Full text of OPR letter to Pittsburg concerning the WesPac project

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently sent a letter to the City of Pittsburg regarding the proposed WesPac oil terminal. Unfortunately, the Pittsburg Planning Department intends not to answer these three short questions in the final EIR. OPR has serious concerns about tar sands, because of California’s mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (the heat-trapping gases that cause climate change).

For more on this, see the “Tar sands in Pittsburg? California government concerned.” post (letter on Scribd here).

OPR’s letter as a PDF from Scribd

Transcription of the letter

December 3, 2013

Kristin Pollot, Associate Planner
City of Pittsburg, Planning Department
65 Civic Avenue
Pittsburg, CA 94565

Re: WesPac Pittsburg Energy Infrastructure Project, Tar Sands

Dear Ms. Pollot:

The public comment period for the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the WesPac Pittsburg Energy Infrastructure Project closed on September 13, 2013. We apologize for missing that deadline, but ask that this letter be included in the record before the City Council at the time the WesPac project comes before the Council.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is California’s comprehensive state planning agency and serves the Governor and his Cabinet as staff for long-range planning and research. The RDEIR includes the following information:

  1. WesPac proposes to modernize and reactivate the existing oil storage and transfer facilities located at the NRG Energy, Inc. Pittsburg Generating Station. The proposed Terminal “would be designed to receive crude oil and partially refined crude oil from trains, marine vessels, and pipelines, store oil in existing or new storage tanks and then transfer oil to nearby refineries.”
  2. The total annual throughput for the Terminal would be approximately 88.3 million barrels of crude oil or partially refined crude oil per year.

The WesPac project may impact planning for greenhouse gas emission reduction and infrastructure and is therefore of interest to OPR. As a result, we pose three straight-forward questions that we believe should be answered in the course of review of the project:

  1. Can the WesPac project receive, store, or transfer crude oil or partially refined crude oil from tar sands?
  2. What are the anticipated sources of crude oil or partially refined crude oil that WesPac will receive, store, or transfer?
  3. If the anticipated sources of crude change, who makes that decision, and if the crude mix change results in increased environmental impacts, how will those impacts be addressed?

Many thanks for your consideration of these issues.

Ken Alex
Cc Members of the Pittsburg City Council

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