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Report: Oil companies deceived public about refinery shutdowns

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remember those gas price spikes in May and October that were explained away as refinery outages? A new study shared exclusively with McClatchy Newspapers calls that bogus and says that refineries in fact continued to operate during supposed outages and maintenance shutdowns. An excerpt:

Specifically, the report alleges that in May, at a time when Royal Dutch Shell's Martinez plant was reported to be down for maintenance for two weeks, it appears to have been making gasoline for at least half that time. That conclusion is reached from state environmental documents showing nitrogen oxide emissions had returned to normal at the refinery a full week before it was reported to have come back on line.

Similarly, Chevron's Richmond refinery was reported down for maintenance for two weeks in May, but emissions data suggests the refinery never ceased operation.

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