County Admits Tarsands Plan: Proposes Rejecting San Luis Obispo Oil Trains Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26th, 2016



Communities for a Better Environment

Greg Karras, (415) 902-2666,

Andrés Soto, (510) 282-5363,


Late Monday San Luis Obispo County Planning Department proposed to DENY Phillips 66 Permits to Deliver by Oil Train and Refine Tar Sands Oil.

SLO County’s brave stand comes just after the final environmental review document admits that our communities were correct: The Phillips 66 Santa Maria Rail Spur Extension Project is a project to deliver tar sands by rail.  The project is as bad as its environmental review finds, and worse, due to its undisclosed local impacts of refining tar sands, a more polluting and hazardous oil to be refined in our communities.

SLO County’s stand protects the Bay Area from Oil Trains, because of the route to the refinery, and Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery Emissions.  The Phillips 66 Rodeo project is currently in litigation.

Bay Area officials should publicly support and follow SLO County’s proposal to deny crude by rail projects.  This, and the currently proposed Valero Benicia Crude by Rail Project, threaten our air quality.  The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is also considering proposed regulations to cap refinery emissions–which could effectively block refining of the high-emitting tar sands oil refiners seek to bring by rail.

It remains to be seen whether other agencies will follow SLO County’s step in the right direction.  The Benicia Planning Commission will decide whether to approve the Valero Crude by Rail Project on Monday, February 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Benicia City Hall at 250 East L St. Benicia, CA 94510.


More details regarding SLO County’s determination are available at: