Lawsuit accuses Chevron of underpaying royalties

A lawsuit filed last month accuses Chevron of fraudulently underpaying oil royalties to a family trust based in San Luis Obispo County.

If the suit achieves the class-action status it seeks, it could extend to royalty owners in Kern and Fresno counties.

The suit claims that the San Ramon-based company — Kern’s leading oil producer — has intentionally violated the terms of its longstanding royalty agreement with The Melissa D. Duflock Revocable Trust. The trust owns land in Monterey County’s San Ardo Oil Field, which is one of many areas where Chevron produces oil.

Chevron dismissed the charges as “baseless allegations and unsubstantiated lawyer rhetoric.”

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.”

Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Consumer choice is key to California success

“You can have any color Ford you want, as long as it’s black,” Henry Ford is famously credited with saying in the early years of the U.S. automobile industry, when Fords only came in one color.

Why so many color options today? Consumers. Consumers are one of the most powerful drivers of change on the planet. We vote with our wallets, and we vote with our values. And we have the power to make changes far greater than a car’s color.

Yet at the fuel pump, consumers still have no power. We all know our dependence on fossil fuels weakens our economy and security while threatening our environment. We simply feel powerless to address it because there is no true alternate choice.

 

Air quality app gives real-time pollution readings

Anti-pollution officials had two reasons to celebrate Wednesday: They launched a real-time app that lets San Diego County residents check their neighborhood air quality, and they officially confirmed that the region’s level of unhealthy ozone is the lowest on record.

The officials touted the app, which downloads real-time air-quality readings on smartphones or computer tablets, during a crisp morning outside the County Administration Building.

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Coming Down Despite Big U.S. Oil Boom

The U.S. oil market is subject to a complex web of forces, some domestic and some global – and most of them are pushing oil prices higher.

Increasing U.S. oil production, as it turns out, has helped reduce U.S. oil imports, but it’s global demand that determines how much the black gold costs.

While fuel demand has dropped in the U.S., it’s risen 28% in China over the past five years.

Tar sands refining in Southern California needs scrutiny, say environmentalists

Oil refiners are sending greater amounts of an especially dirty crude oil product called “tar sands” to their Southern California refineries.

Now environmental groups want regulators to take a closer look

Tar sands hold a kind of semi-solid petroleum. To refine it enough for California standards takes more processing. Oil companies – including Valero, Tesoro and Conoco Phillips – say they’re bringing in more of this raw material because liquid petroleum in California is drying up.