Transcript: Refineries – A Key to Climate Justice and the Managed Decline of Oil in California (CA Climate Policy Summit 2023)

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Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (00:00):

Okay, folks. Test, test, uh, test, test it.

Audience (00:19):


Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (00:20):

That? I’m sorry. I was just trying,

Speaker 2 (00:23):

Are we start

Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (00:29):

Test, test, test, test, test, test.

Audience (00:40):


Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (00:41):

Plug. Got a plug. Yeah. Now we just need the mics to work. Testing, testing, testing. I’d like to, oh, no. Really? Testing. Yeah, she came. Okay. Shut up. Now our mics aren’t working. Good job. Again.

Audience (01:09):

Shout out at some

Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (01:09):

Point. Sure, sure. Pretty quick flip. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. No, you, you handled it really well. Thank you. Testing.

Audience (01:19):

You aren’t doing good job

Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (01:21):

To hear you shouting. You’re fine, you’re fine. Test, test, test. Nope. Nope.


You what? Heard from me a while ago? I’d like to ask, uh, the presenters, uh, for the refinery, uh, breakout to join us. Okay. There you are. Yeah, it’s right here. Yeah, it’s right there. You can stay there or you can, yeah. Mike’s work there. And clicker. So, thank you all. Let’s focus our attention on our refinery issues session. And I just want to thank our AV team here, our sound man for doing a stellar job of keeping things humming along. So let’s hear it for him. Thank you. And thank you all for sticking with us. Uh, we have got our moderator, Claire Brown. Thank you so much, Claire, for agreeing to moderate the panel into our panelists, uh, Greg Harris Fazi, and, um, we will get to know them a little bit better as we proceed, but we want get rolling because we, the time is so tight for these things, and this mic seems to pop a lot, so I’ll stand back a bit. Um, okay. Claire, Mike is yours. Thank you.

Dr. Clair Brown (02:43):

Okay. Thank you, Woody. It’s great to have you here because actually refining petroleum in California causes enormous problems. And even though supposedly we were gonna get rid and phase out refineries in California by 2045 or 2050, guess what? It’s not happening. Carb found all kinds of ways along with big oil to keep refineries operating. And so we have a panel of great experts today here to talk to you about it and what we need to do to ensure that we actually phase out refinery activities. I’m clear, Brian. I’m a professor of economics at uc, Berkeley, but don’t leave. I’m, I’m an okay economist now, really. I promise you. I thank Jersey and I worked many years with community activists, especially cbe, um, to force bated to reduce the emissions in our local community. I mean, it took us like over eight years of constant fighting just to get wet scrubbers at Chevron, which every other refinery run a country uses.


Chevron won’t do anything if they think it takes a dollar off their bottom line. It, it’s, and they aren’t the only company like that that sort of defines big oil in California and globally. So we really want to, um, talk about why is big oil so powerful here, and why do they, to be honest, as an economist, I can tell you that big oil is setting the energy policy in California. And CARB should be setting in the state legislature should be setting the big oil energy policy, but that’s not what really is happening. So you might ask, oh, um, the e the EJ groups at CARB went to CARB and said, oh, we’re gonna do you promise we’re gonna phase out refineries? And they said, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. <laugh>. They checked into a little further and they came back and said, well, how do you define that?


Oh, well, we defined that with using ccs and blue hydrogen and biofuels, especially like renewable diesel. And that way we’re phasing out petrochemicals. It’s like, what? Sorry, that’s not at all what we thought the plan was. Guess what? That doesn’t friction, but they, and so think you’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions, although our panel will tell you otherwise, you certainly aren’t creating clean air for local communities so that their health problems will continue on and on and on. And so that’s why we want to talk today with you about how can we stay focused on phasing out oil refinery operations, cleaning the air for the people who live close by now, not to mention stopping emitting greenhouse gases for the whole world. So today we have a great panel and we are going, and we really wanna, we’re hard to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion, but we’re gonna start with, um, Alicia Rivera, who is the Wilmington organizer for Communities for Better Environment called CB.


What those people, okay, now just a second. Alicia, you, you, you can come up, but I’m not quite through introducing. But she’s got a very impressive background in that for over 20 years, she’s been organizing and low income and poor communities educating and empowering the people most exposed to toxic air pollution, to demand changes from the power structure. She is an astonishing organizer for the people to teach them how to have voice and power. And she started working for Environmental Justice in 1996 when the former Te Texaco refinery in Wilmington, California, where she works now, and now that refinery is on by marathon. So that really give us, she’s a since 2010 where she’s organized a residence and she has ongoing efforts focused on phasing out refineries and fossil fuels. But boy does she know how to organize. So let’s welcome Alicia.

