Oil and Energy Expert Analyses Latest Exxon Refinery Explosion

Oil and Energy Expert Analyses Latest Exxon Refinery Explosion

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A major blast an ExxonMobil refinery at 9 am yesterday morning in Torrance, California, injured four workers. The explosion was so strong that it reportedly shattered the windows of nearby buildings and released massive amounts of smoke into the air. Torrance Mayor Patrick Furey made a statement saying, “The most important thing is to shelter in place, stay indoors, no outdoor activity, turn the air conditioners off, keep the windows closed.” Firefighters and Exxon workers extinguished a small fire that resulted, and contained a gas leak resulting from the explosion.

While Exxon says it is investigating the cause of the explosion, a spokesperson for the United Steel Workers which represents the Torrance refinery workers told press that the blast took place near the fluid catalytic cracking unit or FCC. Apparently Exxon was planning on overhauling the FCC later this month. The 750-acre plant produces more than 150,000 barrels of refined oil a day.

To read Antonia’s work, visit antoniajuhasz.net, or follow her Twitter @antoniajuhasz.

GUEST:… Antonia Juhasz is also a former fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism. She is the author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill and The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry—and What We Must Do to Stop It.