Tar sands refining in Southern California needs scrutiny, say environmentalists

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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.