Photo courtesy of Fire Drill Friday organizers
Fire Drill Fridays comes to the heart of the oil and gas impacts in the L.A. Harbor Area on March 6, to send a loud and clear message that the health of communities and the climate are of far more importance than the fossil fuel industry.
On Feb. 26, once again community residents, this time in Carson Calif., mobilized in response to explosions and fire at Marathon Oil Petroleum Oil Refinery. At 10:45 p.m. Feb. 25, explosions occurred, preceded by a large fire at the Marathon refinery at their Carson facility. Various reports stated that there was no direct threat to the public; however, community residents were scared, angry, worried, and demanded answers from Marathon, the largest refinery on the west coast, and South Coast Air Quality Management District, the regulating agency.
Marathon dispatched their fire department and the LA County Fire Department arrived on scene to provide back up. One hour later the fire was reportedly under control. The fire department determined there was no need for resident evacuations and stated they would be monitoring the air quality. However, the fire continued into the morning of Feb. 26. Residents fear a lack of transparency from the refinery and inaccurate reporting and assessment from responding agencies.
Incidents like this are not isolated events and happen frequently, both locally and nationally. Last year, there were two refinery fires at Phillips 66 in Carson, in 2017 there was an explosion at a Marathon refinery in Detroit, and in 2016 there was a sulfur tank explosion at Tesoro in Carson, which is now owned and known as Marathon.
Organizers of Fire Drill Fridays said, “Fossil Fuels are strangling our communities and our democracy. The world is literally burning, from the Amazon to Australia, and fossil fuels are the biggest contributor to that.”
Stand together with organizers; Jane Fonda, Greenpeace, Communities for a Better Environment and Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling [STAND-L.A.]
Time: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 6
Location: Small park next to the San Pedro Municipal Building, 638 S. Beacon St., San Pedro