[203]

September 30, 2015: Marcus Beal Writes "Phillips 66 is a Good Neighbor and Progress is Inevitable"

Marcus Beal said in a letter to the editor of New Times published on September 30, 2015 that Santa Maria Refinery has been a good neighbor for 60 years. "Refineries intentionally purchase large plots of land to provide a buffer between them and the surrounding community. This adds annual taxation cost but aids them from impacting the surrounding community. This is part of the philosophy of being a good neighbor," writes Beal. "They give back to the community and are a major source of tax revenue for the Central Coast and the state of California. They provide permanent employment for approximately 200 local residents, and during maintenance periods provide employment for an additional 300 temporary employees."[204]

September 30, 2015: Oil Leak in Nipomo from Pipeline to Santa Maria Refinery

KSBY reported on September 30, 2015 that Phillips 66 is working to cleanup oil from a pipeline that was hit by equipment used by third-party workers doing farming on land in Nipomo at a site off Vista del Rio. Phillips 66 says oil was released and the pipeline was shut down immediately, but no injuries were reported to people or wildlife and there was no threat to anyone in the area. They also say the release was contained and no oil got into any waterways. The amount released is not known and the pipeline is expected to be up and running on October 1, 2015.[205]

September 27, 2015: Tom Fulks Writes "Local officials Should Have the Courage to Comment on Phillips 66 Rail Project

Former reporter and political campaighn consultant Tom Fulks has an op-ed in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on September 27, 2015 that ssome local officials don’t have the political courage to carry out the job they were elected to do and not only do they refuse to take a position on the Phillips 66 Rail Project, currently under review by the county, they haven’t sufficiently explained their silence. There are 11 elected political bodies along the rail writes Fulks: San Miguel Community Services District, Templeton CSD, Santa Margarita Advisory Council, the city councils of Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande, and the Oceano and Nipomo CSDs. Other than Pismo, Grover and SLO, none has taken an official position. The Paso Robles council took no position but did offer a tepid note to the feds urging better rail safety.

Their silence on issues such as local rail safety, emergency preparedness and the risks accrued by those in or near the “blast zone” of an exploding oil train tanker is unconscionable. This entire project is politically predicated on the willingness of most SLO county residents to risk their health, safety and peace of mind so Phillips 66 alone can profit. The company’s fluffery about new jobs – exactly 12 – oil price uncertainty and other self-serving doublespeak is cover code for why we should willfully accept all the risk while Phillips reaps all the benefit.

"It’s in the “Elective Politics 101” course syllabus: 'Don’t let people die if you can help it.'" concludes Fulks. "That shouldn’t take extraordinary courage – it’s their job, after all. Yet, most other elected local folk up and down the track remain peculiarly silent, apparently unwilling to do their jobs."[206]

September 24, 2015: Phillips 66 Co-Hosts Teacher's Workshop on Energy in Santa Maria

The Lompoc Record reported on September 24, 2015 that Phillips 66 Co. and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project hosted an energy education workshop to educate teachers in everything from energy transformation to the fractional distillation of oil. "Mainly, we are giving them the fundamental concepts to teach their children about energy," said Barry Scott, state program director of NEED. "Energy isn't traditionally taught, so we are filling in that gap. We want them to leave today saying, 'We've learned a lot and we can teach this." Mary Spruill, executive director of the NEED Project, and Lewis Marquez, a special education teacher in Bakersfield and a returning NEED workshop attendee, agreed with Scott, noting the training to be essential to education. "Phillips 66’s significant investment in energy education addresses the need for high-quality energy curriculum and training for today’s teachers and students," Spruill said. "Supporting NEED’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and workforce development programming engages students and teachers in a deeper understanding of energy."[207]

September 23, 2015: Grover Beach to Send Letters of Concern over Phillip 66 Oil Trains

The New Times reported on September 23, 2015 that the Grover Beach City Council voted unanimously to draft a letter to the federal government addressing concerns over the issue of the Phillips 66 rail spur project and transporting crude oil by rail, which lies at the heart of the rail extension project. At the meeting, Grover Beach City Manager Robert Perrault said that while the construction and operation of the rail spur project would not have a significant impact on the city, a derailment would have a “potentially significant” impact. Both the city’s fire and police chiefs have also voiced their concerns about the city’s readiness in the event of a derailment. Police Chief John Peters said the city’s first responders had little training in scenarios involving railroad derailments. “In order to beef up preparedness, we need additional funding to equip and train officers and dispatchers regarding their duties during such emergencies,” Peters wrote in an email to Perrault. “Currently we do not have a budget for either training or equipment.”[208]

September 22, 2015: Reverend Caroline Hall Writes: Phillips 66 and the Pope

Reverend Caroline Hall, rector of St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Los Osos, wrote in the Santa Maria Sun on September 22, 2015 that in the encyclical published in June, Laudato Si, the Pope calls for transparency in local planning and an approach that takes fully into account the environmental and social implications of any project. The thrust of his message is that we cannot continue to allow those who are rich and/or powerful to create projects that benefit them but not the rest of the planet.

Most oil trains reach their destinations safely without incident. But there is that small number that doesn’t. And this is where the Pope steps in, arguing that “if objective information suggests that serious and irreversible damage may result, a project should be halted or modified, even in the absence of indisputable proof.” Objective information in this situation suggests that the kind of oil that will be transported through San Luis Obispo County is highly flammable and that there is a possibility of an accident causing serious and irreversible damage. Objective information suggests that the very extraction of this oil is in itself damaging to the environment. Objective information also suggests that continuing to mine and burn fossil fuels is causing huge “serious and irreversible” changes to our climate.

It seems that the short-term objective of bringing the Nipomo refinery up to full operating capacity is in the interests of its owners and employees but at the long-term expense of the wider community and of the planet we depend on. Would it not be prudent to find alternative industry that can provide livelihoods for the employees affected and allow the refinery to become a relic of the past addiction to oil?[209]

September 15, 2015: Pismo Beach Mayor Opposes Phillips 66 Oil Train Project

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on September 15, 2015 that Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham will join the list of individuals and agencies opposing the Phillips 66 Co. rail spur project, after the City Council considered its official stance on the project. The council initially considered sending a letter of concern to the county Planning Commission, rather than one officially opposing the project. At the urging of Councilwoman Sheila Blake and several members of the community, Higginbotham said she would revise the draft letter to one opposing the rail spur, and would make it from herself, rather than from the city of Pismo Beach.[210]

September 8, 2015: San Luis Obispo County League of Women Voters Opposes Phillips 66 Oil Train Project

KCBX reported on September 8, 2015 that the non-partisan San Luis Obispo County League of Women Voters has taken a stand against the proposed Phillips 66 oil train project. The League says it shares the deep concerns of many in the community regarding safety issues surrounding this plan.[211]

September 6, 2015: San Luis Obispo Tribune Editorializes that Routing Oil Trains Through Densely Populated California Towns is a Bad Idea

San Luis Obispo Tribune published an editorial on September 6, 2015 opposing the Phillips Santa Maria Oil Terminal and sying that routing oil trains through densely populated California communities – whether it’s San Jose or San Luis Obispo -- is a bad idea and that they cannot in good conscience support the Phillips 66 rail spur project. "This is not an over-reaction by tree-hugging, left-leaning, anti-business environmentalists. It’s an effort to keep families and communities out of harm’s way – a reasonable response, we believe, given what’s been happening in the oil industry," says the editorial. "We support the Santa Maria refinery and we hope it can remain in business for many years to come. But when it was built in the early 1930s, its mission was to process oil from the surrounding communities. Allowing it to morph into a receiving site for oil trains that originate from far away and pass through communities with millions of people is haphazard planning that defies logic."[212]

September 5, 2015: Lompoc Record Editorializes in Support of Phillips Santa Maria Rail Terminal

The Lompoc Record published an editorial on September 5, 2015 supporting the Phillips Santa Maria Rail Terminal. According to the newspaper, the vote of the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors to send a letter to its counterpart board in San Luis Obispo County, urging denial of an application by Phillips 66 to expand a rail spur to transport oil to its refinery on the Nipomo Mesa elevates the not-in-my-backyard concept to a new level. "We have been following the opposition to the local oil industry for many years, and we have to admire the opponents’ willingness to stay the course. They have a cause, and they will pursue it until the last oil rig and refinery are gone from the Central Coast," writes the editorial board noting that the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery has been operated on the Nipomo Mesa for more than a half-century, without a major incident to compromise the local environment. "But that will not happen, as long as we use gasoline to fuel our vehicles, and oil to fire plants that produce electric power. Alternatives to a petroleum-based society are available, but we have yet to make the commitment necessary to wean ourselves from a long-standing dependence on oil."[213]

September 5, 2015: Santa Maria Refinery Has 131 Employees and 70 Contractors

The Lampoc Record reported that Jim Anderson, maintenance superintendent of the Santa Maria Refinery, told the Orcutt Lions Club on August 19, 2015 that the Santa Maria Refinery has 131 employees and 70 contractors, that the small refinery processes a unique crude oil sludge with a high sulfur content., and that the refined oil product goes to Northern California for refining into gas, jet fuel and diesel. "Club members enjoyed questioning Anderson about the recent oil spill at Refugio, how much does the company pay in taxes and moving the crude oil by train."[214]

September 2, 2015: Watch Group Urges Pismo Beach City Council to Oppose Oil Trains

The New Times reported on September 2, 2015 that Gary McKible of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group gave a short presentation to cPismo Beach ouncilmembers urging the council to oppose the Phillips Rail project, which would add a rail terminal and tracks to an existing rail spur at the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo, enabling Phillips 66 to transport crude oil there by train. The presentation was followed by a lengthy public comment, with about 20 individuals speaking on the rail spur issue. One of those, Marcus Beal, said he was in favor of the project. “Of course there’s a hazard, there’s always a hazard, but crude oil isn’t the most hazardous thing coming down the rail line,” Beal, a local Phillips 66 employee, said. He said there were far more hazardous materials than crude oil being transported by train and mentioned propane and butane as examples. “P 66 isn’t transporting the product,” Beal said. “The concern should be concentrated on the transportation industry, not Phillips 66.”[215]

September 2, 2015: Milpitas Post Editorial Protests Phillips Plan to Run Crude Oil Trains Through South Bay

The Milpitas Post editorialized on September 2, 2015 that Milpitas officials need to quickly get up to speed on the dangers we face with the proposal to send up to five mile-long crude oil trains every week through the center of the community and the city council needs to wake up to the reality of the dangers of this plan. "Milpitas needs to join with protesters, which now include our county supervisors and the neighboring cities of Fremont, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro and more than 40 other entities. If San Luis Obispo authorities won't block this project, then attention might have to focus on Congress," says the newspaper. "What is needed at a minimum is a moratorium on shipping these kinds of trains through built-up areas at least until all of the obsolete cars can be replaced with safer models." According to the Milpitas Post another sensible alternative is to find a rail routing that bypasses urban areas. "Phillips 66, as a responsible company, should think seriously about withdrawing the plan."[216]

August 28, 2015: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Opposes Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project

The Merucry News reported on August 28, 2015 that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors ounanimously adopted a resolution on August 24, 2015 opposing the Phillips 66 Co. Rail Spur Extension and Crude Oil Unloading Facility Project in San Luis Obispo County. "This would set a dangerous precedent for other oil companies to follow suit, and it poses an unacceptable risk to our community," said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. "That is why today, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors joins over 40 other public agencies and elected officials throughout the state in expressing its strong opposition to the rail spur project."

"Our region is not lacking in access to crude oil, and there are already safer methods of transport already in use," said Supervisor Ken Yeager. "Moving such a volatile product by train through heavily populated areas is just too risky. Our public safety is more important than corporate profits."[217]

August 28, 2015: Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Considers Urging Planning Commission to Deny Application for Phillips Santa Maria Rail Project

The Lompco Record reported on August 28, 2015 that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will consider staff's recommendation to send a letter to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission, urging members to deny the Phillips 66 Co.'s application for the rail spur extension project. According to a staff report, approval of the project would present health risks to Santa Barbara County residents and the environment, as it would result in five additional oil trains per week traveling through the county's coastal rail line. The report also says that the risks of transporting crude oils include explosion, derailment, air pollution, toxic emissions, fires and spills. So far 20,000 public comments have been made on the Environmental Impact Report for the project, and 40 of those comments have come from cities and local governmental entities. Many local governments such as Ventura County, the cities of Moorpark, Oxnard, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta and San Luis Obispo have formally voted to oppose the project.

