Big Oil is “Sorry” for the Inconvenience

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Last night, the third-largest oil refinery in California suffered an explosion and fire, sending toxic clouds across the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are thankful that refinery workers and the brave first responders suffered only minor injuries — but more than 350 residents have been treated for respiratory problems and vomiting.

A Chevron spokesperson said they’re sorry for “inconveniencing our neighbors.” Yet this is not the first time something like this has happened at the Richmond refinery — it is at least the fifth. 1, 2

It’s time to move beyond oil. Will you let your friends know that you’re sick of Big Oil’s spin machine, and share this image on Facebook and Twitter? If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, forwarding this email to your friends and family will make the same impact.

Chevron insists the plant is safe — but other incidents in 1993, 1999, 2006, and 2007 have already sent thousands of people to the hospital. And no matter what Chevron says, watching your children become violently ill because someone else wants to make a profit is not just an “inconvenience.”

Whether it’s yesterday’s explosions in California or last month’s pipeline spills in Wisconsin and Canada, our families have had enough of Big Oil’s PR. We need clean air and green transportation — not toxic smoke clouds that send our kids to the hospital.

For nearly twenty years, our allies on the ground in California have stood up to Big Oil and fought the Richmond refinery’s pollution. Groups like Global Community Monitor, Communities for a Better Environment, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and the West County Toxics Coalition have held Chevron accountable in court, brought attention to the area’s environmental injustices, and pushed the EPA to regulate hydrogen sulfide, one of the major toxins released in fires like these. They’ve also stopped Chevron from expanding the refinery to process toxic tar sands oil.

We are proud to stand by our friends in the fight for clean air, clean energy, and safer communities. Share this image on Facebook or Twitter, or forward this email to five or more friends and neighbors today.

Thanks for all you do to protect our environment,

Michael Marx
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

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