This refinery has had two recent incidents, which should make anyone question the quest for petroleum over the health of people. In 1999, the refinery had an explosion and fire that sent more than 1,200 Richmond residents to the hospital. In 2012, history repeated itself as a fire at the plant covered the area in noxious fumes and sent more than 15,000 to the hospital, according to Democracy Now!
The fine for the 2012 incident was $2 million, which begs the question: Just how profitable is petroleum extraction and refining? Just in case you weren’t counting, in the three cases mentioned, Chevron has faced fines in excess of $11 million in California.
That number does not include the amount that it cost to do any cleanup as prescribed by the rules of the EPA. It also doesn’t include any of the petroleum spills that Chevron has been involved with in other states.