However, 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said that he wasn't sure it was the board's responsibility to tell another county what to do. "We have enough things on our plate that we have jurisdiction over without going to other counties," Lavagnino said. "I don't think I've ever seen another county send us a letter telling us how to vote."[218]

August 25, 2015: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Opposes Phillips 66's Santa Maria Rail Expansion

CBS San Fransisco reported on August 25, 2015 that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution on August 25, 2015 against Phillip 66's Santa Maria Rail Expansion Project that would bring trains carrying oil through the county. The proposed route would reach Milpitas and downtown San Jose, then run parallel with U.S. Highway 101 through Gilroy and Morgan Hill, according to Supervisor Cindy Chavez. Supervisor Ken Yeager said the project is “very unsafe” for an urban area like Santa Clara County, which has nearly 2 million residents. Chavez said one of the affected communities would be San Jose’s Japantown, which received a commendation celebrating their 125th anniversary during Tuesday’s board meeting. The county joins 40 other public agencies and elected officials across the state in opposing the project, according to Chavez.[219]

August 11, 2015: Laurance Shinderman and Tom Ryan write: Philips' Rail Spur Impacts Outweigh any Benefits

Laurance Shinderman and Tom Ryan wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on August 11, 2015 that what is called a benign rail spur at Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery is in fact a huge rail yard containing five long railroad tracks fanning out to accommodate and off load 80 tanker/ mile long crude oil trains that would be coming into the refinery five days a week that create eleven class one impacts that could not be mitigated, including five directly related to air pollution. According to Shinderman and Ryan, Phillips Is minimizing the enormous scope of what they intend to bring to SLO County. "Each arriving tanker would hold 27,000 gallons of volatile tar sands crude. That comes to 562,000,000 gallons … more than one-half billion gallons per year that can literally obliterate a city should there be a derailment and explosion. Tar-sands would be coming down the tracks…it’s not the same crude that P66 now refines. Its from the Alberta tar sands region. It’s highly volatile and as dangerous as Bakken," write Shinderman and Ryan. "This is a project that benefits the singular interests of one large multinational company, Phillips 66, the sixth largest company on the Fortune 500, while putting at risk the health, safety and financial well being of thousands of residents along the UPRR mainline. What are more important, higher profits for Phillips 66 shareholders, or the health and safety of you and your family? Make your voices heard."[220]

August 5, 2015: Charles Varni Writes 'Civil Rights in the Blast Zone'

Charles Varni, the South SLO County coordinator for the Stop Phillips 66 Project, wrote in op-ed in the Santa Maria Sun on August 5, 2015 that the US Department of Transportation has formally designated a “blast and evacuation zone” of 1 mile running parallel to the train tracks leading to the Phillips 66 oil train terminal at the Santa Maria Refinery in case of an oil train derailment (six so far this year in the U.S. with five of them exploding). According to Varnia 30 percent of the population of SLO County and 40-plus public and private schools are in this blast zone and in some communities it is much more (Paso Robles, 45 percent; San Luis Obispo, 71 percent; Grover Beach, 78 percent; Oceano, 88 percent). "There’s no significant benefit to us; just a lot of huge risks and, for sure, negative health consequences (not to mention huge economic and environmental risks)," writes Varni. "This is a civil and human rights issue—the right to know that something of this magnitude and impact is planned for your neighborhood should not be the responsibility of citizen volunteers. This is a fundamental responsibility of government—to inform us of significant risks to life and property so we can be part of the decision-making process if we so choose."[221]

July 29, 2015: Santa Barbara City Council Votes Against Phillips Oil Train

The Santa Barbara Independent reported on July 29, 2015 that the Santa Barbara City Council voted 5-2 to write a letter urging that San Luis Obispo reject an application by Phillips 66 to expand the railroad spur at its Santa Maria Refinery. "Critics of the proposed oil train packed the council chambers, recounting the horrors that happened in North Dakota, West Virginia, and Quebec, when similarly laden trains jumped the tracks there," wrote Nick Welsh. "Displaying a map showing the “blast zone” along both sides of the railroad tracks, speaker after speaker itemized the defining structures and urban landmarks that could be affected: 16 schools, one fire station, Chase Palm Park, Stearns Wharf, City Hall, and the Funk Zone." Opposing the anti-oil train letter were councilmembers Frank Hotchkiss and Dale Francisco. “I wish you didn’t have the great fear that you do,” said Hotchkiss to those assembled, “but you do.” Santa Barbara joins a list of 40 cities and other governmental entities along the coast in opposing the oil train rail spur.[222]

July 15, 2015: Residents Near Old Oak Park Road in San Luis Obispo County Raise Concerns over New Phillips Pipeline

Residents along a road in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County are concerned about the construction of an underground oil pipeline as they have watched as construction and digging equipment was staged for the project along the road but are probably too late to stop it. The project is a planned 5.6-mile oil pipeline that will run from the Freeport-McMoran oil operation in Price Canyon to an existing pipeline in Arroyo Grande, which connects to the Santa Maria oil refinery on the Nipomo Mesa. The pipeline will allow Phillips 66 to transport between 1,500 and 10,000 barrels of oil per day at a pressure of 700 to 1,480 pounds per square inch to the refinery, resulting in potentially 18 fewer trips per day for oil tanker trucks along SLO County roads.[223] Photo: Maria Skelley

Chris McGuiness wrote in the New Times on July 15, 2015 that residents along a road in unincorporated San Luis Obispo County are concerned about the construction of an underground oil pipeline as they have watched as construction and digging equipment was staged for the project along the road but are probably too late to stop it. The project is a planned 5.6-mile oil pipeline that will run from the Freeport-McMoran oil operation in Price Canyon to an existing pipeline in Arroyo Grande, which connects to the Santa Maria oil refinery on the Nipomo Mesa. The pipeline will allow Phillips 66 to transport between 1,500 and 10,000 barrels of oil per day at a pressure of 700 to 1,480 pounds per square inch to the refinery, resulting in potentially 18 fewer trips per day for oil tanker trucks along SLO County roads.

The fact that nearly 4 miles of that pipeline would run down the sections of Old Oak Park Road came as a shock to Diane Mead. “At first we thought maybe they were putting in a bike lane,” Mead, who bought property in the area in 2013, said. “Then we starting seeing the trucks come and the pipe come in. We were all very surprised.” Mead said several residents on the street were worried about the pipeline, particularly in the wake of a 100,000-gallon oil spill in Santa Barbara County in May, which was caused by a ruptured pipeline. “It’s definitely on people’s minds here,” said Bruce Actis, who’s lived on Old Oak Park Road since 1979. “We are all on wells for our water out here, so if there is a spill and it contaminates our groundwater, I don’t know what we are going to do.”

Actis and other concerned residents who contacted New Times claim they weren’t informed about the project and didn’t have an opportunity to tell the county about their concerns. According to information from the SLO County Planning and Building Department, a minor use permit for the project was approved at a county planning hearing Nov. 7, 2014. The project didn’t go before the county’s full planning commission, but was approved by a single hearing officer as part of a consent agenda. Robert Fitzroy, an environmental resource specialist and the project’s manager for the county, said the process was standard for projects requiring a minor use permit. He also said that the county informed all residents living within 300 feet of the proposed pipeline prior to the meeting by mail and with a notice in a local daily newspaper, as per the county’s ordinances. Fitzroy said anyone could have called for a project hearing prior to its approval and also could have appealed the approval to the county Board of Supervisors within a 14-day window after the approval. At least six individuals who lived on the road contacted New Times and said they did not recall getting a notice about the project from the county. Roger Bunch, and Old Oak Road resident since 1971, said he didn’t remember receiving any notice and would have liked a chance to ask questions about the project. “I just feel like they did this real quietly,” he said. “I think we would have just liked to ask a few questions about it. But it would have probably passed anyway.”[224]

July 11, 2015: Protest Letters Come in from 40 Public Agencies or Elected Officials Opposing Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project

Cynthia Lambert reported in the San Luis Obispo Tribune on July 11, 2015 that more than 40 public agencies or elected officials in California — cities, school districts, teachers unions and three state senators — have penned letters or passed resolutions against Phillips 66 Co.’s plan to upgrade its refinery so it can receive train car crude oil deliveries. The county received thousands of comments on draft environmental reports for the project before the comment period ended Nov. 24. Since then, the county has received dozens more letters and emails. Local opponents, led by the grassroots Mesa Refinery Watch Group, have organized protest rallies, attended numerous council meetings and sent a steady flow of updates about rail accidents to elected officials statewide. “We keep the pot simmering,” said Nipomo resident Laurance Shinderman, a member of the group’s steering committee.

When asked why many local communities near Santa Maria haven’t taken a position while agencies elsewhere in the state have done so, Shinderman offered a theory: “This is the home-court advantage of Phillips 66. Guys belong to Rotary clubs and associations and spread the money around and have tight relationships.”[225]

July 11, 2015: Dozens Rally in San Luis Obispo to Oppose Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project

Amanda Starrantino reported at KSBY on July 11, 2015 that dozens of people gathered in San Luis Obispo to rally against the Phillips 66 Rail Project. "We have a unique power to stop this not just for ourselves but for thousands and millions of people across the United States these trains are coming from Alberta, Canada,” says Charles Varni, a local resident who opposes the project.[226]

July 10, 2015: Ventura Groups Plan Protest Against Phillips Santa Maria Oil Railroad Project

The Ventura County Star reported on July 10, 2015 that local activist groups are planning a protest in Ventura on July 11 against construction of a rail spur that would lead to more oil trains traveling through the county to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery. The demonstration is set to start at 5 p.m. Saturday, with protesters meeting at California and Santa Clara streets before marching to the Amtrak station on Harbor Boulevard.[227]

July 7, 2015: July 11 Rally Planned in San Jose to Prevent Oil Trains Going to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery

Leeta-Rose Ballester reported in the San Jose Mercury News on July 7, 2015 that a group of South Bay residents will hold a rally on July 11 at 3 pm at Diridon Station to "rail against a project that could send oil-laden trains from the Phillips 66 refinery in Santa Maria rumbling through San Jose neighborhoods." "There is a plan to have oil trains coursing through San Jose--almost one a day," said Steve Eittreim, a member of the environmental group 350 Silicon Valley. "We're hoping if Phillips becomes aware that there is more opposition that they'll just drop it. They're trying to make the rails safer but I don't trust it. Accidents happen." The Phillips 66 proposal calls for as many as five oil trains a week traveling the lines, carrying approximately 2.2 million gallons of crude oil a year, according to a recirculated draft environmental impact report for the project. "Daily mile-long crude oil trains carrying toxic tar sands oil would pass within blocks of neighborhood schools, spewing chemicals over recreation areas where children play," said Kathy Pimentel. "If a train derailed crossing the Los Gatos Creek, a spill could permanently contaminate a waterway that scores of volunteers have worked so hard to clean up."[228]

June 19, 2015: California Nurses and Teachers Oppose Phillip 66 Oil Train Project

IndyBay reported on June 19, 2015 that the 120,000-member California Federation of Teachers voted to oppose the Phillips 66 oil train project. “Educators are very concerned about dangerous oil trains running past California schools. Hundreds of California schools are located near current and future oil train routes,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “Educators and parents can help stop these Phillips 66 oil trains by encouraging local officials in San Luis Obispo County to put student and community safety first and not issue Phillips 66 a permit for their oil train project.” The 85,000-member California Nurses Association is pleased to join forces with the teaching profession in California on this important health and safety issue. “Nurses are thrilled to know that teachers also are strongly opposed to the Phillips 66 oil train project. The Phillip 66 oil trains present significant and unacceptable risks to the health and safety of our communities throughout California and beyond, due to toxic emissions and the potential for a catastrophic derailment, spill, explosion and fire,” stated Amber Wiehl, RN at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.[229]

June 10, 2015: Goleta City Council Votes To Send Letter About Santa Maria Oil Rail Concerns

KEYT reported on June 10, 2015 that the Goleta City Council voted to send a letter to San Luis Obispo supervisors sharing community concerns about the proposed Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Rail Project. The council heard from residents concerned about health, safety and the environment before voting. Three council members voted to send the letter, one voted no and another abstained.[230]

June 9, 2015: Lucia Mar Teachers Union to Urge Denial of Santa Maria Rail Project

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on June 9, 2015 that the Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association has voted to urge San Luis Obispo County planners to deny a proposed rail project at a Nipomo Mesa refinery. “As educators and advocates for the students of south San Luis Obispo County, we are particularly concerned with the risks this project would pose to Lucia Mar schools and student populations along the rail line,” said Donna Kandel, president of the teacher’s association, wrote to planning commissioners. “Seven Lucia Mar schools — Lopez High School, Mesa and Judkins Middle Schools, and Fairgrove, Grover Beach, Grover Heights, and Oceano Elementary Schools — along with 22 other schools in San Luis Obispo County, are within a mile of the ‘blast zone’ and could suffer catastrophic consequences in the event of a derailment."[231]

June 4, 2015: Phillips Says Its Crude Oil Pipeline Near Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips said a crude oil pipeline that supplies its 120,000 b/d Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, was fixed after a small leak and restarted on Thursday. The company shut the line after about a barrel of crude leaked on Tuesday. The cause of the leak was under investigation, Phillips said.[232]

June 3, 2015: Phillips Reports Small Pipeline Leak in California Near Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips reported an underground pipeline near Santa Maria, California leaked less than a barrel of crude oil before it was shut down on Tuesday. The company said cleanup and repair crews were working around the clock. The pipeline runs crude from oil fields in the Orcutt area to the company’s 44,000 b/d refinery in Arroyo Grande.[233]

June 3, 2015: Residents of San Luis Obispo Protest Cuesta College Letters Supporting Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Project

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on June 3, 2015 that several community members called on the college board of Cuesta College to rescind letters of support written on offical college stationary by President Gil Stork and Athletic Director Robert Mariucci in support of a Phillips 66's proposal to move crude oil by rail to the Santa Maria Refinery. In their letters, Stork and Mariucci both note longtime support from Phillips 66 for college programs, including financial support of the women's basketball tournament for many years.

