U.S. board tells Chevron to check refineries for damage

EMERYVILLE, Calif./HOUSTON, April 15 (Reuters) – – The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Monday recommended that Chevron Corp check for ongoing damage to pipes and equipment at its U.S. refineries to prevent another explosion like the Aug. 6 pipeline blast at the company’s San Francisco Bay area refinery.

The Safety Board, in an interim report issued Monday, said Chevron did not act upon six recommendations over 10 years to increase inspection and replace the line at its Richmond, California, refinery with upgraded pipe.

Chevron refinery could restart within a few days

RICHMOND — State regulators said Thursday they may be within days of allowing Chevron to resume operations at its refinery in Richmond, which has been hobbled since a fire in August.

The state’s California Occupational Safety and Health Program, commonly known as Cal/OSHA, has been spending the week at the refinery to go over dozens of items related to its operations.

“If we are assured that everything meets our standards, we could lift the order prohibiting use at the refinery,” said Ellen Widess, chief at Cal/OSHA. “That could happen within a few days.”

Richmond Mayor Joins Protesters at Chevron Refinery

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin joined peaceful demonstrators during a rally in front of Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. About 300 people from the nationwide movement called “Money Out, Voters In” demanded lawmakers pass measures that limit the corrosive influence of money in politics and expand democratic participation at the polls. Chevron donated substantial amounts of money to both local and national campaigns.

See the slideshow at Mercurynews.com

http://photos.mercurynews.com/2013/01/20/richmond-mayor-joins-protesters-at-chevron-refinery/

Senators seek U.S. probe of refineries’ actions in gasoline market

The six senators representing the West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington are sending a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. today, calling for an investigation into possible manipulation of the gasoline market by refineries that serve the region.

In the letter the senators say an investigation is needed to determine whether false or misleading information was used to create a perception of a fuel supply shortage. That might have helped boost fuel prices, the senators say.