Alicia Rivera (06:12):

Thank you. Um, after hearing na yet, am I using my organizer voice? I definitely use my organizer voice nonstop. <laugh>. Um, even my kids say that. So, um, I, uh, just told that I, I have some graphics to show you what it’s like to live on the other side of the, uh, uh, the wall of every refinery. Just like here, you would be on the other side of this wall. So, um, my name is Alicia Rivera. I have been with CBE for many years, and CBE itself has been around for over 40 years, organizing, uh, providing, um, analysis, technical analysis, um, and, uh, I want to, uh, these are real photos, uh, of what people on the other side or living very close to the refineries, uh, feel like. So, um, I guess I was waiting for somebody to go to the next one, but that’s me,

Audience (07:05):


Alicia Rivera (07:06):

And, uh, am I doing right here?




Oh, here. Okay. And I’m gonna stand up cause I can’t see. So, uh, Cindy, uh, is lucky to have offices in Wilmington in South. Which one? Okay. From here? Yeah. Okay, great. So I think

Dr. Clair Brown (07:23):

We’re recording though. Record. Oh, okay. It’s better if you

Alicia Rivera (07:27):

Can just look right here. And, um, we do leadership training. Uh, we do organizing, as I said, we work with attorneys and provide scientific support and analysis on, uh, whatever cases we take on. And ultimately, we’re working to phase out fossil fuels, uh, in toxic commissions. You know, this is through a just transition for workers and equitably. Um, and today we are gonna focus mostly in Wilmington, where I organize, uh, by the poor area of Los Angeles. And Lu Beach is at the southern tip of Los Angeles. It’s a very small, uh, area, only about 22 square feet. However, it has the largest concentration of refineries on the west coast, uh, mostly Latinos, about 95%. Those, there is extreme levels of oil drilling, uh, plus all the diesel track pollution and emission from the two ports. People live just across the street from the two port. So imagine if anyone here, uh, has ever sent kids to school. Uh, how did you feel about your kids? You know, experiencing black smoke being a long block away from the refinery. So this is what children, this is a re affordable. When I have shown this picture in Wilmington, parents have said, that’s my child right there.


So look, that’s the refinery Phillips that I just showed you right next to on the other side of the fence that you cannot even see because it’s so much lower than the homes. So, uh, on a good day, people wonder, you know, where is the pollution? Uh, but the emissions are invisible only. And of course, in the case of the refineries, you feel the smells of gas that are ex, you know, give you, uh, you know, just headaches and, um, you know, feeling like, uh, you’re gonna pass out. However, what we don’t see, and that is nonstop, is inside the refineries, right? On the barners and heaters. The boilers say, uh, storage tanks. That’s incessantly pollution. But sometimes we get to see the pollution, and almost every we in Wilmington, we get to see the pollution. These are real pictures, black smoke, fire refineries in, in, in the area surrounding Wilmington.


So this, it can be, it could be any one of the fiber refineries and even rupture of abandoned underground pipes that were never cleaned up. This one right here in 2014, uh, just rupture. And these are normal picture for people in Wilmington. The children say, when I go to Palo Peres, which is only half a mile away, I don’t get to see any of this. So they think it’s normal. Uh, this is the same refinery for different instances, and that’s the former Texaco. Now Mar, former Ca Soto, now marathon. Now they, same one that used to be, uh, Texaco, uh, different instances, you know, and here, uh, the coca fire, any of the units could, uh, something could happen malfunction. And so they, when they power arch, they need to flare up. Uh, this one here also for tank explosion that neither the refinery or the air district were able to want to, to tell us how did, did, did exploded.


Here’s a larger one that came out in the news at the same refinery in 2020 that they had to shut down the four or five freeways and flaring for days and weeks. Now we move to extraction happening right over the top of the, uh, roofs of homes. You would think that it’s happening in the person’s house, uh, because wilington, it’s, uh, one of the largest, uh, I wonder how I go back. One of the largest urban oil fields in the state. So you are gonna find this is by the boys and girls this high, high coolers practicing, you know, uh, and, and surrounded by oil drain operations. What one of the things that come out of that is hydrogen solve essential one and common one. So we know what the problem is. Uh, climate disaster, you know, smoke and toxic, all from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels is destroying our planet.