Project opponents argued that Stork and Mariucci should not have penned their support on college letterhead. Several people asked the Cuesta College Board of Trustees to oppose the project. "We urge the board to do the right thing and repudiate this letter and lend its name to the towns that have said no to this dangerous project," Nipomo resident Laurance Shinderman said. Stork told the board that he erred in using official letterhead but did not intend to retract the letter unless directed by the board to do so. "It is my opinion," Stork said. "Just because I don't have the same persuasion as the speakers here tonight doesn't make it wrong."[234]

June 3, 2015: Phillips 66 Cleans Up Oil Spill Near Santa Maria

KETY reported on June 3, 2015 that an underground pipeline in front of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department Foster Road Station on California Boulevard belonging to Phillips 66 leaked what is estimated to be less than a barrel of crude oil, or about 40 gallons, leaked from the broken pipe before it was shutdown. "It was identified by a passerby who notified us", says Phillips 66 spokesperson Janet Grothe, "our control room immediately shut down the feed to the pipeline." Cleanup and repair crews have since been working around the clock. Phillips has not yet revealed how old the pipeline is or when it was last inspected for corrosion. Phillips 66 has had few major spills to speak of since it began operating in the area some 60 years ago. "We have a highly sophisticated control center and we’re able to control our pipelines remotely", Grothe says, "we take great pride in operating our facilities to high standards, we continuously test and monitor the pipelines and ensure that they are safe to operate."[235]

May 19, 2015: Phillips Says Santa Maria Refinery Running at Reduced Rates Due to Plains All American Pipeline Spill

Phillips said its Santa Maria, California refinery was operating at reduced rates because of a pipeline supply disruption from the Plains All American Pipeline crude oil spill in Santa Barbara County on May 19. Plains All American Pipeline said it does not expect to restart the pipeline in June. Phillips on Friday said it has returned to service a separate crude oil pipeline that supplies its Santa Maria refinery after a small leak on Tuesday. The Santa Maria refinery does initial processing of heavy crude, and then ships liquids via pipeline to the company’s 120,200 b/d Rodeeo, California refinery for further processing into finished products.[236]

May 14, 2015: Nurses, Parents, and Teachers to Rally in Opposition to Phillips Oil Train

Indybay reported on May 14, 2015 that registered nurses will join with parents and students for three days of events opposing the Phillips 66 Oil Train Project, which starts this Thursday by urging the Templeton School Board to oppose the controversial Phillips 66 proposal to add five additional rail shipments a week of dirty tar sands crude oil through the center of San Luis Obispo County to Phillips’ Santa Maria refinery. “It is only by chance that an oil train derailment has not yet occurred in the heart of a major city, causing a major inferno, or on the bank of a river, spreading thousands of gallons of tar sands crude oil through a watershed, doing permanent damage,” said Andrew Christie, Director of the local chapter of the Sierra Club. Adding five trains per week if the Phillips 66 project is approved, substantially increases the risk of a catastrophic oil train accident for those hospitals, schools and homes in the one-mile “blast zone” on either side of the tracks. Rail accidents involving tar sands crude have become increasingly common in the U.S. and Canada.[237]

April 30, 2015: Garland Says California is a Challenged Place to Do Business

In answer to a question from Paul Cheng of Barclays on whether management views California as a core part Phillips long-term portfolio, Greg Garland announced during the 2015 first quarter earnings conference call that Phillips' management thinks California is really a challenged place to do business. "And we think we have kind of - we have good assets, but we think they’re average you have crossed that portfolio. And so we’ll continue to work the thick strategy around the West Coast as we look at more optionality around getting the advantage crude into those assets so kind of cost structure, et cetera, around those assets. But I would say, there’s nothing that’s changed our fundamental view on West Coast assets today."[238]

April 24, 2015: Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Donates $20,000 to Expand Robotics Program in Nipomo High School

KSBY reported on April 24, 2015 that the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery presented the Lucia Mar Unified School District with $20,000 to help bring a popular robotics program to every school in the district. "It's a tool to get them off the ground and competing in the same types of things that these guys do," said Nipomo High School robotics teacher Greg Gracia. "So they're kind of being the mentors of the district." Members of the award-winning Nipomo High School robotics team were on hand for the check presentation, fresh off their appearance in the U.S. Open Robotics Championship Tournament in Iowa.[239]

April 22, 2015: San Jose Residents Gear Up for Campaign Against Santa Maria Refinery Expansion 200 Miles Away

The San Jose Mercury News reported on April 22, 2015 that local residents in San Jose are gearing up for a campaign against a Phillips 66 proposal to expand its existing oil refinery in Santa Maria by extending railroad lines connected to the refinery allow for delivery of crude oil from Canada. The oil would be transported along the Union Pacific Railroad, which runs directly through San Jose and is on the same line that goes through Diridon Station. Union Pacific's proximity to highly populated areas and creek ways is among the main concerns for San Jose City Council members, residents and activists in groups such as 350 Silicon Valley, a local organization focused on environmental issues. The project would result in as many as five oil trains per week traveling the lines, with a 250 annual train maximum, carrying approximately 2.2 million gallons of crude oil, according to the recirculated draft environmental impact report. Oil spills are not all that Pimentel and other members of 350 Silicon Valley are worried about, said Kathy Pimentel. "Most alarming of all is that thousands of residents would find themselves living within the one-mile blast zone," Pimentel said. "If a train derailed and exploded in this area, countless lives would be lost, much property damaged and it would take weeks for the fires to burn out."

Ash Kalra, District 2 councilman, said that though the Santa Maria refinery expansion is not an issue for San Jose leaders to decide, it is a project that affects San Jose residents. He and fellow council members penned a letter expressing concerns to San Luis Obispo County officials in January. "In the thousands of miles that [the train] passes through, the Bay Area is the most populated center," he said. "We've seen major explosions in rural areas; imagine what would happen in a large city."[240]

April 14, 2015: Arroyo Grande Residents Oppose Phillips 66 Rail Project at Meeting

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on April 14, 2015 that in a meeting on April 14, 2015 with representatives of Phillips 66 Co., Union Pacific Railroad and the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, Arroyo Grande residents spoke out strongly against a proposed Phillips 66 Co. rail project that would bring up to 250 trains carrying crude oil through the county a year. All of the eight speakers during public comment on the Phillips 66 presentation spoke out against the proposed rail project, citing the same concerns over public health and fear of an explosive derailment. "As a citizen of Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo County, I am really sick and tired of profits meaning more than people," Kay Gore said at the presentation given during an Arroyo Grande City Council meeting. "Is it worth the property at risk, the lives at risk down the line? Stand up and say, 'we don't want this spur; we don't want these trains.' Stand up for the citizens."

Representatives of Phillips 66 say oil production in California is dropping and additional sources of crude oil is needed. The new project would allow the company to serve growing demand as well as add local jobs, they said. Project manager Jim Anderson also said the tank cars would not be transporting Bakken oil, which has drawn criticism because of its involvement in several rail explosions in the past year. It would instead be transporting a heavier and less volatile form of crude oil, he said. Phillips 66 will hold two more presentations on the project at meetings in South County in the next month. The next is scheduled for April 20 at the Grover Beach City Council meeting; followed by one at the Pismo Beach City Council meeting May 5.[241]

April 1, 2015: Citizens in Guadalupe Worry Phillips Oil Trains Could Explode

The Santa Maria Sun reported on April 1, 2015 that residents of Guadalupe who worried that their town could become the scene of an oil tanker explosion voiced their concerns during a March 24 Guadalupe City Council meeting. On the table was whether or not the City Council would endorse a letter from 3rd District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr, who opposes the project. All sides—including representatives from Phillips 66, who encouraged the council to not take action on the letter in light of a yet-to-be completed environmental impact report; and the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, which opposes the project—made their cases before a packed house of politicians, residents, and journalists. The letter was secondary to the discussion, though. The real question that was debated: Is it safe to allow railcars of crude oil to pass through Guadalupe?

Citing more than 60 years of safe rail operations, Phillips spokesman Jim Anderson said the extension is necessary for the refinery to maintain its present rate of crude oil processing. With Central Coast oil production in decline and a strong demand for fuel—only one of the many products refined from crude—in California, Anderson said the spur is needed. “The only way to fill up and complete that 44,000-barrel-a-day rate is, rather than propose a marine terminal or a truck terminal with thousands of trucks on the highway, we felt that a rail terminal, which is sitting right next to the mainline railroad tracks, would be the best alternative,” Anderson said, adding that the trains would be similar to the ones that have rolled through Guadalupe in the last 10 years, but would be slightly longer. Anderson noted that his company is presently working with the governor’s office to place a fee on each barrel of oil that’s loaded and unloaded. The money collected would go into a state-level emergency services fund and provide money for increasing the capability of emergency response.

Laurance Shinderman spoke on behalf of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group, which formed to identify the negative impacts of the rail project and noted the explosive potential of crude’s flashpoint—the temperature at which vapor forms and can ignite. “The lower the flashpoint of the crude, the greater the risk,” Shinderman said, emphasizing that oil being shipped has a lower flashpoint. “I’m not a chemistry engineer, but I’ve done enough reading on this.” He went on to cite several instances of tanker cars exploding or catching on fire, including the 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster in Quebec where multiple tankers carrying Bakken formation crude oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying more than 30 buildings in a town roughly the size of Guadalupe.

The fate of the spur is still up in the air. At the end of the debate that Tuesday night, the city eventually voted 4-1 to not to take any action on endorsing Farr’s letter. Councilmember Ariston Julian dissented. Before the vote, Julian made a motion to endorse the letter, but it wasn’t seconded.[242]

March 31, 2015: Phillips 66 to Present at Public Forum on Controversial Santa Maria Oil Train Project

KCBX reported on March 31, 2015 that representatives from Phillips 66, as well as the Oil Refinery Watch Group are expected to present their arguments for and against the Santa Mariarail project at a public discussion on April 2, 2015 in Grover Beach organized by Karen Bright with the South County Democratic Club of San Luis Obispo Count. "We had put it out to our members—various things and items, subject matter that they'd like to have presentations on throughout the year—and this was the one that rose to the top," said Bright. "I think because it's so current and there are so many differences of opinion, so we just wanted to get the facts from both sides."[243]

March 17, 2015: Recent Lawsuits Signal a Litigious Future for Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries

Rhys Heyden writes in the Santa Maria Sun that three recent lawsuits filed in Contra Costa County against the Propane Recovery Project at Rodeo Refinery highlighted an important similarity between the two Philips 66 refineries. Namely, that Phillips operates a refinery in each county, and a proprietary pipeline links the two and that legal action has a direct connection to SLO County and the Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. “Folks who are watching the Santa Maria Refinery and its rail spur extension project should also keep a close eye on Rodeo,” said Roger Lin, an attorney representing environmental group Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in one of the three suits. “We’ve always held the position that the two refineries are really just one whole.”

"In an oversimplified sense, Lin’s opinion is the nexus of the trio of lawsuits," writes Heyden. "Phillips 66 insists that a “propane recovery project” at the Rodeo Refinery and the rail spur project at the Santa Maria Refinery are discrete entities, and their opponents insist that the two projects are inextricable." “The county improperly ‘piecemealed’ its review of the [propane recovery] project from other related projects … designed to accommodate the switch from California crudes to out-of-state imports,” argues the SAFER suit. “People in SLO County, just like those in Contra Costa County, have the right to have all these impacts evaluated in one place,” said Marc Joseph, an attorney representing SAFER California. “It’s truly baffling that the powers that be refuse to analyze this project as a whole.”

“We’ve been saying all along that the fastest way to a conclusion is for Phillips 66 to just admit that these two projects are linked,” Lin said. “If Phillips 66 wants to shortcut this legal process and just tell the truth, we welcome that.” As for how Phillips 66—the prime mover of this entire situation—thinks legal action in Contra Costa County could affect its SLO County proposal, it’s anyone’s guess. In response to that exact question, Phillips spokesman Dennis Nuss simply answered, “We remain committed to the proposed Santa Maria rail project.”[244]

February 21, 2015: Mesa Refinery Watch Group Says "Just Say No to Crude by Rail" to Phillips Santa Maria Oil Train Project

The Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on February 21, 2015 opposing Phillips “crude-by-rail strategy” on California and San Luis Obispo County and listing the local cities, counties, and ditricts that have already officially communicated their opposition:

  • Alameda County
  • Berkeley
  • Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
  • Camarillo
  • Davis
  • Moorpark
  • Oakland
  • Oxnard
  • Richmond
  • Simi Valley
  • San Jose
  • San Leandro Unified School District
  • San Luis Obispo City
  • Ventura County
  • Ventura Unified School District

"Therefore — this is not a “NIMBY” issue," write the group. "Phillips’ plan endangers scores of cities and towns, and millions of citizens as their trains carry tar sands all the way from Canada to SLO County."[245]

February 18, 2015: San Luis Obispo City Council Opposes Phillips Santa Maria Oil Train Project

The Paso Roble Daily News reported on February 18, 2015 that the San Luis Obispo City Council decided on February 17, 2015 to oppose the Santa Maria Phillips 66 rail spur project, which could bring mile-long oil trains carrying 2.5 million gallons of crude nearly every day through San Luis Obispo. The council directed city staff to write a letter to the county opposing the Phillips 66 project. In voting to oppose the Santa Maria Phillips 66 rail spur, San Luis Obispo joins cities and counties all along the rail route that have passed resolutions and sent letters against the project, including San Jose, Davis, Berkeley, Oakland, Moorpark, Oxnard, Camarillo, Alameda County, and Ventura County. More than 22,000 people from across California have also voiced opposition to the project. “We’re seeing massive opposition to this project from citizens all along the rail route — and with good reason,” said Valerie Love with the Center for Biological Diversity. “No one in their right mind would invite these dangerous bomb trains into their community.”[246]

February 4, 2015: Workers at Santa Maria Refinery Concerned About Fatigue Policy, Show Solidarity with Union Strikers

The New Times reports that since January 28, 2015 a rotating group of members the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 534 chapter have been picketing at the gates of the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo to show solidarity with the work stoppage involving roughly 3,800 workers at nine refineries that started on February 1, 2015. “We are just picketing and not on strike yet, but it’s important for us to express ourselves and show solidarity with the USW,” said Juan Zepeda, the financial secretary/treasurer of the local USW chapter and a sulfur plant operator at the Santa Maria Refinery. “The picketing shows [Phillips 66] that they haven’t torn us apart yet.” “At this time, there hasn’t yet been a decision to expand the work stoppage,” said Nashville-based USW spokeswoman Lynne Hancock. “More refineries could soon join the strike if necessary, but that decision would be made at the national level.”

Outside the Santa Maria Refinery, Zepeda said 10 to 15 workers have been picketing every day for about a week, adding that—other than showing solidarity—the local USW chapter’s biggest issue is installing a new “fatigue policy” to give overworked employees some relief. “I can work anywhere from 110 to 148 hours in a two-week period, and that’s typical—it’s almost impossible for refinery workers to have family time,” Zepeda said. “You can only squeeze a nickel so hard before it starts to hurt the other side. “It’s also a ticking time bomb, it’s a refinery where a lot can go up in flames,” he added. “You’ve got to have people that are alert and have their wits about them—you can’t live with some zombie at the controls.”

