How resistance to pipelines, tankers, and refinery expansions connects frontline communities in US, Canada

September 21, 2018

BC indigenous leaders, Bay area elected officials and activists detail the connection between Trans Mountain Pipeline, Phillips 66 San Francisco Refinery expansion

Traditional Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands (OAKLAND, CA) — Indigenous leaders from British Columbia and elected officials and local activists from the Bay Area held a panel on Thursday, September 20, highlighting the climate and air pollution connections between Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion. 

Watch a recording of the panel here.

The panel, “Oil Pipelines Connecting Resistance: Extraction, Pipelines & Refineries,” discussed how resistance to oil pipelines, oil tankers, and refinery expansions connects frontline communities in Canada and the US who are rising to stop climate change.

Bay Area residents are concerned over how Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion to bring in more oil tankers and process more heavy crude oil like tar sands will increase refinery emissions, worsen local air quality for nearby communities, and increase the risk of a devastating oil spill. If the refinery’s full expansion moves ahead, more than twice as many crude oil tankers would travel to the refinery, some of them carrying tar sands from Canada, which is extremely difficult to clean up. Read more about Phillips 66’s San Francisco refinery expansion.

“Marginalized communities worldwide are affected by wildfires, hurricanes, and drought due to climate change. For generations, First Nations and Indigenous peoples have been leaders in standing up to big oil — even more so as we push to stop refinery expansions, keep fossil fuels in the ground, and protect our air, land, and water rights from climate profiteers.” -Isabella Zizi, Climate Campaigner with and member of Idle No More SF Bay

“Building a pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands to Vancouver, BC-area ports would flood the global market with large amounts of higher polluting heavy crude. This would have serious negative impacts in our fight against global warming and could increase emissions around refineries in the Bay Area. That’s why we need to keep tar sands in the ground, stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, and prevent this dirtier crude from being processed in local refineries.” -John Gioia, member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and board member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District

“Tens of thousands of Bay Area residents oppose Phillips 66’s reckless plans to expand its wharf and refine tar sands at its Rodeo refinery. This would risk the health of San Francisco Bay, wreck the health of our neighbors living near the refinery, and further imperil the future of our planet. Just as people power stopped an oil terminal in Pittsburg and oil train projects in Benicia and San Luis Obispo, we will not rest until Phillips 66’s project is stopped dead in its tracks.” -Shoshana Wechsler, founding member of Sunflower Alliance

“Phillips 66’s expansion project for tar sands tankers endangers communities — particularly Indigenous ones — from its origin point in Alberta, Canada, along the West Coast tanker route, and finally to the San Francisco Bay. Along with the illusion that carbon trading eases environmental destruction, Phillips 66’s wharf expansion project is disastrous for Indigenous communities and poor communities of color along its path.” -Dr. Melinda Micco, member of the Seminole tribe and one of the founding grandmothers of Idle No More SF Bay

“Tsleil Waututh Nation people stand together and with our allies, and we say ‘no’ to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project and Phillips 66’s wharf expansion proposal. The risk we are asked to bear is too great for our inlet and everything that lives in it. The continued extraction of tar sands and how it contributes to climate change should be reason enough to halt these types of expansion projects.” -Charlene Aleck, councilmember with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia

“It’s our moral duty to stand up to projects like the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project and Phillips 66’s wharf expansion proposal. All of our loved ones — from First Nations in Alberta and British Columbia to Indigenous peoples and frontline communities living along tanker routes and near refineries — deserve to have a safe and secure future free from sickness due to the threat of an oil spill and increased air pollution from nearby refineries.” -Cedar George Parker, member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia and the Tulalip Tribe in Washington State


On Saturday, September 22, from 11am-1pm, indigenous leaders will lead a peaceful teach-in and prayer walk at Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery for Bay Area residents to learn more about the Trans Mountain Pipeline and Phillips 66’s San Francisco Refinery expansion, and how they can participate in upcoming events.

The teach-in is hosted by Indigenous Women of the Americas: Defenders of Mother Earth Treaty with support from Idle No More SF Bay and

Interested participants can meet at Lone Tree Point, 24 Pacific Avenue, Rodeo, CA 94572.

From 2014-2017, Idle No More SF Bay hosted monthly healing walks at refineries in the Bay Area to raise awareness of the fossil fuel corridor, communities living in nearby sacrifice zones, and the devastating health impacts to people living near the refineries.


Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Press Secretary,, 510-858-9902 (US) or 778-984-3994 (Canada)