Feb 17, 2022 12:30 PM
Steve Early and Andres Soto
Can Oily Old Richmond Go Green?

Steve Early -  Author of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City 

Andres Soto - Richmond Organizer, Communities for a Better Environment

Can Oily Old Richmond Go Green?
Can a city long dependent on fossil fuel refining, as its largest industry, make a “just transition” to a more carbon-free local economy? Despite its century old history as an oil company town, the nearby city of Richmond has become a beehive of environmental activity.To promote use of renewable energy, Richmond partnered with Marin Clean Energy (MCE) to create a huge local solar farm now serving 4,000 residents. PG&E customers in the city have a high level of participation in MCE’s community choice aggregation program.
Local watchdog groups, like Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), have won stronger refinery safety rules and better Bay Area air quality standards. They are campaigning to clean-up toxic sites in the city and save more of its shoreline from over-development. The City Council has voted to end coal shipments from the Port of Richmond and is currently considering a ban on the use of natural gas in future commercial and residential structures. Along with Marin County, Richmond is suing Chevron and other major oil companies for damages because of the climate change impact of their greenhouse gas emissions.
Our speakers on February 17th will report on these and other recent developments in Richmond—and how they are viewed by local residents and business owners.
Steve Early is journalist, lawyer, longtime labor activist, and author of Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money and the Remaking of an American City. (Beacon Press). Andres Soto is a Richmond native, organizer for Communities for a Better Environment, and a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance. He is a KPFA radio show host and a well-known Bay Area musician.