As you probably know, SBCAN has been working with a broad coalition to urge the County to deny ExxonMobil's proposal to restart offshore platforms and truck crude oil to Santa Maria and Kern County. Hearings are currently scheduled for September 2 and 9 at the Planning Commission. This could change now.
We are represented by the Environmental Defense Center in this matter and the following is based largely on their email.
Yesterday the County planning staff released a report recommending that the project be revised to only allow trucks to the Santa Maria Pump Station (where the oil would be deposited in a pipeline to the Phillips Santa Maria Refinery and then on for further refining in the Bay Area), and not along Route 166 to Kern County. ExxonMobil agreed to this revision.
The County staff report is available here: https://cosantabarbara.app.box.com/s/akcocs6cfursdnjif92c553uvaeerm75/folder/120538166115.
Then, today we learned that Phillips has decided to convert its Bay Area refinery to renewable fuels starting in 2023. Accordingly, Phillips is going to shut down several of its oil facilities, including the Santa Maria Pump Station and the Santa Maria Refinery (where the oil trains we all fought against were going to go) by the end of 2022.
This means that ExxonMobil would likely have a year or less to operate. The County planning staff are waiting to hear from ExxonMobil. We will keep you posted to let you know whether the Sept 2 Planning Commission will be postponed or cancelled.
Click here for the press release issued this afternoon by our coalition.
Be well. Stay safe.