Final Showdown on Chevron’s Richmond Plans Tonight

Will Chevron get to build a new power plant and expand its Richmond refinery? Will the city of Richmond limit the quality of crude oil Chevron can process there? That’s what we’ll find out tonight, when the City Council finally votes to determine the fate of this long and bitter battle. For months, environmentalists and refinery neighbors have demanded that Chevron cap what kinds of low-grade oil it can process, for fear of new toxins spewing into their lives, and hundreds of them packed the City Council chambers last night to plead their case. Chevron and labor unions, who see the opportunity for new jobs coming their way, crammed in the chambers as well and made their bid. According to the Chron, Chevron claimed the new refinery won’t significantly increase emissions, and further promised $61 million in community heath and education programs to make this fight go away. Community groups claimed the cash wasn’t enough, and added that the oil giant already has to provide some of these programs. At the end of the night, all the sturm und drang left councilmembers exhausted. They’ll reconvene tonight, when they’re scheduled to finally resolve this contentious issue. Ah, the joys of elected office!

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