“Once national bargaining is completed, Phillips 66 will be negotiating a new bargaining contract with the local USW unions that represent each of our refineries covered by expiring contracts,” says Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss. “We are committed to reaching a new agreement that is good for our employees and protects the future of some of the best jobs in American industry. “We are hopeful that we can achieve this goal without any interruption to our operations,” he added. “In addition to competitive wages and benefits, we expect the next contract to support our local efforts to improve safety and productivity.”[247]

January 22, 2015: Teagan Clive Says Contra Costa County Recently Created a New Tax Base for Phillips 66 Reducing Payments from $3,900 per acre for their main lot to $42

Teagan Clive wrote a letter to the Martinez News-Gazette on January 22, 2015 reporting that according to Tax Assessor Gus Kramer, Phillips 66’s taxes were now based on “profits, not property.” Since the refinery owns 37 percent of the land in Rodeo, this went far to reduce their tax burden. Kramer couldn’t say off-hand how much Phillips has reduced their tax burden but public records show that, in 2014, they paid $3,900 per acre for their main lot and now they’re paying only $42 per acre. BOS Chairman John Gioia confirmed the new “profit-sharing” relationship with P66. "This begs the question: How can the BOS objectively vote on any matter concerning P66 – like the controversial Propane Project which is believed to involve notorious tar sands – if the County has become a “business partner”? Although Phillips ranks No. 6 on the Fortune 500, the County is now obliged to help them make money. This might explain why Supervisor Glover “lost” his long-time assistant, Paul Adler, who went to work for the refinery this month, in “government affairs.”"[248]

January 15, 2015: San Jose City Council Votes Unanimously to Oppose Plans For Phillips 66 Crude Oil Transport

NBC Bay Area News reported on January 15, 2015 that the San Jose City Council voted unanimously to oppose Phillips 66's plans for crude oil to be transported through San Jose and urged the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission to reject the expansion proposal. "It's coming right through our cities within a hundred feet of homes in my council district," said City Councilman Ash Kalra. "Going through farmlands in my council district as well, and going through downtown." The issue was discussed at Tuesday's council meeting and a debate lasted lasted late into the afternoon, with some council members saying it is the federal government's job, not the city's, to make the call. "We should also be asking 'Is enough being done to make us safe?'" Councilman Johnny Khamis said. "But not outright oppose it."[249]

January 12, 2015: Carolyn Norr Writes: "Say no to toxic oil trains for the future of our children"

Carolyn Norr wrote an op-ed in the Contra Costa Times on January 12, 2015 that said that Phillips 66 proposes an expansion of its facility 250 miles south of here, that would bring a mile-long toxic train every day past our homes and schools. "I invite the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors, my City Council, and everyone who cares about the safety and future of families in California, to join me in doing everything in our power to stop this plan. No to the expansion of Phillips 66, no to oil trains in our communities."

Orley Troxel replied in the comments that "I wish I knew if Carolyn Norr drove a vehicle? I bet "Yes". I wish I knew if Carolyn Norr heated and cooled her house, with energy from fossil fuels? I bet "Yes". I wish I knew whether Carolyn Norr used plactic wrap in her kitchen, wore clothes made with man-made fabrics, wore clothes with "organic" fibers that were cultivated with machinery that burned fossil fuels."[250]

December 31, 2014: The Pros and Cons of a Controversial Phillips 66 Oil-by-Rail Project

Rhys Heyden wrote in the New Times on December 31, 2014 that Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery would like to transport much of its crude oil into San Luis Obispo County via train, while opponents would prefer such plans to be driven out of the county on a rail. "Many stakeholders adamantly support the project, while many locals virulently oppose the proposed rail spur that would allow this transportation method to materialize," writes Heyden. "There are plenty of lawyers involved and lots of money tied up in each side of the issue, and the project itself reaches far beyond the borders of SLO County."

Seeking to understand why many people support the project, New Times reached out to Phillips 66 to get their point of view. Though New Times requested a tour of the refinery and access to speak with a variety of Phillips 66 employees, the company—working with SLO-based PR firm Barnett Cox & Associates—declined to provide either, instead offering a presentation and interview with two company spokespeople. Essentially, Phillips argues that oil production in Santa Barbara County (the refinery’s predominant current source of oil at about 65 to 80 percent of total sourcing) is in decline. Anticipating further falloff, the company wants to diversify how it receives oil and where it receives it from.

Project adversaries disagreed with what they see as “specious” arguments from Phillips 66. They feel that the company has not been a good neighbor and is pursuing the crude-by-rail strategy primarily to enhance profits, not because any refinery jobs or the local oil supply are truly at risk. “There are just no grounds on which to support this project,” says Sierra Club leader Andrew Christie. “The impacts are understated, the EIR has been deficient from the start, and there are still 11 ‘significant and unavoidable’ impacts in a defective EIR.” All of these impacts are essentially due to the potential for high levels of toxic emissions from the oil trains or the mushrooming consequences of a possible crude oil spill and/or derailment.

Unsurprisingly for a project of this magnitude, many politicos polled by New Times said they saw the rail spur project likely being appealed by one side or the other—from the Planning Commission, to the Board of Supervisors, to the California Coastal Commission (the refinery is in the coastal zone)—and then likely being settled in court in a years-long struggle.“Ultimately, it comes down to this: Is what they’re proposing appropriate for the community, or are the impacts just too great?,” said District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill. “It will be interesting to see how that question is answered.”[251]

December 31, 2014: The Shredder Writes: "There’s a plethora of people eager to tell you all about how Phillips 66 has done so much for the community"

Anonymous columnist "The Shredder" wrote in the New Times on December 31, 2014 that there's "here’s a plethora of people eager to tell you all about how Phillips 66 has done so much for the community, how much Phillips 66 cares about us all, and how very much it would hurt Phillips 66’s feelings if we denied the company its rail spur project. The problem is, Phillips 66 has greased the verbal wheels by giving these people a lot of money, and then turned around and given even more money to a local PR firm to tell the rest of the community just how great Phillips 66 really is. Call me a cynic, but as soon as I know someone’s been paid to say something, they lose credibility in my eyes, and I’m speaking as someone who has never been paid. Maybe they really mean it. But if that were the case, why wouldn’t they say it without being paid?"

The reality is that Phillips 66’s “good neighbor” moments tend to be choreographed, right down to photographs of a smiling spokesperson handing over an enormous check. And that’s OK. That’s what for-profit corporations do. It is not, however, what good neighbors do. I know, because my neighbor is still miffed about the time I offered to pay up front so my dog can freely pop squats in his yard. In fact, a company is not a neighbor at all, regardless of how many times a PR company repeats the term. A corporation is not a human being with human concerns; corporations are motivated by one thing: profit.

While I don’t fault Phillips 66 for behaving like a corporation any more than I fault a wild animal for behaving like a wild animal, I don’t much appreciate the fact that they’re trotting out platitudes about being there for the community in lieu of substantive discussion about the impacts of what they’re proposing. Hiring a company to attempt to wrangle and limit the media while feeding the public a heavily manipulated image of an oil company as Mr. Rogers—if Mr. Rogers was in the habit of doling out enormous checks—is a fairly oily thing to do.[252]

December 23, 2014: Judge Rules That Phillips 66 Policy Prohibiting Santa Maria Refinery Employees from Talking to the Media Violates the Law

David Minsky reports at the Santa Maria Sun that on November 25, 2014 a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge found that Phillips policy of prohibiting Phillips employees at the Santa Maria Refinery from speaking to reporters violated the law. According to case documents, attorneys representing Phillips 66 argued in court that the policy was meant to prohibit employees from speaking on the company’s behalf about any confidential operations. But the judge rejected this argument, saying the policy was ambiguous and violates the law because employees could “reasonably construe” that it would prohibit them from discussing, among other things, labor disputes or conditions of work. Reached by email last week, Phillips 66 spokesperson Dennis H. Nuss said the company is aware of the recent decision, but didn’t make specific comments about the case. However Nuss did write: “Our company’s top priority is the safety of everyone who works at our sites and lives in our neighboring communities. In 2012, Phillips 66 redistributed certain safety-related functions and responsibilities among personnel at the Santa Maria Refinery, and there were no staff reductions. These changes have helped maintain and improve the refinery’s high standards for safety performance.”[253]

December 23, 2014: Phillips Donates $30,000 to Santa Maria Museum

The Paso Roble Daily News reported on December 23, 2014 that volunteers from the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum received a $30,000 contribution from Phillips earmarked to help complete the museum’s ambitious model railroad room, a scale model depiction of the rail industry in SLO as it looked in the early part of the 20th century. According to Museum volunteer Arnold Jonas, the group hosted a tour of its facility for Phillips 66 officials in late fall and received a positive reaction. “Several of the people touring our museum were from out of state and were frankly amazed at what our group of volunteers has accomplished,” said Jonas. “And not only was the group impressed by the museum, they were intrigued by our emphasis on education and our interest in telling the story of the railroad in our county. Apparently that paved the way for our grant approval,” he said. “All of us involved in the oil industry are aware of the role the local railroad played – and continues to play – in keeping our product moving,” said Bill Schroll, manager of the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery located on the Nipomo Mesa. “We are delighted to help educate residents and areas visitors about the rich history of the railroads and their role on the Central Coast, including the dynamic partnership that continues between our industries,” he said.[254]

December 17, 2014: Air board Approves Plan to Cut Pollution at Area Refineries Including Rodeo Refinery and Santa Maria Refinery

The San Jose Mercury News reported on December 17, 2014 that the regional air pollution regulators have approved a far-reaching blueprint to cut Bay Area oil refinery emissions by 20 percent. More rigorous monitoring of refinery emissions will be required. To assure continued clean air improvements, refiners will be required periodically to assess their pollution and ways to reduce it. "This strategy will ensure that refineries are taking the strongest steps to cut emissions and minimize their impacts on neighboring residents and the region as a whole," said Jack Broadbent, the air district's executive officer.[255]

December 12, 2014: Moonpark City Councilman Doesn't Agree With Letter of Opposition to Santa Maria Oil Trains

Art Van Kraft reported in the Moonpark Acorn on December 12, 2014 that Moonpark City Councilman Keith Millhouse says he doesn’t agree with a report from the Moonpark community development department, which concludes that trains carrying crude oil to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery would be a potential threat to residents and recommends a letter of opposition be submitted to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission. “I don’t know why staff decided that an opposition letter would be the appropriate response,” said Millhouse, who said he can’t see the risk in allowing the freight train to pass through the city, one of several along the 213-mile route. “They come up with a highly implausible scenario and suggested action based upon that. I don’t think that is responsible.” Millhouse pointed out that Phillips 66 wouldn’t be the first oil company to transport crude through town on a regular basis. Millhouse said the report doesn’t put the risk in proper context and creates unnecessary fear. “That (threat) is not a realistic problem,” Millhouse said. “They are creating hysteria about what might happen and we need a more rational discussion of this.”[256]

December 12, 2014: Berkeley Rent Board to Discuss Effects of Phillips Plan to Bring Oil by Rail Through East Bay Cities

Tom Lochner reported in the Contra Costa Times on December 12 , 2014 that the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board will discuss crude oil transport by rail through East Bay communities at their next meeting. A draft resolution opposes a proposal by Phillips 66 to bring crude oil from outside the state to its Santa Maria refinery in San Luis Obispo County. The purpose of the resolution is to pre-empt "the possible destruction of affordable housing in Berkeley from an explosive and destructive derailment ... as the trains pass through Berkeley." "If the crude-by-rail project is approved, these dangerous 'bomb trains' will roll through many California communities each day, including northern and western shorelines of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties," the draft resolution reads. "This project will put many communities at risk of accidents and spills, threatening our air, water, health and Berkeley's rent-controlled housing stock."

Phillips 66 has said it is pleased that issues brought forth by the community are addressed in a revised Draft Environmental Impact Report that will be the subject of a public hearing in San Luis Obispo. "We understand that there may be opposition to the project, and we look forward to San Luis Obispo County providing responses to new issues that are raised and addressing them in compliance with (the California Environmental Quality Act)."[257]

December 9, 2014: Environmentalists Concerned About Canadian Oil Sands Crude Deliveries to Santa Maria and Rodeo Refineries

Tom Lochner reported in the Oakland Tribune on December 9, 2014 that environmentalists are concerned about deliveries of Canadian Oil Sands Crude to the Santa Maria Refinery. Sleuthing through the reports of the Santa Maria project and a liquefied petroleum gas project at another Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, the group concluded that the propane and butane to be recovered at the Bay Area facility would come from tar sands oil and a diluting agent used to prepare it for transport -- first, as diluted bitumen coming by rail to Santa Maria, then, semi-refined, by pipeline to Rodeo. The October 2014 DEIR specifically rules out delivery of Bakken to the Santa Maria Refinery, although it does not say exactly where the oil would come from.

Tar sands oil is "even worse than Bakken," contends CBE senior scientist Greg Karras. In diluted bitumen form, it is just as volatile, he said, and processing it consumes greater quantities of fossil fuels and produces more greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The heavy tar sands oil also contains more copper, vanadium, nickel, lead, sulfur and nitrogen than other crudes. The comments call tar sands oil among "the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive fuels on the planet." The high sulfur content, moreover, makes the oil corrosive. Sulfur corrosion, the comments note, was a factor in an August 2012 fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond that sickened thousands. Diluted bitumen also is a powerful water pollutant, Karras said, particularly difficult to clean up because it is so heavy that it settles at the bottom of waterways.[258]

December 3, 2014: County Receives 11,000 Letters Opposing Santa Maria Rail Spur Project

The New Times reported on December 3, 2014 that the San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Department’ was surprised to have received 11,000 messages and letters opposing Phillips 66's rail spur project that would bring crude oil by rail to the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery. “It said we had 10,600 unread messages,” said Murray Wilson. “That’s in addition to the 50 to 100 hard copies of letters we received, so it’s going to take a while to sort through all of this.” Wilson said that his department is currently organizing and forwarding all of the public comments to the EIR consultants, who will subsequently respond to the communication and put together the final EIR for the project. “We’re scheduled to have the final EIR published by the middle of January, and I hope we can stay on that target,” Wilson said. “It’s a matter of making sure we respond to all the letters appropriately.” According to Wilson, the vast majority of communication received—he estimated 98 or 99 percent—was comprised of about five different types of individually signed form letters from various environmental activist groups.[259]

November 26, 2014: San Jose City Councilman Urges Rejection of Phillips 66 Company Rail Spur Extension Project

The Santa Cruz Sentinel News reported on November 26, 2014 that San Jose City councilman Ash Kalra has announced his opposition to the Phillips 66 Company Rail Spur Extension Project would bring as many as 250 unit trains a year with 80 tank cars plus locomotives and supporting cars to a new crude oil unloading facility in Santa Maria from the north or from the south along tracks owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. "This will allow mile-long oil trains carrying millions of gallons of explosive, toxic crude oil in unsafe tank cars to travel through California every day," reads a news release from San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra. "These trains will travel through the Bay Area passing neighborhoods in San Jose, including Kalra's District 2 in south San Jose. This proposed plan threatens the residents and families along the rail routes and also threatens the environment and local water supplies." Kalra continues by urging San Luis Obispo County to reject the project, saying, "The safety of our community members, our health, and our environment, should not be taken lightly."[260]

November 18, 2014: Op-ed Says that Santa Maria Refinery Rail Expansion Could Imperil Downtown San Jose

Richard Nevle and Deborah Levoy wrote in an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News on November 18, 2014 that trains rolling through Northern California communities on their way to Phillips' Santa Maria refinery may soon carry massive charges of highly toxic tar sands crude that could bring nightmarish catastrophes to the heart of San Jose's downtown neighborhoods. "The mile-long trains transport millions of gallons of volatile oil in unsafe tank cars that are prone to derailing and exploding. California's railways weren't built to transport this noxious oil," write the authors. "If you think oil spills can't happen in San Jose, consider that more rail-transported oil spilled in 2013 than in the four prior decades. Or ask relatives of the 47 people who were incinerated when an oil train exploded in Quebec in July 2013."

