California AG cuts deal with Contra Costa refinery

ConocoPhillips, which hopes to expand its Rodeo petroleum refinery, has cut a $10 million greenhouse gas deal with Attorney General Jerry Brown that will clear the way for approval of the project.

Brown, who has been demanding greenhouse gas concessions up and down the state in the wake of a global warming bill signed by the governor, .A.B. 32, announced the settlement during a press conference in San Francisco this morning.

ConocoPhillips has agreed to a list of actions designed to offset additional greenhouse gas emissions from its expanded facilities. Download settlement document here.

The deals for the oil company to:

— Contribute $7 million to a greenhouse gas reduction fund administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management Fund.
— Conduct greenhouse gas audits all of its California refineries.
— Audit its Rodeo facility for energy savings.
— Contribute $2.8 million toward reforestation efforts in California.
— Contribute $200,000 for restoration of San Pablo wetlands.
— Give up its operating permit for an operation at its Santa Maria facility.
— Receive credits toward any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at the Rodeo facility.

The deal clears the path for ConocoPhillips to secure approval for the expansion from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors later this month. The supervisors had urged the company to reach a deal with Brown prior to its vote on the project, hoping to avert a costly legal and public showdown between the county and the attorney general.

To read Brown’s full press release on the subject, click here.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen