Here is update on COP Woodriver permit the “Rest of the Story” as Paul Harvey used to say. It appears that COP has once again submitted to the Environmental thugs like NDRC and agreed to higher level pollution control measures that they will use to leverage other refinery/coker expansions with (BP Whiting mentioned here is now in gunsights).
COP did something similar this time last year (~Oct 2007) when they agreed to pay Environmental “Green Mail” of $10MM for their Rodeo Refinery expansion, to Serria Club/NDRC types, which not only gave them lot funds but set this buy-off precedent to use on any future refinery expansions. <Chevron Richmond is going thru mill now>. Their justification was that their project went ahead while several are still tied up by the environmental groups and that the cost on even the lowest priced product (Petcoke) would work out to about +$1/ton over life project.
It is hard to argue with logic of getting critical projects past a roadblock & costly environmental legal challenges but it is obvious that they now have set costly precedents for everyone else. And COP has placed a target on their back at any Refinery site as a patsy that will cave-in/pay-off which insures even more challenges by these thugs than they might originally have had.
I just hate that these Environmental thugs are getting away with having an over-ride over the Government agencies where new projects are reviewed. Both the EPA and State Agencies are forced to either withdraw or review any projects like Woodriver where they do grant a permit because they have been brow-beat by these “thugs/terrorist”.
The Refineries need to push for Crisis program to get Refineries badly needed by the US to meet demands and fast track permits & projects and put a block on these anti-industry agencies from these “forever delays” and also prevent any granted permit from being withdrawn based on junk-science challenges like this one was.
The rule should be that unless the refinery has more pollution than the worst refinery in Venezuela or China that is supplying our import gasoline – then it can’t be challenged by NIMBY’s.