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Reporter Robert Rogers has been covering Richmond for years, first for the blog Richmond Confidential and now for the Contra Costa Times. That means he understands a lot of the back story behind the hearings taking place right now. KALW's Ben Trefny got in touch with Rogers at his office and asked him about the role the refinery plays in Richmond.

Ronnie Cohen

More than 400 people have filled Richmond’s Civic Auditorium. You can spot the Chevron workers. They’re wearing blue and white shirts saying “Richmond Proud” and waving signs that read “Modernize Now” – signs supplied by Chevron.

For nearly a decade, Chevron and its neighbors in Richmond have been fighting over a proposal to retool the oil company’s refinery. Most everyone agrees the plant needs to be modernized. But they differ about how.

City Visions: New Visions for Climate Justice

Jul 22, 2014

What does it mean to confront the growing Bay Area’s energy needs in a time of climate crisis? Can we have power without pollution? Host David Onek and guests discuss visionary community-based solutions and organizing in Richmond and beyond.

Guests:

  • Gopal Dayaneni: Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project
  • Vivian Huang: Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  • Andrés Soto: Communities for a Better Environment

Producer: Zara Zimbardo

Mary Rees

All week long we've been playing this sound, and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

Photo by John Orvis, a Bay Area based photojournalist and event photographer / photo by John Orvis | www.johnorvis.com

August 6 marks the one year anniversary of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond. The fire, caused by a leak in a 40-year old pipe, sent a plume of smoke across nearby neighborhoods, leading thousands of residents to eventually seek medical care.

One year ago, an explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond sent a plume of black smoke into the air and more than 15,000 people to local hospitals. Now, as the city still tries to assess the total damages from the incident, new concerns have erupted that the refinery and others in the Bay Area may start processing significant amounts of tar sands oil.

Under CC license from Flickr user Yang and Yun

Human employees take a financial toll

Toll-takers on the Golden Gate Bridge are on their way out – human toll-takers, that is. Today marks the first day of a testing period for a new all-electronic toll collection system. In sixty days – if all goes according to plan – motorists crossing into San Francisco will have to use an automated payment system, or they will receive a bill by mail after the bridge authority takes a photo of their license plate.

Spokesperson Mary Currie says the change is mostly about the budget.

Last month’s explosion at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond had the East Bay in shock.

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Chevron is the problem

Aug 20, 2012
Credit D.H. Parks, under CC License / http://www.flickr.com/photos/parksdh/7730542302/

Chevron Corporation reaped $26.9 billion in profits last year. That's right: $26.9 billion. Yet for reasons still to be explained, the San Ramon-based company declined to spend any of that cash on replacing a small, aging section of pipe at its Richmond refinery during an inspection last fall. Last week, that eight-inch pipe began to leak oil profusely before igniting a fireball that could be seen throughout the Bay Area and unleashing a giant plume of smoke that sickened hundreds of nearby residents.

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