Not yet our neighborhood, but it is the neighborhood of the most low income people like Wilmington. And we na and South, uh, Los Angeles suffer disproportionately. So, um, we know what the solutions are. We’ve been talking about it here. You know, we are trying to do regulations to reduce emissions, but ultimately we need to face out fossil of fuels. So we have won throughout the years, uh, you know, we’ve been able to cut, uh, down pollution through passing regulations and policies, uh, you know, to, uh, put base available control technologies. You know, uh, for example, uh, I am a member of the steering committee of the so called AB 617 committee. We have been able to get 50% cuts of mission of na sacs and POCs from refineries. How is that gonna be done? Where through regulations from, uh, boilers and heaters, you know, putting, uh, a best available control in technology that could cut up to 95% of emissions, and could they, that technology has been available for years, but the refinery refused to invest when now we, uh, that we’re able to pass the regulation that forced them to do that.


And of course, for operations so that they reduce even cut the use of flaring. That means what is causing you to, uh, put up the flare? What is breaking constantly that you need to really address, right? And even, uh, you know, uh, all kinds of, uh, uh, gut yet from, from the cables, uh, that we, we, we have been, uh, you know, just watch dogging. So what have we done beyond controlling emissions? We need a face out of fossil fuels. And we won, uh, last year. We want three big ones that go towards facing out fossil fuels. The first one that’s through the scoping plant. They have nothing to cut down greenhouse gas except carbon capture. We said no. And we push, and our, that scoping plant has, uh, uh, uh, I, uh, facing them, they said, oil refineries, this is unprecedented. And, uh, you know, we all know that by 2035, California will not need any more, uh, combustion engine vehicles, right?


So, um, why is, are the refineries a continuing to push for more, uh, extraction and more oil drilling? It is all for exporting it. We are not gonna use it so much here, but they need, they’re gonna be exporting it. So this phase out needs to be gradual to help the workers and retraining us. Next, another phase out, uh, wind that we have is the South Coast Air Quality Management District has never admitted that they need to look into, uh, zero emission energy for all sources in order for them to come to compliance with the, for, uh, you know, to come to the standards. And so, um, I am trying to hurry up and I’m getting excited too. So the last one, uh, another phase out thing that we had is what Nael mentioned in others, that, uh, we were able to pass an ordinance, uh, at the city of Los Angeles that prohibits new oil drilling and a phase out the existing one within 20 years. [inaudible].


You know, we are gonna have to fight those two. And so that was done with, in conjunction with the people in the community living right next to this oil drilling, uh, uh, operations and, and saying that it’s like hell that face, uh, the face case, the middle, you know, and sometimes it’s so hot. These members said that it was so hot, she thought that, that there was a fire outside of her apartment. And when she came out, it was, uh, all, uh, health effects. So, um, this is our office in Wilmington know, for years we’ve been trying to work with the community, you know, to have, to address issues of disparities in environmental accumulative, uh, you know, concentrations, right? But, uh, you know, we never gonna be able to clean with finals. They are inherently polluting. They will never even, no matter what regulations we pass them, we need to fix him out. That’s the solution. And so,


I’m not gonna repeat what has been said already, that in 2025, you know, we, we, we need to, we are not gonna be able to achieve goals to go to the 90, 90 level, you know, that California has it for, unless we face out fossil fuel. And of course, we need a transition. We need to do that with the, that now have good jobs and good benefits that we finally said, uh, they, uh, person, uh, from the union say all the benefits they have. We need to provide anything, jobs as well, all those benefits. But they need to be trained. Okay? So this is my presentation, and, um,

Audience (15:50):

Great job.

Dr. Clair Brown (15:52):

You need to do what, okay, meanwhile, thank you. And now we’re gonna hear from Faraz


Here for the Asian Pacific, also known as A P E N, APEN. And so he basically has studied political science at UC, Riverside, and began organizing for elections in the Inland Empire. And he was conducting research for the Center for Working Class Politics. He previously served as a Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice for Oz works on environmental justice policies, particularly as it relates to the refinery sector. He is a writer and activist, and we really look forward to welcoming him to speak to us. Thank you. Thank you. You wanna speak here? Or

Audience (16:33):

Where? Great. Oh, why is that up there? Um, sabotaged technology needs something. Oh, there we go. There we go.

Faraz Rizvi (17:00):

All right.


Hey, everybody. Can y’all hear me? I’m not good at Mike, so if I, yeah, I have right here. Yeah. So if I like start to fade out or anything from the back, you can hear me, just let me know. Um, yeah. Thank you everybody for joining us today and for participating in our refinery, um, you know, grateful Refinery transition and bring some focus to the EJ communities most directly impacted. Um, and I think Alicia did such a fantastic, uh, job of doing exactly that. Um, for nearly 30 years, APEN has been working on the front lines of organizing refinery communities, particularly in the Bay Area, such as Richmond and, um, Oakland. And now increasingly in, uh, SoCal as well, uh, in, um, Wilmington and in Carson. In fact, our new office is right next door to CBEs office, which is so wonderful. We’ve been able to stop by and say hi.


