The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California Refinery Fire:
Profits Are a Safety Hazard

Sep 3, 2012

More than 9,000 people visited hospitals in the Bay Area for respiratory and other health problems after a fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery on August 6, which also injured a worker at the plant.

This particular refinery has a history: it has had 13 other fires and leaks of hazardous chemicals since 1989. And this most recent fire was apparently caused by a 40-year-old, leaky pipe that wasn’t fixed.

Most refineries in the country today are aging facilities. The oil companies run them with practically no maintenance – with the complicity of state and federal agencies that supposedly inspect the oil industry for safety.

In the meantime, the profits of oil companies are through the roof. In 2011, the five largest oil companies made a combined profit of 137 billion dollars.

Take every cent of those huge profits – put it to work replacing these dangerous old facilities.