"Oil companies including ConocoPhillips, of which Phillips 66 is a subsidiary, have contributed huge sums of money to forestall meaningful legislative action on the climate, actively working against the public interest in order to line their own pockets. The proposed facility expansion in Santa Maria is motivated by more of the same amoral self-interest that willfully places public health, land, water and climate at risk. We can't hope for oil companies to behave ethically. That would be perilous. We simply have to fight them every step of the way."[261]

November 14, 2014: Sacramento Area Council of Governments Calls for Stronger Safety Controls on a Phillips Santa Maria Rail Proposal

The Sacramento Bee reported on November 14, 2014 that board members of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, regional officials are asking San Luis Obispo County to require the Phillips 66 to notify local fire officials before any crude oil train comes through the area, limit the parking of crude-oil-laden trains in the urban area, provide funding for training on fighting oil fires, and require trains and tracks to have modern safety features. SACOG officials said they are not taking a stance against rail shipments of crude oil in general. “Our intent is not to prohibit any types of shipments, our intent is to ensure that where they are shipped that we impose the most reasonably feasible safety measures for our communities,” the agency’s attorney Kirk Trost said during a board briefing this week.

The Sacramento group, in its letter, also joined a growing national chorus of cities and states demanding that particularly flammable crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota be stripped of its more volatile elements before being loaded on trains. In an email to The Sacramento Bee, Phillips 66 spokesman Dennis Nuss said Phillips does not plan to ship Bakken oil to its Santa Maria Refinery. “Phillips 66 is working to ensure the long-term viability of the Santa Maria Refinery and the many jobs it provides,” he wrote. “Our plans for this project reflect our company’s commitment to operational excellence and safety while enhancing the competitiveness of the facility.”[262]

November 12, 2014: Group Meets to Voice Opposition to Crude Oil Deliveries by Rail to Santa Maria Refinery

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on November 12, 2014 that more than 200 people met in Nipomo to voice opposition to a plan by Phillips 66 to install tracks so it can deliver crude oil to its Santa Maria refinery by rail. One by one, group members took turns detailing significant and potentially disastrous impacts that they believe the proposal could have on San Luis Obispo County. “Approving this project would change the very fabric of our county,” Martin Akel said. “My friends, protect yourself. Take action and take it now.” No county planning officials or Phillips 66 representatives spoke during the presentations.

According to Cynthia Lambert writing in the Tribune, judging by the large crowd and enthusiastic response for the speakers, many attendees agreed with concerns about possible air quality, noise and odor impacts, as well as the potential for rail accidents that could cause oil spills, fires or explosions — not just in Nipomo, but anywhere along the Union Pacific mainline. “How can anyone be in favor of this?” said Janet Pelkey, who came to the meeting with her husband, Jim, to learn more about the project.[263]

November 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring at Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips filed a report with the California Emergency Management Agency, indicating flaring due to a process upset at its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, on Saturday. The report stated that the refinery was being brought “back under control” after the incident.[264]

October 29, 2014: Laurance Shinderman Says Phillips 66 Rail Spur Project is Wrong for San Luis Obispo County

Laurance Shinderman of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed piece in the Cal Coast News on October 29, 2014 that says that Phillips' plan to build a rail spur and a crude oil railcar unloading facility for the Santa Maria Refinery could result in effects that impair adjacent agricultural uses along the UPRR mainline in the event of a derailment and or spill, including the generation of contaminated air emissions, soil and water contamination and increased risk of fire which have the potential to adversely affect adjacent agricultural areas. "Under the new proposal, the Phillips facility will undertake an entirely new method of doing business," writes Shinderman . "In effect, they’re turning over the tables on our citizens, and starting all over again … with a potential disastrous impact on those who live in the county. The fact that Phillips has been a “good neighbor” and taxpayer, has nothing to do with granting them the right to introduce a completely new, different and dangerous way to conduct their operations."[265]

"This project is a heads Phillips wins and tails SLO loses," concludes Shinderman, "because if there were a disaster; who would compensate businesses for their economic loss, or compensate farmers for their land that could be potentially made useless due to the fall out of toxic soot and ash. Are the health, safety and the vitality of San Luis Obispo county worth granting Phillips the go ahead with this project so that they could garner a few extra dollars/barrel from “advantaged” crude? We think not."[266]

October 10, 2014: New Study Assesses Rick of Oil Spill at Santa Maria Refinery if Proposed Rail Project is Approved

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on October 10, 2014 that a new study has assessed three rail routes to Phillips 66's Santa Maria Refinery and found the project could significantly impact public safety if a crude oil spill results in a fire or explosion near a populated area. An analysis estimated the average incident rate of a release of 100 gallons or more of oil from a train traveling between the Phillips 66 refinery and rail yards in Roseville or Colton would be once every 46 years to 76 years, depending on the route. The probability of an oil release anywhere along the entire rail line in California would be greater — estimated at once every 19 years to 31 years. But explosions are considered unlikely with a 100-gallon spill. “While the exact route the trains would take to get to these two rail yards is speculative, all of the routes within and outside of California would traverse populated areas that could be impacted in the event of a release that resulted in a fire or explosion,” the report states.[267]

The report also found that trains would be traveling about 3 miles per hour on the Phillips 66 property, so it’s unlikely they could be hit hard enough to result in a spill. The hazard impacts at the refinery were found to be less than significant, according to the draft report. No crude oil or refined product would be transported out of the refinery by rail. Also, no Bakken crude will be delivered to the refinery as part of the project — a response to concerns that light crude oil from the Bakken region in North Dakota may be more volatile than other crudes. The risk would also be substantially lowered by using the safest tank car design available, which could reduce the probability of an oil spill by about 74 percent, according to the report.[268]

September 30, 2014: Some Residents Oppose Phillips Bringing More Oil Trains to Santa Maria Refinery

KSBY reported on September 30, 2014 that Phillips wants to add 44,000 feet of track on the property near the Santa Maria Refinery and begin bringing in up to five trains with 80 railcars per train to transport crude oil. Phillips hosted an open house on September 30, 2014 about the project so locals could ask questions and share their concerns about the proposal. A spokesperson for the Phillips 66 Refinery says the proposed rail project is solely on their property, and claims it would not be an issue for people who live nearby. "The entire project will be on Phillips 66 property here at the refinery," says James Anderson, Superintendent of the Santa Maria Refinery. "The project does not increase any intake and throughput of the refinery and it would be a way for us to obtain crude oil from additional sources throughout the United States."[269]

People who live near the refinery say they are still concerned. "They are not going to be doing anything to reduce the harm that they are going to create for the people here who will be breathing this," says Marty Akel, Nipomo resident and member of the Mesa Refinery Watch Group. "We have a rail terminal with all the noise pollution of diesel trains, coupling and uncoupling all the time, the air pollution, the light pollution, they will be destroying the atmosphere over here." Akel lives in the Trilogy estates at Monarch Dunes. He and his neighbors say they are outraged at the proposed project at the Santa Maria Refinery, that if approved, would be viewable from their backyard. "I wouldn't want to live in their backyard, and I do live here. It is just not a good thing." says Amy Hedges. "The ocean is out there, Trilogy is right here, you can see how close it is. It is going to be a tremendous burden for everyone up in the Mesa."[270]

September 5, 2014: Garland Disappointed with Lengthy Permit Process for Rail Offloading at Santa Maria Refinery

Reuters reported on September 3, 2014 that Greg Garland told analysts at the Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference that Phillips was "disappointed" in the lengthy permitting process for a rail offloading project at its refinery in Santa Maria, California, but remained optimistic it would be built. The rail project would bring in about 40,000 bpd of heavy oil, like that produced in Canada rather than light Bakken crude, according to the company. A local planning commission meeting to consider approving the project has been pushed to January from April to allow an environmental impact report produced in late 2013 to be recirculated for more public comment.[271]

Garland added that Phillips has ordered another 500 railcars to increase its fleet to 3,700 railcars. which will allow it to eventually move up to 185,000 barrels per day (bpd) of North Dakota Bakken crude oil to its refineries on the East and West coasts.[272]

July 16, 2014: Phillips 66 Restarts Santa Maria Refinery after Power Outage

Phillips 66 said power loss at its Santa Maria, California, refinery was only temporary and was quickly restored. [273]

July 16, 2014: Power Outage Causes Flaring at Phillips Santa Maria Refinery

The Tribune reported on July 16, 2014 that a temporary power outage at the Phillips Santa Maria Refinery caused a flaring incident Tuesday, July 15, 2014, which was spotted by some local residents.[274]

July 1, 2014: Phillips Continues Working to Restart Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips said it was still working to restart its Santa Maria, California refinery following a power outage on July 16.[275]

June 1, 2014: Phillips Says Operations Normal at Santa Maria Refinery After Steam Power Plant Shutdown

Phillips on Sunday said its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, resumed normal operations late Friday following the shutdown of the site’s steam power plant. The shutdown occurred due to a process upset, the company said. The company reported an unspecified process upset at the refinery on Friday, according to a filing with state pollution regulators. [276]

May 21, 2014: Update: Phillips Working to Restart Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips said it was working to restart its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, California, Wednesday, following an unplanned shutdown caused by a power outage May 20. [277]

May 1, 2014: Phillips Reports Flaring at Santa Maria Refinery

Phillips said its Santa Maria refinery experienced a process upset at the site’s steam power plant, resulting in an unscheduled shutdown of the unit. As a result, fuel gas was directed to the refinery’s flare, resulting in visible flaring.[278]

May 1, 2014: Flare From Santa Maria Refinery Seen Throughout Five Cities Area After Process Upset

KSBY reported on May 1, 2014 that flare at the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery on the Nipomo Mesa could be seen throughout the Five Cities area causing several people to contact KSBY News, inquiring about a potential fire in the area. Phillips 66 released the following statement, explaining the incident: "At approximately 9 a.m. Pacific time today, the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery experienced a process upset at the site's steam power plant, resulting in an unscheduled shutdown of the unit. As a result, fuel gas was directed to the refinery's flare, resulting in visible flaring. All appropriate regulatory notifications have been made. Phillips 66 personnel have been dispatched off-site and are monitoring air quality. All data indicate there have not been any off-site impacts. There have been no injuries and all personnel are safe. The cause of the process upset is under investigation."[279]

April 25, 2014: Phillips Promises Not to Bring Bakken Crude to Santa Maria Refinery

Cynthia Lambert reported in the San Luis Obispo Tribune that Phillips 66 officials said this week that they would not accept any light crude oil from the Bakken region as part of a proposed rail project at the Santa Maria refinery. In a past interview, company officials said rail shipments to the refinery might include a small amount of oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota or Canada — a plan that raised alarm, as there’s concern that Bakken oil might be more volatile than other crudes. “We told the county to put it right in the project description that we will not receive Bakken crude,” said Jim Anderson, project manager for the rail spur proposal.[280]

Some opponents said that their concerns remain despite any promises about the type of crude oil coming by rail into the county. “Regardless of the type of oil, the trains coming through here are a bad idea,” said Martin Akel. Members of the Mesa Refinery Watch group say Phillips 66’s proposal would dramatically transform its business model locally by creating a new, high-intensity operation with 250 more oil-hauling trains traveling through the county and significantly increasing the potential for accidents. “The bottom line — their claim of running out of crude to deliver by pipeline and the threat of lost jobs is a red herring,” the group wrote in a draft position paper. “The company simply wants to change the types of crude they refine in Nipomo, because they’re far more profitable.”[281]

April 16, 2014: Health and Safety Specialists at Santa Maria Refinery Claim They Were Punished for Unionizing

Colin Rigley reported at the New Times on April 16, 2014 that health and safety specialists at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery allege Phillips officials warned them in January, 2012 that if they joined the United Steelworkers Union they would lose hours, be stripped of managerial powers, and as many as three of them could lose their jobs. “The insinuation here was that, ‘We may not need all of you,’” one of the specialists said in a written statement submitted to the labor board.[282]

When the newly unionized group went to the bargaining table in December, 2012, the specialists say in a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board that Phillips management carried out its threats. Phillips' proposed contract on December 10, 2012 allegedly included the threatened reductions of hours and responsibilities. The refinery’s health and safety specialists serve as organizers of the plant’s emergency response crew. Though none of the health and safety specialists was fired, three of them were transferred from their primary roles into regular plant operations, according to the complaint. The union is seeking to recover lost wages for the health and safety specialists, and to have their original job functions restored. Those lost wages totaled as much as $17,000 per year for some employees. In its complaint, the union further alleges that Phillips 66 bargained in bad faith when it imposed the 2012 contract.[283]

Phillips 66, in its responses to the union’s complaint, said the company reduced the five health and safety specialists to two as part of regular staffing changes, and the job functions were distributed across other personnel. “There is no value more important in our company than ensuring the safety of everyone who works at our sites as well as the safety of our neighboring communities,” Phillips spokesman Dennis Nuss said in a written statement to New Times. “In 2012, Phillips 66 redistributed certain safety-related functions and responsibilities among personnel at the Santa Maria Refinery, and there were no staff reductions. These changes have helped maintain and improve the refinery’s high standards for safety performance.”[284]

In addition to the reduced contract for health and safety specialists, the union alleges that the company violated federal labor laws when it implemented “news media guidelines” in October 2012. Those guidelines instructed employees not to speak to news media and, “It is against company policy for anyone but an authorized company spokespersons [sic] to speak to the news media.” The company defends its policy as a routine business practice that violated no labor laws.[285]

April 16, 2014: Candidates for County Supervisor Spar Over Plan to Move Crude Oil to Santa Maria Refinery by Rail

David Sneed reported in The Tribune on April 16, 2014 that the three candidates running for District 4 County Supervisor faced off in a forum at Nipomo High School, sparring – sometimes testily – over a variety of issues including the proposed rail spur at the Phillips 66 refinery to deliver crude oil from new sources. Real estate broker Mike Byrd took the firmest stance, saying he does not like the idea of oil being imported into the county in rail cars because it poses too many safety issues. “I have a problem with the idea that this is going to be allowed,” Byrd said, adding that a way should be found to pipe the oil into the refinery. Appointed incumbent Caren Ray said it is unethical of Byrd to take a hard-nosed position on the matter before it comes before the Board of Supervisors and said she is working to make sure that the environmental impacts and other issues associated with the project are dealt with. Lynn Compton said the project has its pros and cons but pointed out that the refinery is a source of good jobs in the district. “They are a good neighbor and a benefit to the community,” she said, adding that the county’s permitting of the project is unfolding as it should.[286]

March 28, 2014: Santa Maria Rail Extension Project Reopened for Public Comment

The Contra Costa Times reported on March 28, 2014 that an environmental report for a rail expansion project at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery that some East Bay residents fear could bring highly flammable, light crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and Canada through their communities will be reissued and subjected to a new round of public comment. This week, the Berkeley and Richmond city councils voted unanimously to oppose the transport of crude oil by rail through the East Bay, adding to a large body of commentary previously submitted during the draft report's initial public comment period. Murry Wilson, environmental resource specialist for the San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building, said his agency decided to recirculate the draft report due to the large volume and nature of comments received. Phillips 66 spokesman Dean Acosta said this week the Santa Maria refinery is "configured to run the heavier California crudes," but he stopped short of saying the refinery would not receive Bakken crude.[287] .