Um, these communities that we work with are working class communities of color that are both subject toward need for oil and reliant on the same infrastructure for good paying jobs, tax revenue, and other social goods goods, which have come at the expense of tr lives and their health. So why do we need a managed decline? The governor’s ex executive order, the scoping plan and car rule making, such as the advanced clean fleet rule? Make it clear that the transition away from fossil fuels is not only imminent, but it’s actively happening right now. And this presents an incredible opportunity for environmental justice communities. Um, it, it provides us an incredible window for investing in environmental justice communities, which have been informed by legacies of structural racism. And it also presents a unique challenge to make sure that we don’t mess this up, really have one shot at this.


And we need to be clear. Without a coordinated phase out of fossil fuels, oil companies like Chevron will continue to generate revenue for their shareholders as long as they can until they can’t anymore. And when they don’t, they will declare bankruptcy and walk map. And so we planned phase out, we will have an unplanned phase out, and these communities of color that have been at the, have been subjected to fossil fuel infrastructure will be left to foot the bill. And to some, uh, to this, some might say, well, maybe let’s hold off on a fossil fuel transition. After all, there are these wonderful things called alternative fuels like biofuels, ethanol, hydrogen that have a lower carbon intensity in fossil fuels. And this isn’t exactly the right space to have a nuanced discussion on alternative fuels. But I think it has to be noted that the oil refineries are banking on leveraging a number of these fuels to deliver public funds as subsidies to keep refineries online at a time when we need to be making massive investments of building out a fossil fuel free future.


The fossil fuel industry is looking at these as a tactic to delay a transition and recoup their, uh, investments to generate as much profit before they leave. They leave these assets, uh, stranded and leave them for communities clean up. And we have to be clear yet again, this landscape should not take precedence over the immediate necessity of a fossil fuel phase out. We are right now building a world beyond oil, and we have to act like it. And so before I close, I wanted visit to, I wanted to visit some of the policy mechanisms mentioned earlier. Alicia spoke a little bit about the scoping plan early cause where a multi work group develop, um, price gauging penalty actually codifies into statute a transition plan by 2024. And while we supported the price gouging penalty, can y’all hear me? I think it’s like coming in and out.


Yeah. Back off. Back off. Is that better? Oh, wow. I wish I knew that a little earlier. <laugh>, I feel like I’ve been breathing into it real hard. <laugh>. Yeah. The governor’s most recent price gouging penalty, uh, cod vice into statute, a transition plan by the end of 2024. And while we work to support the price gauging penalty during the special session, the language was far from ideal only explicitly naming the refines themselves as stakeholders in this plan. While what we have been advocating for through both the scoping plan and the special sessions, is a multi-stakeholder work group convened by Cali pa, which explicitly names labor and community groups to identify mechanisms that best support workers and adjacent communities. And to take it away from the wonky policy talk at the very core of our vision as a process driven, driven directly by impacted workers and community members to create a process that centers, uh, their own needs and their own, um, future. And at this process has to be one that helps shape the future of the refinery phase out by bringing the neglected communities directly to the table. Thank you.

Dr. Clair Brown (21:23):

You stayed in your time. Somebody needs to put your slides up. Yeah,

Audience (21:29):

I’ll do

Dr. Clair Brown (21:30):

That Volume. Okay, great. Okay. Let me just emphasize that what you’re hearing and is what we really are worried about here is that car plans to keep the California refineries operate. Meanwhile, the state and the Feds are subsidizing hugely with the enormous amounts of money. So you see pipeline fuel, but especially doesn’t mean it’s truly renewable. I just don’t know the other word for it yet. So we’re really happy to introduce our last speaker, who’s a scientist. And actually, I’ve learned huge everything I know actually about refinery and science and hydrogen and, and ccs, everything. Basically, I learned it from Greg Karras. You will also notice that CBE has played a huge role in really trying to regulate refineries and, and make them behave much better, especially for local air pollution. And they’ve done a great job. Without the work CPE’s done, we would be much further behind than we are.


So I worked, I was a volunteer at cpe, and we already heard the organizer in Wilmington, but now we’re gonna hear a scientist. Actually, Greg Karras worked for over 35 years for CBE as Air senior scientist on all kinds of projects. And that’s actually where I first met him. Um, and so he has a background in energy manufacturing, and especially petroleum refinery. He’s served with lots of groups. And today he actually is the principal for energy community, energy resource. Basically, he consults, um, and has done great work with lots of NGOs. And I know right now, again, I’m working with him on Chevron in Richmond, <laugh>, Greg, we’re here. So if you have any scientific questions, he knows how to actually answer them in a way that the rest of us can understand. So we’re really happy to have you here. Thank you, <laugh>.

