Conoco in Emissions Offset Deal at Calif. Refinery
Conoco will spend US$7 million for environmental projects in
the San Francisco Bay Area, US$2.8 million for reforestation in
the state, and US$200,000 to restore local wetlands.
The accord is believed to be the first time a US oil
company agreed to offset emissions of heat-trapping gases from
a refinery expansion, Brown said at a news conference.
Conoco has proposed a refinery expansion including a
hydrogen plant to produce steam and electricity to make
cleaner-burning gasoline and diesel fuels.
Under the accord, the hydrogen plant initially will emit
about 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, and Conoco
agreed to offset any CO2 emissions beyond that level if it
raises its use of hydrogen.
Brown had challenged the Conoco expansion and increased
emissions at the local county board of supervisors before the
parties worked out the agreement.
Conoco also will audit all its refineries in California and
identify all emission sources and possible reductions, and it
also will look at energy efficiency measures for the Rodeo
The agreement helps California to meet greenhouse gas
reduction coals in the the state's landmark law adopted last
year to fight global warming, Brown said.
The law requires California to cut emissions by 25 percent
by 2020 but measures have not been detailed yet and regulations
do not begin to take effect until 2012.
Brown also said a proposal by Chevron Corp to
expand its Richmond, California, refinery "raises the same kind
of issues" as the Conoco plan, adding the state has filed a
comment on the environmental review for the plant.
(Reporting by Leonard Anderson)