Opinion » Letters

Phillips needs to choose better business partners

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In response to Mr. Romero’s support of the Phillips 66 rail terminal project (Jan. 7, “Proposed Phillips 66 rail extension would be beneficial”):

He laments that the refinery is working at half capacity due to the Plains All American pipeline being offline. He neglects to state why it’s been shut down. This is the pipeline that ruptured in Refugio last year. And why did it rupture? Simply because as a business partner of Phillips, they did not invest in automatic shut-off valves or monitor the corrosive impact of years of pipeline use. While this was not a pipeline owned by Phillips, they should have been more attuned to the safety and viability of the pipeline. That they did not is not now a reason to support the pipeline. They made a bad business decision in not being more forthright in protecting the health and safety of the community with a choice of a business partner that took a shortcut when it came to inspection and maintenance.

This is similar to the decision that Phillips made when it ordered several thousand CPC1232 tanker cars to deliver crude to the refinery as part of the project. These cars have been found to be no safer than the older DOT 111 that have been involved in fiery explosions due to derailments. It seems that Phillips’ business decisions are based more on an impact to their bottom line than the 12 Class 1 impacts that cannot be mitigated and documented in their Final EIR for the Rail Terminal Project. 

-- Laurence Shinderman - Nipomo

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