March 24, 2014: Mesa Refinery Watch Group Says Explosive Risks Far Outweigh Benefits at Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery

Linda Reynolds, the Chairperson for the Mesa Refinery Watch Group wrote an op-ed in the Cal Coast News on March 24, 2014 that says that Phillips "revamped corporate business model is to maximize profits by turning our nation’s rail lines into inherently unsafe “tank car pipelines” to take advantage of the new flood of lower-cost Canadian tar sands 1 and domestic fracked crude oils." According to Reynolds instead of bringing in crude by pipeline, Phillips proposes to bring half-billion gallons (488,000,000) of crude per year to the Santa Maria Refinery, via 20,800 rail tank cars and that the tank cars may very well contain Bakken crude — the explosive crude that has destroyed lives, property and the environment in towns across the U.S. and Canada. "We believe the vastly increased risks that this proposal brings to the citizens and businesses throughout SLO County and the Central Coast are unacceptable," concludes Reynolds. "The risks of massive explosions, fires, oil spills, and air, noise, odor and light pollution, enormously outweigh the benefits the plan bestows on an individual business entity — that is, Phillips 66. Any honest risk, benefit analysis would lead to that conclusion."[288]

March 14, 2014: Phillips Santa Maria Rail Spur Meeting Draws Critics

The Santa Maria Times reported on March 14, 2014 that 150 people attended an afternoon town hall meeting to discuss the Phillips' Santa Maria rail project that would allow tank cars to deliver crude oil to the Santa Maria Refinery. When an audience member asked how many in the audience opposed the project, virtually everyone raised a hand. When San Luis Obispo County 4th District Supervisor Caren Ray asked how many supported it, not one hand went up. Ray told the crowd that the County Planning Department “was simply overwhelmed” by 800 public comments about the draft Environmental Impact Report. The meeting started with a Powerpoint presentation by Art Herbon of the Mesa Watch steering committee outlining the project and why the group opposes it. Reasons cited by Herbon and, later, audience members included noise, air quality, dust, odors, visual and economic impacts plus the explosive danger of Bakken crude oil. “We support Phillips 66 in its efforts to increase profits and provide jobs, but not at any cost ...,” Herbon said following his presentation.[289]

The draft Environmental Impact Report says the primary source of crude oil in the shipments would be the Bakken oil formation in South Dakota, which opponents find alarming. Bakken crude was involved in the explosions and fires Dec. 30 when two trains collided in South Dakota, prompting the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a warning that Bakken crude might be more flammable than other types. Bakken crude not only carries more hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic and flammable, but also more explosive butane and propane gases. Ray said Phillips 66 officials told her they would change the draft EIR so Bakken would not be the primary source but would not eliminate it entirely. That’s because Bakken crude could be delivered by “manifest trains” that would haul tank cars as well as other types of cargo, she said.[290]

February 20, 2014: Likelihood Of A Train Accident Releasing Oil In South County is Once In Every 226 Years

The Times Press recorder reports that a proposed rail spur extension and expansion at the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery will be discussed at the South County Advisory Council meeting on February 24, 2014. Jim Anderson, superintendent of maintenance at the refinery, will present an overview of the project to construct additional rail spurs on the refinery property. Under the proposal, up to five trains would be unloaded each week, with the maximum expected to be 250 trains per year. That works out to an annual total ranging from 470 million to 547.5 million gallons, depending upon car sizes. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Report the likelihood of a train accident releasing oil in the county at once in every 226 years.[291]

February 14, 2014: Garland Thinks the Santa Maria Rail Terminal Will Get Approved

Greg Garland told security analysts at the Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit on February 12, 2014 that he thinks the Santa Maria Rail terminal will be approved. "I wouldn't say that California is on the sidelines cheering us on in terms of permitting. It's a noisy, messy process. We're in the middle of comments at Santa Maria. Actually think we're going to get that done," said Garland. "End of the day, I'm not going to say that California is a rational place to do business, but I feel better today than I did six months ago or a year ago about our ability to get advantaged crudes into California, particularly heavy crudes.[292]

February 7, 2014: Opponents of Rail Terminal to Santa Maria Refinery Take Their Concerns to County Traffic Committee

The Times Press Recorder reported on February 7, 2014 that opponents of the proposed rail facility expansion at the Santa Maria refinery plan to take their concerns to South County Advisory Council’s Traffic and Circulation Committee Meeting on February 13, 2014 that is scheduled to discuss the transportation section of the project’s draft environmental impact report. "We will be there in force,” said group member Laurance Shinderman. Members of Mesa Refinery Watch have collected 400 signatures on a petition opposing the expansion and another 100 people individually wrote letters opposing the project said Shinderman. The group worries about a catastrophic explosion along the Union Pacific rail line like the one on December 30, 2013 when two trains collided in South Dakota and last July that killed 47 people after a derailment in Quebec. “It’s not an issue of the refinery increasing capacity,” Shinderman said. “It’s an issue of trains coming through.” Shinderman said the EIR’s assertion the project will have no significant impacts “is just insane,” noting there will be impacts to noise, aesthetics, traffic and air quality. “I think our position is not fewer trains but no trains."[293]

December 23, 2013: Safety Critics of Rail Terminal through San Luis Obispo County Speak Out at Workshop

The Santa Maria Sun reported on December 23, 2013 that 60 citizens and stakeholders gathered for a two-hour public workshop on December 12, 2013 regarding the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the Phillips 66 project to ship oil by train through San Luis Obispo County to Phillips Santa Maria Refinery in Nipomo. “I want people to wake up,” said Julie Tacker, a Los Osos resident and local activist. “I’d like people all along the railroad line—which runs right through the heart of SLO County—to pay attention. All it takes is one car on the oil train to blow, and then they’ll all blow.” Concerns raised about the rail spur project included the significant danger of an oil train accident similar to the Québec disaster of July 2013, adverse traffic and noise impacts, the higher volatility of Bakken crude (a potential source for the oil trains), and what detractors called the suspicious timing of the project in relation to a 10 percent refinery through-put increase approved just two months before the rail spur project was proposed. Local environmental activist Eric Greening was concerned about the safety of the train cars that will be used to transport oil. Greening claimed “the majority of train cars on the rails in America right now are substandard,” and requested that Phillips 66 use safer cars.[294]

Phillips 66 staffers, SLO County Planning and Building Department representatives, and the DEIR report consultants were in attendance to receive public comments and to answer questions. The county has tentatively scheduled a Planning Commission hearing for the project on April 24.[295]

November 26, 2013: Phillips Moves Ahead with Plans to Build Rail Terminal to Ship Oil to Santa Maria Refinery

Ralph Vartabedian wrote in the LA Times on November 26, 2013 that Phillips is moving forward with a plan to build a rail terminal in San Luis Obispo County that would send trains with up to 80 tank cars of crude oil through Southern California and the Bay Area to the Phillips' Santa Maria Refinery. Phillips said in a draft environmental impact statement that it wants to build five sets of parallel tracks that would accommodate trains as often as 250 times per year at its Santa Maria Refinery. The impact statement acknowledges some safety and environmental issues with the new rail facility. "The main hazards associated with the Rail Spur Project are potential accidents at the [Santa Maria Refinery] and along the [Union Pacific] mainline that could result in oil spills, fires and explosions," the report said. Murray Wilson, a San Luis Obispo planning department official, said the project has received both local support and opposition. The extent of public opinion should become clearer during the 60-day public comment period that opened this week.[296]

October 11, 2013: Phillips Seeks Permission to Expand Rail Shipments of Crude to Santa Maria Refinery

KCOY reported on October 11, 2013 that Phillips plans to bring more crude in by rail to the Santa Maria Refinery via the existing Union Pacific track that runs right by the refinery. "The pipelines only go out into the local areas in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties where the crude production is declining and has been declining for many years", says Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery Superintendent Jim Anderson, "its getting to the point where we need to get additional sources of crude from outside the area beyond the reach of our existing pipelines." Phillips wants to build a new, larger rail unloading facility on less than 30 acres of the refinery's 1600 acre site and is now going through the permitting and environmental review process with San Luis Obispo County. "Its sized to receive a train 80 cars long", Anderson says, "we would unload those cars 20 at a time, and so the train would plan to be in and out of the facility in about 11 hours."[297]

July 5, 2013: Seal Repaired at Santa Maria Refinery

Nasdaq reported on July 5, 2013 that according to a filing with California'sOffice of Emergency Services a pump seal that failed in the tail gas unit of its Santa Maria refinery on July 4, 2013 was repaired and the refinery had returned to normal operations.[298]

June 24, 2013: Phillips to Restart Santa Maria Refinery After Outage

Alison Sider reported in the WSJ on June 24, 2013 that Phillips is restarting its Santa Maria refinery in Arroyo Grande, Calif, after it lost power June 23. 2013 in a regional power outage. Semi-refined products from the Arroyo Grande facility are sent by pipeline to the Rodeo Refinery for upgrading into finished petroleum products, according to Phillips 66's website. The Rodeo plant was not affected by the power outage.[299]

December 13, 2012: Safety Changes At Santa Maria Refinery Pit Workers Against Management

Matt Fountain reported in the New Times on December 13, 2012 that before December 10 2012, Phillips 66 employed five health and safety shift specialists at the Santa Maria refinery, who worked onsite in 12-hour shifts but that after the specialists became members of USW Local 534, relations between management and the team have grown shakier. Last month, word came down: The five were being split up. Two would work the regular daylight shift as “safety coordinators” and the other three would be reassigned to the operations emergency response team, essentially the lowest position in terms of safety. According to Fountain, along with the reassignments came severe pay cuts—some to the tune of $12 an hour less, according to knowledgeable sources. The changes were finalized December 10, 2012. In their place, management delegated their responsibilities to plant employees, though at a far lower degree than what the health and safety shift specialists did, according to USW staff representative Ron Espinoza. Instead of having an all-encompassing EMT and search and rescue-certified expert on site, now the only EMT on site will be the front gate security guard, according to union reps and plant employees. The problem with the guard assuming response duties, they said, is that guards aren’t equipped or authorized to access many of the higher-risk areas of the facility. “We do believe it’s retaliation,” USW staff representative Espinoza told New Times. “They’re coming after them, and doing a fairly good job at it.”[300]

In January 2012, members of the USW Local 534 took to the picket lines outside the plant’s gates to protest the management’s hard-line on their then-ongoing labor negotiations. One of the issues of contention: a “fatigue policy” for work schedules. And another: safety equipment improvements.[301]

In response to a long list of questions regarding the specialist team and safety conditions at the plant, Phillips 66 Spokesman Rich Johnson provided the following statement in an e-mail to New Times: “There is no value more important in our company than ensuring the safety of everyone who works at our sites as well as the safety of our neighboring communities. Over the past year, we have redistributed certain safety-related functions and responsibilities among personnel at the Santa Maria refinery, and there have been no staff reductions. We expect these changes will help maintain and improve the refinery’s high standards for safety and performance.”[302]

According to Fountain, plant operators seem to be upset over the reorganizing of the safety department, as well, as they’ll now be seeing additional job duties and training requirements on top of an already-full workload. “I love this company, I obviously have no problem with Big Oil, [Phillips is] good to the environment—it’s just the way their mentality is,” one employee told New Times. “These [HSS specialists] make [the company] look better if an emergency happens, but there’s a calculated risk, and if they can get away with something, they will. “It’s going to take somebody high in the chain to say stop. That’s the way these people think,” he added.[303]

December 12, 2012: Phillips Wants to Increase Production at Santa Maria Refinery

KCOY reported on December 12, 2012 that Phillips 66 is asking San Luis Obispo County for permission to expand its refinery in Arroyo Grande to increase its oil production by 4,500 barrels a day. "There is no new construction of the refinery," says Phillips 66 Spokesperson Rich Johnson. "The existing equipment is capable of processing more crude oil." The San Luis Obispo County planning commission will consider the company's proposal in a hearing on December 13, 2012. Following that hearing, the company will still have to go before the Air Pollution Quality Control District in January. "We looked at public safety, noise, land use, public services, water resources and air quality and found that there were no significant and unavoidable impacts," says Arlin Genet of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Quality Control District.[304]

June 26, 2012: Santa Maria Refinery Wins a National Safety Award

The Santa Maria Times reported on June 26, 2012 that the Phillips 66 Santa Maria refinery won a national safety award from the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers and a delegation of five refinery employees traveled to San Antonio, Texas, to accept the 2011 Distinguished Safety Award presented May 17 at AFPM’s national safety conference. To qualify, a facility must have an exceptional safety record that includes no lost-time injuries for three prior years. The Santa Maria Refinery has about 150 employees and processes about 45,000 barrels per day of crude oil that is shipped via pipeline for further processing at the company’s refinery in Rodeo.[305]

