The Santa Maria Refinery is a small facility located on the mesa that has been a good neighbor for 60 years. They own 1,780 acres of land but only use a very small portion of it.
Refineries intentionally purchase large plots of land to provide a buffer between them and the surrounding community. This adds annual taxation cost but aids them from impacting the surrounding community. This is part of the philosophy of being a good neighbor.
They give back to the community and are a major source of tax revenue for the Central Coast and the state of California. They provide permanent employment for approximately 200 local residents, and during maintenance periods provide employment for an additional 300 temporary employees. These individuals spend their income at the hotels, restaurants, vineyards, and various businesses here on the Central Coast.
The refinery wants to add more railroad tracks to its own property to facilitate delivery of crude oil by rail. This practice is currently being done in other states on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and West Coast. It’s been proven that it can be done safely and efficiently.
Phillips 66 buys crude oil from local producers shipped by pipeline and wants to be able to receive it by railcar. Railroad tracks don’t cross the ocean so it’s obvious the crude oil is domestic and not foreign as the opposition implies. The days of the Pony Express are long gone. That whispering sound you hear is called progress.