Greg Karras (23:05):

Thank you, Claire. Um, thank you Alicia. And far you’d like, I’m not, I I can talk about the fun stuff now. You guys really laid it down and, and I really appreciate that, that, uh, we’re here together. Somebody asked how we work together. I got somebody, our hosting center on West Coast of North America, the largest, it imports crude to export that we don’t need to export fuels that we don’t use. And that’s on top of all the bad stuff you heard about in the last panel, right? So we could continue the great work we’ve been doing to, to reduce demand across the state for all petroleum fuels and across the whole west. In fact, this is historic. This is an amazing accomplishment. This is so hopeful, and it’s been going on for more than 10 years now. But it won’t do it alone. Won’t work alone. It won’t work by itself because they just export more. They fine more here to export it. And yeah, I’m gonna go fast because I wanna talk about this altogether afterwards. Um, the, that’s a really big problem, and it’s totally insidious. Here’s a, here’s a very good example. Look at diesel in California.


You spend a lot of public money adding diesel biofuels to our fuel chain, which get burned. They just exported more total distillate, refining way up, total emissions way up. And, you know, there’s some stats on it across the fuel chain. It’s really, really bad. And I think that the thing that I wanted to, to say, and that I might say it twice, global carbon emissions associated with in-state refining for export alone, are in the same order of magnitude as total emission emissions from refining for export alone are in the same order of magnitude as total non petroleum sources in the state combined. This is a climate killer.


And, uh, this is a, Alicia showed you what, what flaring looks like, and described it better than I could. Here’s some data from Chevron. Um, and the black arrow there was when they built the expanded hydrogen plant that they wanna expand further. Claire mentioned, um, the, uh, they built the expanded hydrogen plant because then they could refine more and low quality oil. Um, this is one example. Uh, and it’s, I mean, this is pretty serious. The flaring in, since frequency has gone basically to daily, um, this is a logarithmic scale on the vertical. So a hundred percent is air district, uh, decided impact threshold. Um, but when you get up to 10000%, that’s a hundred times the impact threshold. And that happens frequently. So, um, which leads to a question, <laugh>.


What? Sorry?

Audience (25:59):

It’s just like it said,

Greg Karras (26:04):

That’s the approximate date when the, the larger hydrogen plant is a fossil gas, fossil fuel hydrogen plant was commissioned. And when they could refine more, endure your oil, this is what happens when you refine more oil, your emissions go up, oils equal, they always will. When you refine less, what happens,


They go down. So what if I think that the, um, I, I think that 50 years of, of Clean Air Act efforts really tell us policing. Um, we’re not gonna solve this for health or for our climate until we, we start refining and burning a lot less oil. So, but the really interesting thing is what happens? We do that. So I want to take a minute to talk about this. This is Allstate data, the thick black, uh, line at the top. That’s how much fuels were refined. Gasoline, diesel, have fuel, all of it, um, in California for over the years, and as the, uh, languages, the total amount that we used of all these fuels in California. So this is the room to move. If we actually did start enforcing refinery phase down refinery standards today, that’s the room to move immediately. And then it’s al also stayed outta, um, the average over the last, uh, five to seven years of the, um, of the breakdown of where that oil came from.


And I want you to pay particular attention to the yellow, that’s Western Amazon oil. That’s the oil that destroys the rainforest on top of everything else it does. And the communities in Ecuador that we talked about, and the darker brown, uh, just below that. And, um, that’s the setback oil. That’s the oil within the 3,200 foot setback. So you’re gonna hear a lot more from this multi-billion dollar oil as we can BS about this. But in fact, if we started doing environmental justice in our refining communities, we could get it all. And we can get all of the really bad stuff right now. We’re gonna have to do it gradually. And this is a, this is a chart from work that I did for Seha, um, and for CBE before that, um, that basically don’t pay too much attention to it, but just to remind us that we have data from California itself that tell us the light is that we need to cut it in half in this decade. And to do that, we need to start now, or it will be too late. That’s a feasibility tipping point for climate protection and for health protection. And that’s why we need to start now. So all this leads to one conclusion. It’s there. Let’s talk

Dr. Clair Brown (28:39):

Thank you panel. As that was great knowledge that you shared both from organizing and politics and science and what we need to do. It’s real clear. We know what we need to do. Let me just emphasize as an economist, that when you go out and talk to the refinery people, the managers, and you talk to them about the fault solutions of using ccs and, uh, making hydrogen hubs and also biofuels, but especially renewable diesel, they’ll say, oh, we need enormous subsidy from the state. But trust ’em. They say, we are part of their scoping plan. They really need renewable diesel and hydrogen and CCS operations at all their binaries, but we’ve gotta get the money to do it. So that’s why these subsidies are critical. And so from an economic viewpoint, we’re saying, what do the taxpayers really wanna put billions of dollars in refineries for these, these softball solutions? And forget California’s commitment of, of environmental justice. Finally clean up the air because that’s not part of the picture, um, when you put in these false solutions and key refineries operating. So we have time for questions. So who would like to start? Yes.

