January 9, 2008

Contra Costa Times

January 7, 2008

Tell Chevron not to refine dirtier oil.

Chevron is sending out mailers and placing ads in newspapers claiming that its proposed expansion is great for everyone and everything.

How can it be better for us and for the environment to refine dirtier grades of crude oil? Dirtier grades of crude in and cleaner gas out, leaves the poisonous pollutants in the soil, air and water of Richmond.

There isn’t a scientist on Earth who would proclaim that you can start with dirtier crude and have less pollution.

It’s not just Richmond that will suffer. The nation’s leading expert on climate change, James Hansen, has just warned that if we desire a human future worth living, we actually need to lower the CO2 in the atmosphere from the 383 parts per million (ppm) where it is now, to 350 ppm. In other words, we’ve already gone too far.

To lower CO2 we need to wean ourselves from oil, gas and coal. Refining dirtier grades of crude increases greenhouse gases, worsening climate change.

Richmond may be the front line in the struggle to prevent disastrous climate change. Let’s make the right decision for the planet and for people’s health. Let’s leave the dirtier crude in the ground.

Jeff Ritterman

Richmond

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