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Should greenhouse gases be exempt from refinery rules?
Should the air district keep issuing permits for millions of dollars of new fossil fuel infrastructure that will increase rather than reduce GHG emissions?
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- The Air District Board voted unanimously for a Resolution opposing the KXL Tar Sands pipeline.
- The Air District Board also unanimously passed a Resolution to reduce GHGs to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, yet GHG emissions keep rising and the Air District has no rules in place, or proposed to stop them.
- Finally, the Air District Board adopted a Resolution to achieve deep cuts in refinery emissions without qualification, yet staff unilaterally decided to exempt GHGs from the pollutants to be targeted.
Proposed rules drafted by Air District staff are not accomplishing the clear, cumulative intent of these Resolutions. To be consistent with well intentioned Resolutions, BAAQMD must restrict refining Tar Sands and other extreme fuels in the Bay Area, and act aggressively to reduce all emissions from refineries, including greenhouse gases.
Extracting and refining extreme fuels increases greenhouse gas emissions and emissions of particulate and toxic pollutants that harm the health of nearby residents.
Specifically we ask:
Proposed Rule 12-16 allows increases in GHGs from refineries – this must be rescinded. Staff suggests requiring GHG reductions would conflict with California's Cap and Trade law. This is false. Additional reductions beyond Cap and Trade are not restricted by any law, statute or regulation.
Proposed Rule 12-16 allows emission increases whenever a greater amount of crude is refined. This must be rescinded. With gasoline consumption is down, there is no excuse to allow any emission increase whatsoever from refineries.
Enact a moratorium on permitting proposed and planned refinery projects until new policies are in place to curb emissions.
Establish enforceable, numeric caps on refinery emissions now.
A representative of the California Air Resources Board suggested that strong local action to reduce greenhouse gases from big Bay Area industries would hurt State programs.
This is false. All over the world city and regional action is LEADING the climate movement. California's programs are good, but have some gaping holes. We need all hands on deck here.
For fifty years strong local environmental action, particularly Bay Area action, has prompted strong State action in countless ways. The climate threat is no exception.
It's time to turn Resolutions into enforceable action.
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