Major inaccuracies in KPIX 5 story on Chevron Richmond modernization project

Environmental group's settlement with air district over Chevron modernization doesn't clear path for construction.
The graphic shows two main components of the Chevron Richmond Refinery Modernization Project.

This Chevron Speaks submission was written by officials with Chevron Richmond and published in the Richmond Standard by editor Mike Aldax.

A story recently aired by KPIX 5 San Francisco painted an inaccurate picture of Chevron Richmond’s modernization project.

The story used misleading and inflammatory language to portray the project as potentially harmful and unnecessary. In fact, the $1 billion investment will replace some of the refinery’s oldest processing equipment with modern technology that is inherently safe and meets the nation’s toughest air quality standards.

Contrary to the aired report, the project will not double sulfur emissions. Sulfur emissions will actually decrease as a result of modernization as the refinery adds equipment that allows it to safely and more efficiently remove sulfur content from crude oil while controlling emissions. Modernization will provide the refinery the flexibility to refine crude oil blends and gas oils with higher sulfur content.

Crude oil is defined by its density – heavy, intermediate or light – and by its sulfur content – sweet or sour. Characterizing the project as a means to accept “dirtier” crude is inaccurate and deceptive.

Chevron Richmond has historically processed some of the lightest crudes on the West Coast and will continue to do so after the project. Modernization is not about refining Canadian tar sands or heavy crude and the project will not allow the refinery to bring in crude by rail or pipeline.

Chevron Richmond has committed to no net increase in criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and health risks from the project. In fact, many of the emissions that are of concern to the community will decrease.  In addition, the refinery will invest $30 million over the next decade to lower greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs in Richmond and North Richmond.

The environmental impact report (EIR) written by the city and now under public review is a detailed and thorough analysis of the Modernization Project.  The city of Richmond is accepting comments on the EIR through May 2. Details on how to make your voice heard are available at