Commentary: Battle lines forming on carbon tax

For a political non-starter, a carbon tax is generating an awful lot of activity on Capitol Hill. Texas Reps. Joe Barton and Jeb Hensarling will headline a press conference Wednesday slamming the idea.  More »

Tactics divide agencies in Chevron probe

A grand jury probe targeting Chevron in last year’s Richmond refinery fire has created a rift between the federal agency investigating the incident and environmental regulators seeking possible criminal charges against the oil giant  More »

Obama faces angry liberals over pipeline

President Obama is barreling toward what one Bay Area activist predicts could be “all out warfare” with environmentalists who want him to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.  More »

Bar pilot panel slow to act on complaint

San Francisco — The California commission that polices bar pilots who navigate ships through San Francisco Bay has gone nearly a year without acting on an extraordinary complaint against a captain lodged after his loaded oil tanker nearly ran aground off Richmond – an incident that could have caused an environmental disaster.  More »

Bridge-crash tanker’s last-minute shift

The pilot of the oil tanker that hit the Bay Bridge last week apparently decided at the last minute to change course and head between a different set of bridge towers, a tricky maneuver that may have played a role in the accident, experts said.  More »

Gas exports will boost solar industry, exec says

CEO Arno Harris said Recurrent Energy’s new solar plants will sell power for as low as 7 cents a kilowatt-hour, nearly as cheap as natural gas-fired plants. He favors gas exports because they could lift the price of gas, making renewable energy more competitive.  More »

Chevron firefighters may have gouged pipe

The pipe that fed a huge fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery in August appears to have been punctured from the outside, possibly by company firefighters trying to get at a small leak before the blaze ignited, investigators said Thursday.  More »

Chevron fire moves governor to form task force

Gov. Jerry Brown has formed an interagency working group on refinery safety after questions emerged following a fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery about whether California is diligently inspecting oil plants, officials said Tuesday.  More »

Corrosion blamed in 2011 Chevron refinery fire

Unchecked corrosion, the suspected culprit in the August blaze that destroyed part of Chevron’s Richmond refinery, was responsible for another fire at the plant last year that prompted workers to complain to regulators that the company was ignoring the problem, according to state inspection documents obtained by The San Francisco Chronicle.  More »

Criminal investigation at Chevron refinery

Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Chevron after discovering that the company detoured pollutants around monitoring equipment at its Richmond refinery for four years and burned them off into the atmosphere, in possible violation of a federal court order, The Chronicle has learned.  More »

Too few state oil refinery-safety checks

California regulators have not been conducting the intensive workplace-safety inspections of Chevron’s Richmond plant and the state’s 14 other oil refineries that federal standards call for, a Chronicle investigation shows.  More »

Few concrete answers to the Chevron fire

The agencies investigating the fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond sought to assure residents Monday that they would hold the company accountable and use lessons from the Aug. 6 blaze to prevent future accidents.  More »

Huge gaps in oversight for industry full of risks

A San Francisco Chronicle investigation launched after the Aug. 6 fire that destroyed part of Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., plant and sent thousands of residents to hospital emergency rooms found that refinery oversight is riddled with gaps. Porter’s industry group plays a major role in what critics say is a self-regulating system for refineries.  More »

Chevron emergency plan didn’t avert fire

Chevron engineers drafted a detailed plan aimed at averting a hypothetical disaster nearly identical to the real-life fireball that erupted at the Richmond refinery’s crude-oil processing unit.  More »

Chevron refinery fire a ‘close call’

The chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board toured the scene of the Chevron refinery fire Monday and released photos of the gigantic vapor cloud that loomed over Richmond before it caught fire.  More »
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