CBE Reports and Publications
Click one of the links below to jump to a specific research category:
- Fact sheets
- Cumulative Impacts
- Fossil Fuels / Refineries
- Health / Health Surveys
- Environmental Justice
- Bad Energy Transport Projects on the West Coast, September 2014
- Whole Energy Transformation by 2050, June 2014
- Health Impacts From Fossil Fuels, May 2014
- Ten Things Big Oil Doesn’t Want You to Know About California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, March 2013
- Chevron fire exposes unsafe crude switch, Updated February 2013
- Widespread Corrosion at the Richmond Refinery, February 2013
- What’s Up with California’s Gas Prices?, October 2012
- The Dirty Oil Index, May 2012
- Crude Switch Fact Sheet, January 2011
- Sowing Seeds: You Are What You Grow! East Oakland Food Fact Sheet, June 2011
- Sembrar semillas: ¡Usted es lo que cultiva! Hoja informativa sobre los alimentos para el Este de Oakland, Junio 2011
- Big Oil, little jobs: Green Energy, more jobs, December 2011
- Community-Based Research Summary (2007-2009)
- Diesel Truck Fact sheet, September 2009
- Hoja informativa sobre los camiones diesel, Septiembre 2009
- East Oakland Diesel Truck Survey Report, September 2010
- East Oakland Particulate Matter 2.5 Community-based Air Monitoring Research Report, September 2010
- Cumulative Impacts: Changing Regulatory Culture to Address Environmental Injustice and Environmental Racism (Case Studies and Recommendations), October 2009
The purpose of this report is to demonstrate to decision makers the serious flaws in how our regulatory system approaches environmental justice issues, and to suggest steps they can take to address these flaws.
- Cumulative Impacts in East Oakland: Findings from a community-based mapping study, September 2008
- Impactos Acumulativos en East Oakland, Septiembre 2008
Fossil Fuels / Refineries
- Karras, Greg, “Comment on ‘Analysis of Energy Use and CO2 Emissions in the U.S. Refining Sector, With Projections to 2025,’” Environmental Science & Technology (2012). DOI: 10.1021/es301915z. CBE advances the case for public climate science in this peer reviewed journal published by the American Chemical Society. For more details, read our notes on the response by proponents of a proprietary refinery emissions model.
- Karras, Greg, “Combustion Emissions from Refining Lower Quality Oil: What is the Global Warming Potential?,” Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 44 no. 24, pp. 9584-9589 (2010).
- The Increasing Burden of Oil Refineries and Fossil Fuels in Wilmington, California, and How to Clean Them Up! April 2009
Oil refineries are already major pollution sources, from fossil fuel evaporation and burning vast quantities of fossil fuel energy to make gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. In this report, we compile basic crude oil quality information and associated air emissions in order to examine the impacts of the refining industry on California health and the environment, and how processing dirtier crude oil seriously exacerbates existing problems. It uses the case of the heavily-burdened, majority Latino Wilmington/Carson area in Southern California, which emerges with the highest concentration of refineries in California, with a surprising 650,000 barrels per day of crude oil processing (about a third of the state’s production, and half of LA-area refinery VOCs).
- Flaring Prevention Measures, April 2007 Oil refinery flaring causes episodic exposures to pollutants that may cause lung disease, cancer and other health problems. This report is about stopping the pollution. It documents feasible flaring prevention measures, and is a resource for community members, workers, and public officials who participate in decisions on stopping pollution from flares.
- Flaring Hot Spots, July 2005
Assessment of episodic local air pollution associated with oil refinery flaring using sulfur as a tracer.
- Refinery Flaring in the Neighborhood: Routine flaring in the San Francisco Bay Area, the need for new regulation and better environmental law enforcement, and the community campaign to get there, Spring 2004
Collaborative Research / Reports
Health / Health Surveys
- Richmond Health Survey Report, June 2009
In partnership with The Silent Spring Institute, the Richmond Health Survey examines and documents community members’ shared health experiences and their perceptions of environmental factors that may affect health outcomes. Further results of this study can be read here.
