Large Crowd Turns Out For Meeting On Refinery Proposal

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) - It was an overflow crowd as hundreds of
Richmond residents turned out to hear a pitch from Chevron
executives seeking to upgrade the company's 106-year-old refinery.

About 400 people crowded into the City Council chambers and a large tent erected outside Thursday as three Chevron managers tried to convince the city's planning commission to approve a plan to upgrade the 3,000-acre refinery.

Chevron wants to replace the aging refinery with a new power plant and new production facility.

Company officials say with the improvements, the plant could process a wider range of crude oil, including oil that contains larger amounts of sulfur and other impurities.

But opponents blasted the proposal, saying the changes would rain more pollution and toxic chemicals on Richmond.

They're asking the planning commission to delay the expansion until more studies can be made.

It's not clear when the commission would decide on Chevron's request.

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle,

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-21-08 1211EDT

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