Random Lengths News
Re: Oil Terminal Project Highlights Larger Issues, , Sept. 30 by Paul Rosenberg
I was actually completely surprised at this article that broke last week in RL. However, I was extremely pleased that “someone” was listening and making sense of it all.
The truth is pretty clear that the port, city, county, state, and many other agencies have had a lot of control over the Petrolane/ Amerigas/Rancho 25 million gallon LPG storage facility’s existence for many, many years. However, for whatever political reasons at play, no one has taken the leadership to exercise that control in the name of public safety. The port’s Valero lease has certainly been one of those levers that could have historically eliminated the high risk that this site poses to the nearby neighborhoods and communities. Our concerns for earthquake, terrorism, and antiquated 50 yr. old infrastructure have only increased due to the greater likelihood of potential for catastrophe at this site. The urgency of taking immediate action on this high risk and deadly situation is significantly amplified. “Somebody” needs to do something! But, who will?
The latter half of this article, too, needs to be acted upon. The issue of the Port’s continued policy of “rolling over” long term leases to previous tenants without competitive leasing practices should not be tolerated. Who is benefiting by this practice? This embedded port policy is rife with opportunities for corruption. The end losers in this game are the “people” of the State of California by the revenue that is lost from a lack of competitive bidding. That additional revenue could, at least in part, be used to offset the environmental damage suffered by those living in the shadow of these industrial ports. Never has the environmental damage from these ports been more obvious than at this very moment with the barrage of polluting ships sitting outside our harbors, and the extensive oil spill sitting off our coastline. These types of horrific impacts from industry are not going away any time soon. When will our government officials step up to their duty to protect? Please pick up the slack here and represent your constituencies properly. The “hands-off approach” to the port’s behavior has been embraced for far too long at great public expense.
Janet Schaaf-Gunter Member: San Pedro Peninsula
Homeowners United, INC.
Plains All American Pipeline
Plains all American Pipeline agrees to a mult-million agency settlement in March 2020 of $60 million dollars in penalties for over 105,000 gallons of oil spilled at Refugio Beach (Santa Barbara). The owner was held responsible for economic damages and criminal neglect. The pipeline in question is over 123 miles and goes into 3 different counties. The pipeline broke on May 19, 2015, and it took 5 years to reach a settlement!
The State was paid $22 million for leasing the State Land. The State Land Commission said it will cost the State $375 million to plug the abandon oil wells that feed the pipeline. This is tax-payers money!
In the meantime, Plains reported $143 million in net income in the third quarter of 2020 and held $24.2 billion in assets. If you look at all environment and wildlife damaged that was done, you wonder why the penalties were not higher?
Plains and their affiliates and partners have a history and reputation for escaping and avoiding rules and regulations. Rules do exist, but the agencies are not responsible and do not enforce the laws.
Big oil companies are willing to pay the fines, as it is just part of playing the game as it is considered part of their operating cost. They pay the fines and that gives them permission to do it again.
The most recent oil spill happened in Huntington Beach on Oct. 4, 2021, as another broken pipeline spilling 126,000 gallons of oil affecting 25 miles of prime coastline. This oil spill is from “Beta Offshore” which is a subsidiary of Houston-based “Amplify Energy.”
John Winkler San Pedro