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  56. San Fransisco Chronicle. "Refinery plan threatens Rodeo residents’ safety" by Janet Pygeorge and Laurel Impett. April 7, 2015.
  57. Marin News. "Residents pushing for more information on crude by rail" by Karina Ioffee. Marh 27, 2015.
  58. Santa Maria Sun. "Warning shots: A trio of recent lawsuits could signal a litigious future for Phillips 66 and its rail spur project" by Rhys Heyden. March 4, 2015.
  59. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" March 9, 2015
  60. The San Jose Mercury News. "Rodeo: Phillips 66 project faces additional lawsuits" by Tom Lochner. March 6, 2015.
  61. Fort Bragg Advocate-News "Rodeo refinery project subject of legal challenge" by Tom Lochner. March 4, 2015.
  62. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" February 18, 2015
  63. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" February 17, 2015
  64. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" February 5, 2015
  65. San Jose Mercury News. "Martinez: Supervisors approve Rodeo refinery's propane and butane recovery project" by Tom Lochner. February 2, 2015.
  66. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" January 26, 2015
  67. Contra Costa Times. "Rodeo refinery's propane and butane recovery project to be subject of much-delayed hearing in Martinez" by Tom Lochner. January 31, 2015.
  68. San Jose Mercury News. "Air board approves plan to cut pollution at oil refineries" by Dennis Cuff. December 17, 2014.
  69. San Jose Mercury News. "Berkeley, environmentalists cite concerns over two-city refinery project" by Tom Lochnar. December 9, 2014.
  70. Contra Costa Times. "Rodeo refinery project comment deadline is Friday" by Tom Lochner. December 3, 2014.
  71. Inside Bay Area. "Fire or no fire: Rodeo refinery says what resident saw was really just a light shining through steam" by Tom Lochner. December 2, 2014.
  72. Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide. "Platts Pre-Report Survey of Analysts’ EIA/API Estimates Suggests 1.2 Million-Barrel Build in U.S. Crude Oil Stocks" November 5, 2014.
  73. Contra Costa Times. "Air board wants to cut refinery emissions 20 percent" by Denis Cuff. October 14, 2014.
  74. Contra Costa Times. "Air board wants to cut refinery emissions 20 percent" by Denis Cuff. October 14, 2014.
  75. United Steelworkers. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" August 26, 2014
  76. United Steelworkers. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" August 5, 2014
  77. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" July 2, 2014
  78. East Bay Express. "Supes Order More Environmental Study for Phillips 66 Refinery Expansion" by Jean Tepperman. June 4, 2014.
  79. East Bay Express. "Supes Order More Environmental Study for Phillips 66 Refinery Expansion" by Jean Tepperman. June 4, 2014.
  80. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" June 4, 2014
  81. Martinez News-Gazette. "Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project delayed once again" by Rick Jones. June 3, 2014.
  82. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" May 14, 2014
  83. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily", April 22, 2014
  84. Contra Costa Times. "Hearing on Rodeo refinery project continued to May 13" by Tom Lochner. April 4, 2014.
  85. Contra Costa Times. "Phillips 66 oil refinery in Rodeo to pay $230,900 for air pollution violations" by Denis Cuff. March 10, 2014.
  86. San Fransisco Chronicle. "Phillips 66 fined for air-quality violations at Rodeo refinery" by Victoria Colliver. March 10, 2014.
  87. Contra Costa Times. "Compliance hearing Monday for Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery" by Tom Lochner. February 28, 2014.
  88. Contra Costa Times. "Rodeo: Phillips 66 agrees to pay $6,000 in state fines for water pollution violations" by Tom Lochner. January 29, 2014.
  89. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" October 30, 2013.
  90. Contra Costa Times. "Hercules: Phillips 66 to pitch Rodeo refinery modernization project to Hercules City Council" by Tom Lochner. October 7, 2013.
  91. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Oct. 2, 2013 through Oct. 10, 2013)
  92. KGO-TV. "Refinery expansion plans worry East Bay residents" by Laura Anthony. August 23, 2013.
  93. 4-traders. "Phillips 66 : Had Problem at Rodeo Refinery -Filing" June 10, 2013.
  94. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (April 12, 2013 through April 18, 2013)
  95. Bloomberg. "San Francisco Gasoline Surges as Phillips 66 Said to Cut Rates" April 12, 2013.
  96. Bloomberg. "California Gasoline Premium Gains as BP Flares, Plant Unit Shuts" April 11, 2013.
  97. Bloomberg. "Phillips 66 Signs Deals to Boost Oil Deliveries by Pipe, Rail" by Eliot Caroom. March 20, 2013.
  98. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Feb. 8, 2013 through Feb. 14, 2013)
  99. Reuters. "UPDATE 1-Phillips 66 moving some Canadian crude to Calif. refineries" by Kristen Hays. February 5, 2013.
  100. Fox Business. "Refinery Status: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Outage" February 6, 2013.
  101. Reuters. "Phillips 66 mulling options for California refineries" by Kristen Hays.
  102. Reuters. "Phillips 66 mulling options for California refineries" by Kristen Hays.
  103. Fox Business. "Refinery Status: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Outage" February 6, 2013.
  104. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Jan. 1, 2013 through Jan. 10, 2013)
  105. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Jan. 11, 2013 through Jan. 17, 2013)
  106. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  107. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  108. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  109. Nasdaq. "Refinery Status: Coker Unit In Maintenance At HollyFrontier El Dorado, Kansas Refinery" September 20, 2012.
  110. Bloomberg. "San Francisco Diesel Rises To Record On 7-Year Supply Low" by Lynn Doan. August 30, 2012.
  111. Reuters. "Phillips Rodeo Calif. refinery hydrocracker shut -filing" August 29, 2012.
  112. Businessweek. "California Gasoline Falls After Phillips 66 Said to Delay Work" by LynnDoan. August 10, 2012.
  113. Tulsa World. "Phillips 66 delaying work on refinery; sources allege cash-in on gas-price surge" by LynnDoan. October 6, 2012.
  114. Phillips 66. "Transcript for Phillips 66 second-quarter earnings call" August 1, 2012
  115. Wall Street Journal. "Refinery Status: Valve Leak Causes Flaring At Phillips 66 Rodeo, Calif., Refinery" July 25, 2012
  116. Businessweek. "Los Angeles Fuel Rises on Tesoro Refinery Work" July 19, 2012.
  117. San Fransisco Chronicle. "Meeting to Address Concerns About the Phillips 66 Refinery Release" June 27, 2012.
  118. Mercury News. "Cleanup at Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo continues" by Rick Hurd. June 16, 2012.
  119. The Oakland Tribune. "Cleanup at Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo continues" by Rick Hurd. Updated June 16, 2012.
  120. Benicia Patch. "Gas Release from Philips 66 Refinery in Rodeo Causing Concern in Benicia" by JB Davis. June 16, 2012.
  121. Reuters. "US WCoast Products - Gasoline strengthens on release" June 15, 2012.
  122. Reuters. "Phillips completes overhaul at Rodeo refinery -company" June 4, 2012.
  123. Reuters. "Phillips 66 reports flaring at Rodeo, Calif, refinery" June 1, 2012.
  124. East Bay Express. "Supes Order More Environmental Study for Phillips 66 Refinery Expansion" by Jean Tepperman. June 4, 2014.
  125. East Bay Express. "Supes Order More Environmental Study for Phillips 66 Refinery Expansion" by Jean Tepperman. June 4, 2014.
  126. Martinez News-Gazette. "Phillips 66 Propane Recovery Project delayed once again" by Rick Jones. June 3, 2014.
  127. Contra Costa Times. "Hearing on Rodeo refinery project continued to May 13" by Tom Lochner. April 4, 2014.
  128. Contra Costa Times. "Phillips 66 oil refinery in Rodeo to pay $230,900 for air pollution violations" by Denis Cuff. March 10, 2014.
  129. San Fransisco Chronicle. "Phillips 66 fined for air-quality violations at Rodeo refinery" by Victoria Colliver. March 10, 2014.
  130. Contra Costa Times. "Compliance hearing Monday for Phillips 66 Rodeo refinery" by Tom Lochner. February 28, 2014.
  131. Contra Costa Times. "Rodeo: Phillips 66 agrees to pay $6,000 in state fines for water pollution violations" by Tom Lochner. January 29, 2014.
  132. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's CEO Discusses Q3 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" October 30, 2013.
  133. Contra Costa Times. "Hercules: Phillips 66 to pitch Rodeo refinery modernization project to Hercules City Council" by Tom Lochner. October 7, 2013.
  134. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Oct. 2, 2013 through Oct. 10, 2013)
  135. KGO-TV. "Refinery expansion plans worry East Bay residents" by Laura Anthony. August 23, 2013.
  136. 4-traders. "Phillips 66 : Had Problem at Rodeo Refinery -Filing" June 10, 2013.
  137. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (April 12, 2013 through April 18, 2013)
  138. Bloomberg. "San Francisco Gasoline Surges as Phillips 66 Said to Cut Rates" April 12, 2013.
  139. Bloomberg. "California Gasoline Premium Gains as BP Flares, Plant Unit Shuts" April 11, 2013.
  140. Bloomberg. "Phillips 66 Signs Deals to Boost Oil Deliveries by Pipe, Rail" by Eliot Caroom. March 20, 2013.
  141. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Feb. 8, 2013 through Feb. 14, 2013)
  142. Reuters. "UPDATE 1-Phillips 66 moving some Canadian crude to Calif. refineries" by Kristen Hays. February 5, 2013.
  143. Fox Business. "Refinery Status: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Outage" February 6, 2013.
  144. Reuters. "Phillips 66 mulling options for California refineries" by Kristen Hays.
  145. Reuters. "Phillips 66 mulling options for California refineries" by Kristen Hays.
  146. Fox Business. "Refinery Status: Phillips 66 Reports Unit Outage" February 6, 2013.
  147. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Jan. 1, 2013 through Jan. 10, 2013)
  148. United Steelworkers. Refinery Events - (Jan. 11, 2013 through Jan. 17, 2013)
  149. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  150. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  151. Philips 66. "Phillips Third Quarter Earnings Conference" October 31, 2012
  152. Nasdaq. "Refinery Status: Coker Unit In Maintenance At HollyFrontier El Dorado, Kansas Refinery" September 20, 2012.
  153. Bloomberg. "San Francisco Diesel Rises To Record On 7-Year Supply Low" by Lynn Doan. August 30, 2012.
  154. Reuters. "Phillips Rodeo Calif. refinery hydrocracker shut -filing" August 29, 2012.
  155. Businessweek. "California Gasoline Falls After Phillips 66 Said to Delay Work" by LynnDoan. August 10, 2012.
  156. Tulsa World. "Phillips 66 delaying work on refinery; sources allege cash-in on gas-price surge" by LynnDoan. October 6, 2012.
  157. Phillips 66. "Transcript for Phillips 66 second-quarter earnings call" August 1, 2012
  158. Wall Street Journal. "Refinery Status: Valve Leak Causes Flaring At Phillips 66 Rodeo, Calif., Refinery" July 25, 2012
  159. Businessweek. "Los Angeles Fuel Rises on Tesoro Refinery Work" July 19, 2012.
  160. San Fransisco Chronicle. "Meeting to Address Concerns About the Phillips 66 Refinery Release" June 27, 2012.
  161. Mercury News. "Cleanup at Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo continues" by Rick Hurd. June 16, 2012.
  162. The Oakland Tribune. "Cleanup at Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo continues" by Rick Hurd. Updated June 16, 2012.
  163. Benicia Patch. "Gas Release from Philips 66 Refinery in Rodeo Causing Concern in Benicia" by JB Davis. June 16, 2012.
  164. Reuters. "US WCoast Products - Gasoline strengthens on release" June 15, 2012.
  165. Reuters. "Phillips completes overhaul at Rodeo refinery -company" June 4, 2012.
  166. Reuters. "Phillips 66 reports flaring at Rodeo, Calif, refinery" June 1, 2012.
  167. ConocoPhillips. "US Refining as of March 31, 2011"
  168. Santa Maria Times. "Hancock College receives $25,000 donation from Phillips 66" August 15, 2017.
  169. Santa Maria Sun. "Dunes Center receives funding for educational and archeological programs" July 5, 2017.
  170. The Tribune. "Tanker crash heightens safety concerns over oil trucks traveling to Phillips 66" by Monica Vaughan. July 1, 2017.
  171. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Judge gives Phillips 66 go-ahead to sue SLO County supervisors over oil-by-rail plan" by Monica Vaughan. May 26, 2017.
  172. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Phillips 66 won’t appeal oil-by-rail decision, but the fight’s not over yet" by Monica Vaughn. April 17, 2017.
  173. Grist. "Small California towns are facing off against oil companies — and winning" by Dean Kuipers. April 5, 2017.
  174. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Deadline looms for Phillips 66 to appeal oil-by-rail denial" by Monica Vaughan. April 3, 2017.
  175. LA Times. "Constructing a successful oil train resistance movement, in three parts" by Robin Abcarian. March 24, 2017.
  176. Santa Maria Times. "SLO board chambers packed for Phillips 66 rail spur appeal hearing" by April Charlton. March 13, 2017.
  177. The Tribune. "Protesters from across California rally against Phillips 66 in downtown SLO" by Gabby Ferreira. March 13, 2017.
  178. Cal Coast News. "SLO judge rules against Phillips 66 motion to stop rail spur hearings" March 10, 2017.
  179. The Mercury News. "San Jose: Residents rally to derail plan that would send oil tankers through city" by Julia Baum. February 17, 2017.
  180. Edhat Santa Barbara. "Environmental Groups Join Phillips 66 Lawsuit" January 12, 2017.
  181. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Phillips 66 appeals oil-by-rail plan to SLO County supervisors" by Cynthia Lambert. October 20, 2016.
  182. KCBX. "SLO County Planning Commission votes to deny Phillips 66 rail spur project" October 5, 2016.
  183. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project may be in jeopardy" July 22, 2016.
  184. Los Angeles Times. "A catastrophic oil train derailment in Oregon raises fears on Central Coast" by Robin Abcarian. July 14, 2016.
  185. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "SLO County residents rally against Phillips 66 oil-by-rail proposal" by Lindsey Holdne. July 9, 2016.
  186. The Santa Maria Times. "Oil train opponents staging rally Saturday in San Luis Obispo" by April Charlton. July 8, 2016.
  187. Reuters. "RPT-Blackout risk raises concerns for Southern California refiners" June 22, 2016.
  188. New Times. "Phillips 66 rail spur moves forward, opponents vow to stay in fight" by Chris McGuinness. May 18, 2016.
  189. KSBY. "SLO County Planning Commission agrees to move forward with Phillips 66 crude by rail project" by Amanda Starrantino. May 16, 2016.