Audience (29:45):

So since you said a third of the oil that is being refined as used for exports, why can’t there be a bill? It might be as easy as this. Let’s just say we, we, you know, we’re gonna ban all the price from export oil. I wanna know why, where they’re exporting it to. I’m sure it’s states that are not oil, but too, like, I mean, is there a possibility we could say you’re not allowed to export oil anymore?

Greg Karras (30:02):

Is there a possibility that you could just have a bill that says we’re not allowed to export oil anymore? Yeah. Is that okay for summarizing question? Um, and it’s a, it’s a great question. It’s something that we actually talk about a lot and, uh, um, there are, there are people in this room that I’ve talked about it with who have very different and much better expertise about law and stuff like that than me, but I’ll just put it this way, as sort of an organizer that became a scientist. This is about our health, dammit. And we need, we need to have that respected and that powerful. We, we have a right to, and, and we are gonna win refining standards that that ramp down the pollution. And because that’s the only way to ramp down the pollution, we’re gonna get those exports out.

Faraz Rizvi (30:44):

Sorry, this one. Yeah, and I just wanna add something to that. I mean, I think, um, there is, we, we can do that. We can pass, um, a bill that would say, Hey, we’re not gonna export anymore oil, I think power, why we’re here. Um, I think the other side of it is, like on the policy side, um, when we were doing a lot of the advocacy at car, the scoping plan to get ’em to put the phase down, um, in this final scoping plan, um, there was a lot of questions about, um, the issue of export. So right now in the scoping plan, the fossil fuel phase down is tied to the decline in demand. That’s gonna happen by 2045. So the scoping plans model is that by 2045, there’s gonna be an 83% time in demand for refining. And so there should be a phase down that looks at what’s gonna happen to refineries in that scenario. And I think the immediate thing that we had flagged was that, well, they’re just gonna start exporting it. They’re not gonna actually decrease oil refining if they don’t have to. And if they can make a profit or a quick buck, somehow they’re gonna do it. Um, and so I think that’s the right question. And I think the answer to that is just movement, politics.

Alicia Rivera (31:44):

The other thing is that, um, the message from the oil industry, um, you know, they have a, a huge bottom line. And every time I go to Facebook, I see immediately as I open it, it says Californians for inde for, um, uh, energy independence. And they have all these workers saying, you know, in all these comments, I mean, hundreds of comments, I don’t know if it’s the same workers, uh, putting comments, you know, that all these, uh, socialists, all these communists, you know, they, they want us to, uh, they want to stop, uh, all independence. If we do not, uh, uh, extract and, and, and provide our own, uh, oil here, we gonna have to bring it from countries that are human rights violators. You know? And so you read all these comments and I get very sad because only one probably is on my side and <laugh> I put on workers there, you know, to chest.


Uh, and, and so that’s what happens, you know, um, they, they, we, we are in the public arena of heart and mind, who, who’s going to confuse you the most. And, and, and especially if they tell you that what the way they’ve been collecting the signature for the referendum. He, my son, I find these stack of, uh, of, uh, petition that he in his car, and it was for collecting signature. And I told him, where did you get this offer? A job they told me was to stop, uh, you know, oil from, uh, you know, gasoline from going up. And he was going, he, he didn’t know. And I told him, go put him in the trash right now. But anyway, that’s what they’ve been telling people. Uh, you know, that you want oil, uh, that to go up, sign his petition, we fired

Greg Karras (33:09):

Up. Okay? So we’re fired up. Um, that’s the truth. The, uh, so there, there’s, um, question. They’re gonna Alicia’s, right? They’re, um, a lot of what we’re doing, and you know, honestly, a lot of what I’m doing is just reminding myself and all of us of what we already know, right? There’s gonna be a certain, certain argument. This is <inaudible>. So don’t get bogged down by the arguments about, well, Nevada and Arizona, they still need some oil while they get their, you know, electric cars on the road. Um, the thing is that, and the reason I showed that is that there, there are all of these places all over the Pacific Rim where there are 3.5 billion people total, who right now ought to be leapfrogging from not using cars, using public transit, electric vehicles, and not going through the petroleum phase, but they’re also developing countries. And so this is not something that, that even the US legal system grapples with yet and are so bad with immigration that I’m not sure that we want to go that way. But the fact is that the, the enemy, uh, the greed that we’re facing is global in nature. And where we’re strong is on our ground fighting at Fay.

Dr. Clair Brown (34:17):

Yeah. So let me just emphasize from the economic viewpoint, remember that Californians are paying for our oil industry, the extraction and the refining, number one, with our health, and especially the local communities of color and low income communities. And secondly, California subsidizes the fossil fuel industry enormously. So you pay for it with your health and your tax dollars, and so you don’t wanna pay for that and exporting, it’s like just a second. The social cause is enormous. So yes. How many people have put a great mind of question over here?

Audience (34:47):

Yeah. So you’re talking about cost. When I heard of the export number, what it made, made me think is that the American healthcare system is trash, right? So if we’re talking about, uh, maybe huge populations of underserved communities who are most likely, most low income, and they’re having to go to the doctor, they’re having to go to the emergency room and they’re suffering, you know, life-threatening illnesses, there’s a cost there. And so what moves in Sacramento is money and public sentiment. So what I’d love to know, does anybody have any hard number, hard data of how much, and it’s actually costing us regular taxpayers, you know, having to essentially subsidize not only with tax credits, but understanding that there’s huge spots that are terminally ill and or, uh, you know, having to go to seek medical, uh, services and being unable to afford it because we can’t afford a parent.

Greg Karras (35:33):

Yeah, I, I, I wanna nominate Clair for this. I, I just wanna see, I’ve CP reviewed literature, uh, that suggests that the, the, uh, cost savings from cleaning up, um, this pollution from diesel vehicles far exceeds the total cost of meeting our climate limits.

Dr. Clair Brown (35:48):

The cost are astronomical. Wait, I work with faculty at uc, Berkeley, who do these studies, and we have quite a few of these studies available, actually, Don, we put together. So plus, and the cost of 50.5 is it shortens your lifespan as well as causing ongoing health problems. So the costs are known, they’re at, they’re extraordinarily high. And yet, um, for some reason, that doesn’t seem to change the game nearly enough. I mean, that’s why we keep yelling environmental justice, because especially it’s the people who live nearby the oil operations, both the extraction and refineries. And so we’re still working on that, but we, it really, here’s what I learned as a professor. It takes the research, okay, here are the facts, but you know, the, how you get things done, you take the streets. It’s like you, you gotta have great organizers, you gotta have activists. You’ve gotta have people who morning, noon, and night are demanding that we actually take the right actions legally and with regulations.

Alicia Rivera (36:39):

And I just wanna say that, you know, I, I want people to take this away. Uh, we should not, uh, kind of feel tidy for people who are so affected, you know, in their neighbors. Ultimately, it’s our planet. And that’s what state we are at peril. We at the cliff right now, if we don’t understand that everyone of us here has a responsibility. That’s the way I feel. And I tell my member, if knowingly you continue to be a tech, you are supporting it. Who is winning out of you saying nothing? Doing nothing. You know? Cause this is not my problem. It’s not in my backyard. I live okay. You know, I, in a good neighborhood, uh, we, we continue to support the oil industry that way. They are the winners. And so, um, I have even had to explain to my members what ex external externalities mean in this business.


And they have started saying a public hearing in my, you never gonna be able to compensate that. You, they, they yell at the, uh, uh, uh, uh, at the, uh, AK and say, you know, you always, you never look at that cost. You always abiding, you know, and making it easier for the cost, the economy, you know, to balance that for the polluting. But who pays us and compensate us? We cannot, you know, that will never get compensated. But anyway, I just feel like some everywhere I get the same question. Why something? You know, what the legislator, we need people hitting them and, and, and we need your information. Uh, uh, you know, contact one of us, contact Bishop CBE one and we’ll, we’ll put you on a mailing list. And you know what, provide funding. They, uh, these people have big packets to get referendums, you know, collect, uh, paying $5, $7 per signature. We don’t have that organization that are nonprofit. Not to, you know, get funding because we don’t have, but we need organizers. Like me and I work for free because I have to pay rent. Now no one can. We need scientists like, uh, like, like Greg, that has been amazing for years at cv. It are institutions that are built by people who never gives up. You know, we go down right now, we, we are fighting these, uh, these polluters that are fighting us. We need to fight them back. That’s what we need to take.

Greg Karras (38:47):

Thank you. And I, and I guess I would just add that in terms of the cost, there’s so many things you can’t put in dollars, but even those, you can, it goes on forever. I mean, you know, I just showed you how much they exported last year, about a dollar and a half of that price spike. Uh, the CEC says was because of perceived shortage, because they didn’t keep enough in inventory. They exported inventory. We pay for that. Meanwhile, California’s the LAR west route. They’re fighting. They’re fighting it. Ecuador, they almost shut down Ecuador last year, last summer. And, uh, and guess what? The California imports from eor Ecuador basically stopped for a couple of weeks. So, um, we have a lot of allies. Um, but our allies are people who look like us and who, like Eli tells the truth. Yeah, we need the financial support too.

