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Bay Area Refineries' Plans to Convert to Biofuels Opposed by Environmental Groups

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An oil refinery in the north San Francisco Bay (Silentfoto via Getty Images)

Two large oil refineries in the Bay Area want to switch from processing crude oil and instead turn vegetable oil and animal fats into biofuels. Phillips 66 in Rodeo and Marathon in Martinez  say their plans to convert the refineries to create renewable diesel advances California’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and  fossil fuel reliance. But some environmental groups  and communities close to the refineries oppose the plan, saying a reliance on biofuels contributes to deforestation and other environmental problems that actually accelerate climate change. As the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors considers an appeal to the plans next week, Forum looks at the local, state and global ramifications of California’s push toward biofuels.


Michael Wara, director, Climate and Energy Policy Program at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment

Rajinder Sahota, deputy executive officer, Climate Change & Research at California Air Resources Board

Connie Cho, attorney, Communities for a Better Environment


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