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May 17, 2013 | By Ronald D. White and Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
Tesoro Corp. won federal and state clearance for its purchase of BP's Carson refinery, Arco stations and other assets for $2.4 billion, an acquisition that would further concentrate the state's fuel-making capacity into only two players - Tesoro and Chevron Corp. The twin actions Friday were immediately blasted by consumer advocates as a disaster for California consumers, who already pay some of the nation's highest gasoline and diesel prices. Tesoro and Chevron would control more than half of the refining business in California, which the activist groups contend would allow the two companies to influence what customers pay at the pump.
May 16, 2013 | By Don Lee
BEIJING -- Surrounded and pushed back by police, hundreds of people shouted and marched again in the southern China city of Kunming to protest the construction of a petrochemical plant. It was the second time this month that demonstrators gathered in large numbers to display their concerns in Kunming, a provincial capital, in what has become a familiar scene in China as citizens demand more accountability for decisions affecting the environment. The protest crowds Thursday were estimated to number as many as 2,500.
May 10, 2013
Re "Accent on the saying power," Column One, May 7 Regarding the dispute over the proper way to pronounce neighborhood names in Los Angeles such as Los Feliz, in English there is a standard way to pronounce words from foreign languages. It is incorrect English to attempt to change the accent one is speaking in the middle of a sentence. Yet there is a deplorable tendency among some now to show off their language chops by referring to, say, Italy's former prime minister as "SEEL-vyoh Bairrr-la-SKOHNNN-ee.
April 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A coalition of environmental groups says it has discovered that large-scale shipments of low-quality heavy crude oil from Canada's tar sands are being delivered by rail for processing by Southern California refineries. The groups on Tuesday called for an investigation by air-quality officials to evaluate the effects on health, air quality, safety and the climate of processing the heavy Canadian crude, which requires intensive processing to remove higher levels of sulfur to meet U.S. standards.
February 28, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Ethics officials are reviewing financial dealings between a state senator who abruptly resigned last week to work for Chevron and an oil executive whose firm lent him hundreds of thousands of dollars while he was in office. Officials at the Fair Political Practices Commission said Thursday they are studying a complaint that Michael Rubio, a Democrat from the Central Valley town of Shafter, may have improperly benefited from real estate deals with a refinery executive.
January 31, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California safety officials ordered Chevron Corp. to pay a record-high fine of nearly $1 million for safety violations that led to a massive fire last summer at a refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the Aug. 6 explosion at Chevron's facility in Richmond, Calif., an emergency telephone network advised tens of thousands of people in that city to stay indoors behind closed doors and windows to avoid breathing potentially dangerous sulfuric acid and nitrogen dioxide fumes.
January 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California safety officials ordered Chevron Corp. to pay nearly $1 million in penalties for safety violations that led to a massive fire last summer at a refinery at Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area. In all, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued 25 citations against California's biggest oil company, including 11 "willful serious" and 12 lesser "serious" violations related to the Aug. 6 blaze, the state said. The fine, which could be appealed by Chevron, is the highest in Cal-OSHA history, the agency said.
January 19, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO - Algerian troops raided a remote natural gas refinery Saturday, killing 11 Islamic militants but not before extremists executed seven hostages who for days had been trapped in a deepening international crisis, according to media reports. Algerian state media described the army mission as the “final assault” to end a hostage ordeal that began in the predawn Wednesday at a gas compound on the Algerian-Libyan border. It was not clear if the hostages killed were Algerians or foreigners.
November 27, 2012 | By Ronald D. White
The six senators representing the West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington are sending a letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. today, calling for an investigation into possible manipulation of the gasoline market by refineries that serve the region. In the letter the senators say an investigation is needed to determine whether false or misleading information was used to create a perception of a fuel supply shortage. That might have helped boost fuel prices, the senators say. In California, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline hit a new record of $4.671 a gallon last month.
November 27, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Gasoline price spikes, such as the event that drove the average gallon in California to a stratospheric $4.67 in October, create two types of frustration. There's the immediate frustration of seeing the price at the pump soar almost overnight to a figure that could buy you 10 Hostess Twinkies (in a non-panicking market, that is). Then there's the longer-term frustration that arises from the recognition that very little can be done to protect the California consumer from future spikes, and that very little has been done to address the bigger issues with the state's gasoline market.
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