Advisory: Bay Area groups to host town hall on dangerous Phillips 66 refinery tar sands expansion proposal

February 27, 2019

6pm March 7 in Rodeo: Environment, community leaders to discuss how project would impact local health, climate and increase tanker traffic, oil spill risk in Bay Area

RODEO, CA — Local environmental and community leaders are hosting a town hall from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, to discuss how a tar sands expansion proposal at Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo would impact local health and the climate by increasing refinery emissions and worsening air quality for nearby communities, while increasing tanker traffic and the risk of a devastating oil spill in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WHAT: Town hall on Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery tar sands expansion proposal

WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 7

WHERE: Rodeo Hills Elementary School, 545 Garretson Street, Rodeo, CA

WHO: The town hall is sponsored by Rodeo Citizens AssociationCrockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment (CRUDE), Fresh Air VallejoIdle No More SF BaySunflower Alliance350 Bay AreaCommunities for a Better Environment (CBE), and Town hall speakers include: 

  • Andres Soto, Community Organizer, CBE
  • Greg Karras, Senior Scientist, CBE
  • Pennie Opal Plant and Alison Ehara Brown, Cofounders, Idle No More SF Bay
  • LaDonna Williams, Environmental Justice Advocate, All Positives Possible and Fresh Air Vallejo
  • Janice Kirsch, MD, MPH and Member, 350 Bay Area 
  • Janet Pygeorge, President, Rodeo Citizens Association

ONLINE: The town hall will be livestreamed on Facebook at

ATTEND: Interested participants can RSVP and get up-to-date information on the town hall at


Bay Area residents — including the communities of Richmond, San Pablo, Pinole, Hercules, Rodeo, Crockett, Vallejo, Benicia and Martinez — are concerned over plans to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands at Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery. The refinery is currently seeking permits to expand its wharf capacity and increase the number of oil tankers traveling to its refinery through San Francisco Bay. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is expected to release a draft environmental impact statement for the proposal in 2019.

If the refinery’s full expansion and increased wharf capacity is permitted, more than twice as many crude oil tankers could travel to the refinery, many of them carrying tar sands from Canada. The refinery expansion alone could mean a tenfold increase in the amount of tar sands passing through San Francisco Bay. A September 2018 panel in Oakland detailed the connection between Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Phillips 66 San Francisco Refinery expansion.

Tar sands is one of the dirtiest crude oils on the planet and is extremely difficult to clean up in the event of an oil spill. Tar sands is high in sulfur and heavy metals, and extracting and refining it creates an outsize climate impact. Tar sands is so thick when it comes out of the ground that it can only be moved through a pipeline after dilution with toxic chemicals, creating diluted bitumen or dilbit. This dilution process makes it unsafe to approach a tar sands oil spill until the chemicals have evaporated. 


Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary,, virginia@stand.earth510-858-9902