Thanks to Rhys Heyden for hitting the nail on the head in his report on the wider implications of the proposed Phillips 66 refinery rail terminal and the company’s stonewalling when confronted with the fundamental nature of its project (“Warning shots,” March 19).
The ongoing denial that the delivery of tar sands crude oil to the Santa Maria refinery would impact air quality both here and at the Rodeo Refinery more than 200 miles away is something that Communities for a Better Environment, Center for Biological Diversity, ForestEthics, and the Sierra Club pointed out in our comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Santa Maria Refinery project. In separating the two, Phillips 66 is attempting to hide the full scope of the project and the magnitude of the threat to public health.
This flaw alone—and it is far from alone—invalidates the entire Environmental Impact Report and its attempt to analyze the project’s potential impacts and propose mitigations for them.
The final EIR will either acknowledge that the two projects and their impacts must be analyzed together or perpetuate the deceit of attempted separation. Which way the county goes on that issue will tell us all where the county intends to go with the project.