Chevron said Tuesday that it has no plans to close its huge Richmond refinery, confirming what industry analysts had long suspected. The oil giant’s announcement also threw cold water on the overheated concerns of the business editor of the Contra Costa Times, who had worried that Richmond facility would shutter and had started blaming environmentalists and the liberal Richmond City Council for it.
Environmentalists had won a lawsuit against Chevron after the oil company failed to complete an adequate environmental report on its planned Richmond expansion. The case is currently up on appeal. In addition, a majority the Richmond council, which is no longer dominated by Chevron-backed politicians, has repeatedly sought to raise taxes on the refinery in an effort to get the company to start paying for the environmental and health problems it has caused over the years.