Audience (39:38):


Dr. Clair Brown (39:38):

Okay. Another, yes.

Audience (39:40):

Okay. So the communities in which this is happening, a lot of people work refineries. That’s their basic, okay. Are the refineries not helping with any of the health benefits or any of what’s going on there?

Greg Karras (39:56):

Actually, I’m not sure how much to say about this. So the, the refining industry jobs are good jobs. They’re in the about a hundred thousand dollars a year range and, and good health benefits. That’s for you and your family. You might die from cancer when you’re 50. Um, but, but you also take care of your community. In, in, in some of our communities. Um, they, uh, uh, uh, people live in the community who work there. And it’s a discussion, and I want to give Alicia a chance to talk about it. And in other communities like Richmond, Chevron’s made a policy of never hiring from the community. And, um, so it’s like that there’s a, you know, Chevron’s workers went on strike last year. The community stood up for them. Workers couldn’t afford to stay on the line forever. They cut their deal. Um, that’s also part of the price spike. Chevron decided that they were gonna shut down the refinery in the summer, and it wasn’t scheduled, but it also was voluntary on their part.

Alicia Rivera (40:48):

You know, hearing, hearing, uh, Greg make me feel like I should talk like him instead of the wake. Get me really embarrassed and realize shouting

Greg Karras (40:57):


Alicia Rivera (41:00):

So I, I’m trying Wilmington, what they do is they, they, they turn, uh, uh, the, uh, areas where they operate into company towns. If they could give us funding, cde, they’re gladly give us funding. Cbe, we, they only, only organization in Y N C get funding. The boys and girls get funding. The Catholic churches get funding. All the public schools get funding. The private school get funding. Every news crowding little community group is offer jobs training, uh, internship and funding. And what happens when we have hearings, uh, you know, to, uh, for, for, uh, anything related to cutting emissions. They bring all their workers and they bring all these community people that they defunding to, to say that they are great neighbors and they give them funding. They don’t tell you, I’ll give you funding and you come and support me. It’s just over. Understood. And so, uh, that’s what happens. And uh, they, they fund, they give funding to the clinics. So the clinics won’t support us, you know, but we go around somehow and we are strong, uh, somehow, but it’s not, uh, because of the refund is don’t try to buy up everyone. And you know, we say you should fund clinics to, uh, you know, so that everyone gets, uh, uh, asthma from your operations can go get, but I know what that is for and what it does, unfortunately. And the same for politician. They get, you know.

Dr. Clair Brown (42:18):

Okay. We have just, we have just a couple minutes left. Is there any we have time for maybe one more question if somebody Oh, yes.

Audience (42:26):

Um, question. Well, actually, the, um, one, the things jobs are hundred years and they become generation and what he didn’t pay well, hundred years ago. Hundred years. Bargain quite well. So generation, okay, mark,

Greg Karras (42:59):

Apologies and great bargaining

Audience (43:02):

<laugh> thing is, does anybody know city? Somebody?

Dr. Clair Brown (43:18):

Thank you. I, I will say, so we’re gonna have to wrap up. If you have any other questions you can know. Let me just say, at uc, Berkeley, I’m working at the Labor Center with the, with the green, uh, green economy team headed by Jesse Hamling, specifically on finding the just transition meaning really good unionized high paying jobs where workers at the refineries can actually, without too much retraining and, and close by move to another good job. So there’s a lot of work going on, but you’re right, it’s not, it’s not an easy transition, I say, but we’re gonna have a panel and say just goodbye and someone

Greg Karras (43:51):

<laugh>. Yeah. I just, I want to appreciate our, that this the reason why we need to start urgently to make this just, we’re gonna have to give ourselves enough time to do it smoothly so we can bring everyone along. And I ju I’d like to end with a thought that this isn’t just, I personally, I feel it as just being a matter of justice. But as a scientist, gotta tell you, climate protection is not feasible without doing it, without bringing everyone along. So start now.

Dr. Clair Brown (44:21):

Okay. Um, thank the panel, thank the audience. You were a great audience. Thank you. Thank you.

Woody Hastings – The Climate Center Staff (44:32):

So this is, uh, thank you all. Thank, thank you Claire and panelists. We have a 20 minute coffee break now. Uh, so the next panel here in this room will begin at four o’clock. Uh, and that will be our panel on sustainable mobility. So we hope you all can stay for that. And once again,