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Texas Company Wants to Create California's Biggest Oil Refinery in the South Bay

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Tesoro is a Texas-based oil refiner that bought a "relatively small" oil refinery in Wilmington back in 2007. Last year, it picked up an adjoining oil refinery in Carson (along with 800 Arcos). Now it's applying for permits to combine the two into one mega-refinery that would be "by far" the largest in California. The company plans to spend $250 million to create an upgraded complex "would be able to process oil from almost anywhere around the globe – including heavy or light crude – and would be able to produce 363,000 barrels a day of refined fuel." That's the same amount they're producing now, but at the new refinery it could include tar sands crude from Canada (the kind the Keystone XL pipeline will carry) and light crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, both of which would travel by rail to the South Bay.

"Business groups are cheering the project," according to the LA Business Journal, but people who are capable of thinking about things other than money are doing the opposite of cheering. They're booing. A rep for Communities for a Better Environment says the group is "concerned about bigger storage of crude oil and about the transport of that material to and from the refinery." They say it's more dangerous to transport oil by rail than it is by boat, and that they believe the project is bigger and will produce more emissions than Tesoro is letting on (refining tar sands, for instance, produces more greenhouse gases than refining other kinds of petroleum). (And that's leaving aside the known and imminent threat to humanity posed by the continued use of fossil fuels!)

The South Coast Air Quality Management District will probably vote on the giant refinery project next year. If approved, it will unseat the nearby Chevron refinery in El Segundo, which produces 276,000 barrels of oil a day.
· State's Biggest Refinery in Pipeline [LABJ]