Huge Chevron Oil Refinery Fire in Richmond, CA Highlights Huge (Unseen) Costs of “Cheap Oil”
Guests for the first half-hour: Author and oil and energy analyst Antonia Juhasz and Richmond community organizer Andres Soto
Guests for second half-hour: Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild and Patrick Shea, chief counsel for climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher
Tonight on Political Analysis, Sandy LeonVest reports on the massive fire at Chevron’s oil refinery in Richmond, California. The fire was only the most recent in an ongoing series of accidents and “incidents” reported at Chevron’s Richmond facility, where the surrounding neighborhood is mostly populated by working class people of color. Chevron’s Richmond refinery has experienced more than 300 accidents between 1989 and 1995 — including major fires, spills, leaks, explosions, toxic gas releases, flaring, and air contamination. And Contra Costa County, California (where Chevron’s Richmond refinery is located) has, since 1989, suffered some 35 major industrial accidents, making it one of the most dangerous places to live in the nation. Between 1989 and 1995, there were over 1900 different incidents reported in the county, making it the eleventh worst area in the entire United States for toxic accidents.
Joining Sandy to talk about Chevron, author, journalist and oil industry analyst Antonia Juhasz and community organizer Andres Soto, of Richmond’s Communities for a Better Environment. They discuss last night’s accident at the Chevron refinery in Richmond — and the implications of the fire for the future health of the community. They also talk about the Big Picture … why all communities forced to play host to oil refineries, toxic waste sites or other polluting industries are essentially powder kegs waiting to explode.
In the second half of the show, attorneys Heidi Boghosian and Patrick Shea talk about the criminalization of grassroots activism — especially if it is creative, courageous and/or carries with it radical implications for major change. They discuss climate activist Tim DeChristopher’s arrest and trial in that context, as well as 21st century “justice,” and the increasing (hi-tech) militarization of law enforcement. They wrap up the hour talking about the militarization of the Republican and Democratic national conventions — and the “special plans” for the 2012 conventions.