Sean Greene

Inside the Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot

There’s a strange monolithic structure on Richmond’s shoreline just north up the highway from the San Rafael Bridge. With castle-like towers and fortifications, the red brick structure stands in high contrast to the bay, and to the trees and overgrowth that surround it. The fact that it’s locked behind a chain link fence makes it…

On top of the world

Take it from a man who climbed Mount Everest six times: anything is possible.

Chevron reports cause of August 6 refinery fire

Chevron failed to properly document a thinning pipe in the Richmond refinery’s crude unit back in 2002, the company admitted Friday, when the oil giant released its findings from its own investigation into the cause of last August’s refinery fire. The company concluded sulfur corrosion, accelerated by low silicon content, caused the five-foot carbon steel pipe to…

Chevron fire investigators: Overhaul needed to prevent future incidents

Despite all the eyes on the Richmond Chevron refinery before last August’s fire, the plant’s corroded crude pipe still went unnoticed, federal and state officials said Friday. Federal and state investigators have determined Chevron disregarded its own safety policies and knowingly failed to replace the corroded pipe that ultimately burst, leading to the leaking gas…

PG&E could market against MCE power in the future

Utility company Pacific Gas & Electric filed a letter with state officials this week retaining its right to “express its views” on alternative energy programs like MCE, Richmond’s new green energy provider.

‘Green’ electricity program coming to Richmond

As the non-profit Marin Energy Authority prepares to take over as Richmond’s main electricity provider, residents face an important choice: whether to get their energy from the more eco-friendly MCE or opt to stick with their current provider, PG&E. Starting in July, PG&E customers in Richmond will be automatically switched over to MCE (formerly known…

Council hears plan on Point Molate rehab, ups ante in race for call center

After 10 years behind lock and key, the Point Molate Beach Park could re-open as early as this summer, a city official told the Richmond City Council Tuesday night. The council unanimously approved a two-part plan to rehabilitate the park, which would cost up to $115,000. In a relatively short three-hour meeting, the council also…

As California considers soda tax, Richmond refocuses debate on health

Mr. Wilks strides onstage, a 12-ounce bottle of Coca Cola in hand. The bottle fizzes as he cracks open the seal. He takes a gulp. “Man, that’s good.” Between swigs of soda, he tells an audience his family has been in Richmond since the beginning. His grandparents were shipbuilders during WWII. His grandfather went to…

New bills take aim at Chevron

Two bills introduced in the State Legislature Friday take aim at Chevron in direct response to the August refinery fire. Berkeley Democrats State Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner co-announced legislation Monday that would impose higher fines against air quality polluters and ensure more timely corrections to unsafe workplace conditions. Hancock authored a bill…

A new spotlight of conservation on the Bay

An international treaty recently recognized the San Francisco Bay estuary — California’s largest wetland — as a “wetland of importance,” but while conservation groups called the news a victory, the designation won’t directly halt development that has threatened the area for years. The 1,600 square mile region is home to hundreds of species of plants…

Officials: Chevron failed to replace corroded pipe that caused Aug. fire

Federal investigators have concluded an aged and severely corroded pipe caused the Aug. 6 Chevron Refinery fire. Investigators and elected officials were quick to blame the oil giant for the explosion, arguing the corporation knew the pipe should have been replaced years ago. The findings, released by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board…