Environment

Tom Butt Is Lying to You About: Point Molate

Welcome to our new series, in which we sift through Mayor Tom Butt's latest lie.

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Anti-Chevron Day

See you at Anti-Chevron Day! C’mon out for United Steelworkers—who at this date have been striking at Chevron for over two months—and Richmond community organizers who join the workers in defense of safe jobs and healthy neighborhoods. Speakers include Steve Donziger, Vice Mayor and mayoral candidate Eduardo Martinez, and Richmond City Council member Claudia Jiménez.

This ninth annual global day of action unites labor and environmental organizers in calling out Chevron’s abuses from Ecuador to Myanmar, from the Philippines to Richmond. Together, we can imagine and win a world free from corporate greed.

You can find more information here, and RSVP and get more details on Facebook.

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Chevron Threatens Our Air

Flaring at the Richmond Lubrications Oil Plant. April 14, 2-4 pm.

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 workers have been on strike at Richmond's Chevron Refinery since March 21, 2022. Since then, workers and community members have carefully documented flaring events at the refinery, which is currently run by strikebreakers who do not have the necessary training to safely operate the equipment. Below are three important documents of this extremely unsafe situation: a) a letter addressed to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) by organizer Marisol Cantú, articulating the current risks to our surrounding community and demands of relevant inspection agencies; b) a photographic gallery of flaring events taken during the strike by workers and community observers; and c) a letter authored by a USW Local 5 refinery worker, describing the extensive training he and his colleagues receive that is necessary to keep the community safe (and that current employees operating the plant do not have).

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The Chevron Strike Continues

By Shiva Mishek 

Photo Credit: @USWLocal5Richmond on Instagram

“To strike at a man's food and shelter is to strike at his life, and in a society organized on a tooth-and-nail basis, such an act, performed though it may be under the guise of generosity, is none the less menacing and terrible.”

—Jack London, The Scab, 1904

This week, United Steelworkers (USW) Local 5 enters its seventh week on strike at the Richmond Chevron refinery. Over 500 Chevron employees have been on strike since March 21, rejecting a contract that would codify a meager raise, unsafe working conditions, and Chevron’s so-called “standby” policy.

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Point Molate: The Real Story

By Jeff Kilbreth

Until two years ago, the battle for Point Molate was largely waged between developers and environmentalists. Those in favor of development assumed that the resulting building jobs and property taxes would be great for Richmond, while environmentalists saw a precious opportunity to create the last ridge-to-shoreline park on the San Francisco Bay. 

It was simply a tough call between two perfectly reasonable points of view. Developing Point Molate would create a lot of jobs for a period of time, and Richmond undoubtedly needs to expand its tax base.

What changed?

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Grid Alternatives’ No-Cost Solar Program for Richmond

By Catalina Coz

Grassroots support for advancing solar energy in Richmond goes back to the early 2000s. Since then, we have had nonprofit businesses train residents in solar installations, among other green-collar jobs. Grid Alternatives came along in 2015 as a city-sponsored program that uses city funding to provide free solar to low-income homeowners in Richmond and North Richmond (including unincorporated North Richmond). Over the last ten years, Grid Alternatives has solarized over 500 homes in Richmond.

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Listening Project Announcements for April 2022

By Alfredo Angulo

Rich City Rides (RCR) and Direct Action Everywhere (DXE) Vegan Pop Up with student organizer Zack and LP organizers Alfredo and Marisol

The Listening Project has been hard at work since you last heard from us! While some changes have occurred, our mission remains the same: to share the stories and amplify the voices most harmed by the climate crisis and fossil fuel operations in Richmond.

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Another Victory Over the Fossil Fuel Industry in Richmond

Train tracks richmond

Photo Credit: Tony Tamayo

On Friday, November 12, the City of Richmond announced it had finally reached a settlement agreement with the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation. After 18 months of litigation, the parties agreed to end the storage of coal and petroleum coke (“petcoke”) in Richmond by 2027. The settlement ends a legal battle between Richmond, three fossil fuel companies, and the state of Utah that was fought in both state and federal court. The outcome is being hailed as a major win for environmental justice organizations and Richmond residents alike. 

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Acts of Political Courage Should Never Go Unrecognized

Green Mountains from Momoyogusa, Kamisaka Sekka (1909)

 

On October 19th, the Richmond City Council voted 4 to 3 instructing the City Attorney to file a brief in the federal appeals court case in support of Point Molate Alliance and other community groups who have sued the city for voting behind closed doors on the Point Molate settlement. After opposing us, the city will now go on record admitting that it violated the Brown Act and California's land use law when it secretly approved the settlement with the failed casino developers. This illegal 2019 agreement resulted in the proposed luxury housing project we are fighting today.

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Full Electrification: Richmond’s Latest Push for Green Energy

Power Plant, by Henry Lyman Saÿen

In early 2020, Richmond adopted an ordinance implementing a limited ban on new natural gas infrastructure in the city. This measure addressed a crucial component of global warming: buildings are a serious source of pollution. Their use of fossil fuels accounts for roughly 12% of the United States’s greenhouse gas emissions.

While a substantial step in the right direction, the original ordinance fell short of achieving a true natural gas ban. For example, it permits new residential construction that utilizes natural gas kitchen appliances and in-residence fireplaces. Such uses require the construction of gas pipelines throughout buildings and beneath city streets. 

On September 21, Councilmember Eduardo Martinez brought the issue before the City Council, which seeks to close the loopholes allowed by the 2020 measure. The new ordinance would ban natural gas infrastructure in all new buildings in the city, with few exceptions.

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