- Latest CBE Report: Crude Injustice/ La Cruda Injusticia (Full Report) English & Spanish, June 2015
Californians of color are more likely to live in the oil train blast zone, the dangerous one-mile evacuation zone in the case of an oil train derailment and fire. “It’s simple, oil trains contribute to environmental racism in California,” says Nile Malloy, Northern California Program Director, Communities for a Better Environment. “Environmental justice communities like Richmond and Wilmington that already live with the highest risk are hardest hit. It’s time for a just and quick transition to clean energy.” While 60 percent of Californians live in environmental justice communities – communities with racial minorities, low income, or non-English speaking households – 80 percent of the 5.5 million Californians with homes in the blast zone live in environmental justice communities.
Nine out of ten of California’s largest cities on oil train routes have an even higher rate of discriminatory impact than the state average. In these cities, 82–100 percent of people living in the blast zone are in environmental justice communities. “The maps paint a scary picture of who lives with threat of explosions and the health risks from pollution and disruption from dangerous 100-plus car crude oil trains,” says Matt Krogh, ForestEthics extreme oil campaign director and one of the authors of the report. “In California you are 33 percent more likely to live in the blast zone if you live in a nonwhite, low income, or non-English speaking household.”
- Hidden Hazards: A Call to Action for Healthy, Livable Communities, December 2010
In 2004, the Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice released its first report, Building a Regional Voice for Environmental Justice, taking important steps towards community-based participatory research. In this groundbreaking work, the Liberty Hill Foundation, Communities for a Better Environment, and a team of scholars analyzed the demographic patterns of air emissions using regulatory databases for the Los Angeles region. We documented the clear relationship between toxic exposure and race and income status, providing scientific evidence to corroborate residents’ first-hand knowledge that they were disproportionately impacted by air pollution from such sources as chemically-intensive manufacturing and fossil fuel-based transportation modes.In Hidden Hazards, we provide new evidence of the high density of air pollution hazards and exposure in certain areas of Los Angeles—hazards that are “hidden” from the view of regulatory agencies because they are not contained in their official databases—which harm residents of these areas of concentrated pollution and affect all of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County.This report also points the way to some promising policy solutions that focus on innovation and bold action rooted at the local level. We present suggestions for local policy solutions that could be readily implemented by municipalities throughout the region. In fact, many of these tools will be familiar to city planners and agencies that already regularly use them in planning and decision-making to address neighborhood development and public health concerns.
- Building a Regional Voice for Environmental Justice, September 2004
This report highlights a partnership between Communities for a Better Environment, the Liberty Hill Foundation and a university-based research team (Los Angeles Collaborative for Environmental Health and Justice) – that contributed to turning California into an epicenter of the environmental justice movement over the past several years and helped add to the momentum for major policy reform. The report begins by describing the individual partners and how we integrated our efforts into a collaborative model. We review key highlights of our accomplishments, and analyze the benefits – to us individually, as well as to the work – of the collaborative model. The report also shares the lessons we have learned from working together, and some of the challenges we faced. Lastly, we include a user-friendly supplement that shares the key findings of the research team’s investigations into environmental justice issues in Southern California. We hope that the experience of The Los Angeles Collaborative will provide valuable insight and inspiration for future practitioners, researchers, foundations and community organizations, and that it might open new horizons for collaboration.
- Building Healthy Communities from the Ground Up: Environmental Justice in California, September 2003 (prepared by Martha Matsuoka)
The primary goal of the report is to provide a clear, concise landscape of statewide conditions as well as opportunities and challenges for building grassroots power and influence at the state level. The report is written to inform legislators and policymakers of the history of neglect and the lack of compliance and enforcement of environmental protections in California and to identify policy, legislative, program, and investment gaps that have resulted in a statewide environmental justice crisis. This report is also designed as a reference document for strategic planning and for discussions that strengthen and support direct organizing efforts and coalition-building. The recommendations contained in the report range from the general to the specific, but define a strategic direction for building healthy communities and achieving environmental justice in California.