On the day a Bay Area state senator was voicing concerns over the transport of crude oil by rail, the Valero refinery in Benicia has announced at a community meeting it wants to do just that.
Last summer’s oil train accident in Quebec that killed 47 people has lawmakers and others in the Bay Area concerned that it could happen here as volume of crude oil and other petroleum products arriving from North Dakota and Canada to local refineries is surging.
There have been four major crashes of North American trains carrying crude. Now in an unprecedented move, federal investigators in the U.S. and Canada are saying trains need tighter regulations before disaster strikes again.
Several oil companies around the Bay Area are proposing upgrades or additions to their facilities, but environmental advocates said Wednesday that the projects will endanger the public by enabling increased refining of dirtier crude oil.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling for a federal investigation into gasoline price spikes that followed the fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond earlier this month. The call comes as investigations focus on the type of crude oil used at the site.
Chevron Corp. said Friday that profits rose 4.2 percent in the first quarter as it sold oil for higher prices.