  190. Cal Coast News. "Rob Rossi files suit against ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66" May 3, 2016.
  191. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's (PSX) CEO Greg Garland on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" April 29, 2016.
  192. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's (PSX) CEO Greg Garland on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" April 29, 2016.
  193. KSBY. "Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan concludes public comment" by Angel Russell. March 11, 2016.
  194. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Comments on Phillips 66 oil-by-rail plan evenly split so far at hearing" by Cynthia Lambert. February 25, 2016.
  195. KSBY. "Debate over Phillips 66 crude-by-rail proposal continues" by Amanda Starrantino. February 25, 2016.
  196. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Hundreds condemn Phillips 66 oil-by-rail proposal in first day of two-day hearing" February 4, 2015.
  197. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" January 28, 2016
  198. KSBY. "County planning staff recommends denial of Phillips 66 project" January 25, 2016.
  199. San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building. "Development Plan/Coastal Development Permit #DRC2012-00095 / Phillips 66 Company" January 25, 2016.
  200. Los Angeles Times. "To protect their homes, Nipomo retirees are taking on an oil refinery" by Robin Abcarian. October 23, 2015.
  201. Santa Maria Sun. "It's about more than oil" by Laurence Shinderman. October 21, 2015.
  202. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Fear campaign against Phillips 66 oil rail extension" by Al Fonzi. October 9, 2015.
  203. Daily Democrat News. "Milpitas council opposes plan to run crude oil trains through city" by Ian Bauer. October 6, 2015.
  204. New Times. "Phillips 66 is a good neighbor, and progress is inevitable" by Marcus Beal. September 30, 2015.
  205. KSBY. "Phillips 66 working to clean up oil leak in Nipomo" by Kathrene Herndon. September 30, 2015.
  206. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Local officials should have the courage to comment on Phillips 66 rail project" by Tom Fulks. September 27, 2015.
  207. Lompoc Record. "Teachers get educated on energy" by Jamie Guista. September 24, 2015.
  208. New Times. "Grover Beach to send letters of concern over oil trains" by Chris McGuiness. September 23, 2015.
  209. Santa Maria Sun. "Phillips 66 and the Pope" by Caroline Hall. September 22, 2015.
  210. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Pismo Beach mayor will send letter opposing Phillips 66 rail line" by Kayylyn Leslie. September 15, 2015.
  211. KCNX. "SLO Co. League of Women Voters on opposition to Phillips 66 rail proposal" September 8, 2015.
  212. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Routing oil trains through densely populated California towns is a bad idea" September 6, 2015.
  213. Lompoc Record. "Living with oil and logic" September 5, 2015.
  214. Lompoc Record. "Orcutt Lions Club hears Nipomo Mesa oil refinery talk" September 5, 2015.
  215. New Times. "Watch group urges Pismo council to say no to oil trains" by Chris McGuiness. September 2, 2015.
  216. Mercury News. "Milpitas Post editorial: Get on board with vigorous protest against plan to run crude oil trains through South Bay" September 2, 2015.
  217. Mercury News. "Santa Clara County supervisors declare opposition to oil trains in Bay Area" August 28, 2015.
  218. Lompco Record. "County to consider stance on refinery rail extension" by Ryah Cooley. August 28, 2015.
  219. CBS San Fransisco. "Santa Clara Co. Supervisors Voice Opposition To Proposed Crude Oil Trains" August 25, 2015.
  220. Cal Coast News. "Rail spur impacts outweigh any benefits" by Laurance Shinderman and Tom Ryan. August 11, 2015.
  221. Santa Maria Sun. "Civil rights in the 'blast zone'" by Cahrles Varni. August 5, 2015.
  222. Santa Barbara Independent. "Santa Barbara Says No to Oil Train" by Nick Welsh. July 29, 2015
  223. New Times. "Old Oak Park Road residents raise concerns over oil pipeline project" by Chris McGuiness. July 15, 2015.
  224. New Times. "Old Oak Park Road residents raise concerns over oil pipeline project" by Chris McGuiness. July 15, 2015.
  225. San Luis Obispo Tribune "Phillips 66 oil-by-rail proposal prompts a statewide outcry" by Cynthia Lambert. July 11, 2015.
  226. KSBY. "Hundreds rally in opposition to crude by rail project" by Amanda Starrantino. July 11, 2015.
  227. "Local groups to protest in Ventura against rail spur extension for oil trains" July 10, 2015.
  228. San Jose Mercury News. "San Jose: Rally planned to prevent oil trains from crossing city" by Leeta-Rose Ballester. July 7, 2015.
  229. IndyBay. "California Nurses, Teachers Oppose Phillips 66 Oil Train Project" June 19, 2015.
  230. KEYT. "Goleta City Council Votes To Send Letter About Oil Rail Concerns" by Tracy Lehr. June 10, 2015.
  231. The San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Lucia Mar teachers union to urge denial of Phillips 66 rail project" by Cynthia Lambert. June 9, 2015
  232. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" June 5, 2015
  233. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" June 4, 2015
  234. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Residents protest Cuesta College letters supporting Phillips 66 project" June 3, 2015.
  235. KEYT. "Phillips 66 Cleans Up Oil Spill Near Santa Maria" June 3, 2015.
  236. Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" June 8, 2015
  237. Indybay. "Nurses Join Teachers, Parents and Students to Voice Opposition to Phillips 66 Oil Train" May 14, 2015.
  238. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's (PSX) CEO Greg Garland on Q1 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" April 30, 2015.
  239. KSBY. "Lucia Mar Unified School District gets $20,000 to expand robotics program" April 24, 2015.
  240. San Jose Mercury News. "San Jose: Residents rail against Santa Maria oil train proposal" by Leeta-Rose Ballester. April 22, 2015.
  241. The San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Arroyo Grande residents oppose Phillips 66 rail project at meeting" by Kaytlyn Leslie. April 14, 2015.
  242. Santa Maria Sun. "Train of thought: Citizens worry oil tankers traveling through Guadalupe to the Phillips 66 refinery could explode" by David Minsky. April 1, 2015.
  243. KCBX. "Santa Maria Refinery's controversial oil train project is topic of public forum" March 31, 2015.
  244. Santa Maria Sun. "Warning shots: A trio of recent lawsuits could signal a litigious future for Phillips 66 and its rail spur project" by Rhys Heyden. March 4, 2015.
  245. Cal Coast News. "Just say no to crude by rail" February 21, 2015.
  246. Paso Robles Daily News. "San Luis Obispo City Council opposes Phillips 66 oil train project" February 18, 2015.
  247. New Times. "Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery workers show solidarity with union strikers" by Rhys Heyden. Feburary 4, 2015.
  248. Martinez News-Gazette. "Teagan Clive: ‘Phillips 66’s New Tax Base’" January 22, 2015.
  249. NBC Bay Area News. "San Jose City Council Votes to Oppose Plans For Crude Oil Transport" by Robert Handa. January 15, 2015.
  250. Contra Costa Times. "Guest commentary: Say no to toxic oil trains for the future of our children" by Carolyn Norr. January 12, 2015.
  251. New Times. "A crude proposal: The pros and cons of a controversial Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project" by Rhys Heyden. December 31, 2014.
  252. New Times. "Good Fences" by The Shredder. December 31, 2014.
  253. Santa Maria Sun. "Judge rules that Phillips 66 news media policy violates the law" by David Minsky. December 25, 2014.
  254. Paso Roble Daily News. "SLO Railroad Museum receives $30,000 donation" December 23, 2014.
  255. San Jose Mercury News. "Air board approves plan to cut pollution at oil refineries" by Dennis Cuff. December 17, 2014.
  256. Moonpark Acorn. "Councilman questions report on train safety" by Art Van Kraft. December 12, 2014.
  257. Contra Costa Times. "Berkeley rent board to discuss effects of oil by rail through East Bay cities" by Tom Lochner. December 12, 2014.
  258. San Jose Mercury News. "Berkeley, environmentalists cite concerns over two-city refinery project" by Tom Lochnar. December 9, 2014.
  259. New Times. "Nearly 11,000 letters received regarding Nipomo rail spur project" by Rhys Heyden. December 3, 2014.
  260. Santa Cruz Sentinel News. "San Jose council member urges rejection of Central California refinery's crude-by-rail project" by Tom Lochner. November 26, 2014.
  261. San Jose Mercury News "Oil trains in San Jose: Phillips 66 refinery expansion could imperil downtown" by Richard Nevle and Deborah Levoy. November 18, 2014.
  262. Sacramento Bee. "Sacramento leaders call for more crude-oil train safety" by Tony Bizjak. November 14, 2014.
  263. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Meeting on Phillips 66 project in Nipomo draws over 200 people" by Cynthia Lambert. November 12, 2014.
  264. United Steelworkers. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" November 3, 2014
  265. Cal Coast News. "Phillips 66 rail spur project is wrong for SLO County" by Laurance Shinderman. October 29, 2014.
  266. Cal Coast News. "Phillips 66 rail spur project is wrong for SLO County" by Laurance Shinderman. October 29, 2014.
  267. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "New study on Phillips 66 refinery's proposed rail line gauges risk of oil spills" by Cynthia Lambert. October 10, 2014.
  268. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "New study on Phillips 66 refinery's proposed rail line gauges risk of oil spills" by Cynthia Lambert. October 10, 2014.
  269. KSBY. "Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery proposes adding crude oil trains to operation" September 30, 2014.
  270. KSBY. "Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery proposes adding crude oil trains to operation" September 30, 2014.
  271. Reuters. "Phillips 66 says adding railcars to move crude to coastal refineries" September 3, 2014.
  272. Reuters. "Phillips 66 says adding railcars to move crude to coastal refineries" September 3, 2014.
  273. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" July 16, 2014
  274. the Tribune. "Flaring at Phillips 66 oil refinery" July 16, 2014.
  275. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" July 18, 2014
  276. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" June 2, 2014
  277. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" May 21, 2014
  278. US Department of Energy. "Energy Assurance Daily" May 2, 2014
  279. KSBY. "Flare from Phillips 66 refinery seen throughout Five Cities" May 5, 2014.
  280. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Phillips 66 says no Bakken crude oil planned for Nipomo Mesa refinery" by Cynthia Lambert. April 25, 2014.
  281. San Luis Obispo Tribune. "Phillips 66 says no Bakken crude oil planned for Nipomo Mesa refinery" by Cynthia Lambert. April 25, 2014.
  282. New Times. "Organized opposition: Phillips 66 health and safety specialists allege they were punished for unionizing" by Colin Rigley. April 14, 2014.
  283. New Times. "Organized opposition: Phillips 66 health and safety specialists allege they were punished for unionizing" by Colin Rigley. April 14, 2014.
  284. New Times. "Organized opposition: Phillips 66 health and safety specialists allege they were punished for unionizing" by Colin Rigley. April 14, 2014.
  285. New Times. "Organized opposition: Phillips 66 health and safety specialists allege they were punished for unionizing" by Colin Rigley. April 14, 2014.
  286. The Tribune. "County supervisor candidates spar over Phillips 66 plan to move oil by rail" by David Sneed. April 16, 2014.
  287. Contra Costa Times. "Phillips 66 refinery's rail extension project reopened for public comment" by Tom Lochner. March 28, 2014.
  288. Cal Coast News. "Phillips 66 rail project – explosive risks far outweigh the benefits" by Linda Reynolds. March 24, 2014.
  289. Santa Maria Times. "Phillips 66 rail spur meeting draws critics" by Mike Hodgson. March 14, 2014.
  290. Santa Maria Times. "Phillips 66 rail spur meeting draws critics" by Mike Hodgson. March 14, 2014.
  291. Times Press recorder. "SCAC to hear presentation on Phillips 66 rail spur" February 20, 2014.
  292. Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit. "Transcript of Phillips 66 Presentation" by Greg Garland. February 12, 2014
  293. Times Press Recorder. "Traffic Committee to discuss Phillips 66 rail project" February 7, 2014.
  294. Santa Maria Sun. "Phillips 66 rail spur critics speak out at workshop" by Rhys Heyden. December 23, 2013.
  295. Santa Maria Sun. "Phillips 66 rail spur critics speak out at workshop" by Rhys Heyden. December 23, 2013.
  296. LA Times. "Phillips 66 plans to build San Luis Obispo County rail terminal" by Ralph Vartabedian. November 26, 2013.
  297. KCOY. "Phillips 66 Refinery Seeking Expanded Rail Shipments of Crude" by Keith Carls. October 11, 2013.
  298. Nasdaq. "Phillips 66 Reported Seal Failure Has Been Repaired at Santa Maria Refinery" July 5, 2013.
  299. Wall Street Journal. "Phillips 66 Restarting Arroyo Grande Facility After Outage" June 24, 2013.
  300. New Times. "Re(de)fining safety" by Matt Fountain. December 13, 2012.
  301. New Times. "Re(de)fining safety" by Matt Fountain. December 13, 2012.
  302. New Times. "Re(de)fining safety" by Matt Fountain. December 13, 2012.
  303. New Times. "Re(de)fining safety" by Matt Fountain. December 13, 2012.
  304. KCOY. "Phillips 66 Ask For More Oil Pumping On The Central Coast" by Libertad Zabala. December 12, 2012.
  305. Santa Maria Times. "Phillips 66 refinery wins safety award" June 26, 2012.



Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The North Tower and the South Tower, part of Phillips 66's Refinery Complex in Ponca City, contain over 250,000 square feet of Class A office space that is essentially unused. Research West contains another 230,000 square feet of unused Class A office space. Photo: Hugh Pickens
Ponca: A Core Asset. Phillips CEO Greg Garland told members of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 27, 2013 that the refinery at Ponca is a 'core asset' of Phillips 66. The refinery in Ponca City "is making very good money for us," Garland told his Bartlesville audience. Garland added that he expects gas demands in the U.S. to decline by 20 percent in the next 10 years, but that demand for refined products in South America and Africa will more than offset that decline.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

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Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


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