Home U.S Communities worry about health as states ignore climate pledges, build oil infrastructure

Communities worry about health as states ignore climate pledges, build oil infrastructure

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A petroleum refinery towers over a residential area in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles. Residents objected to the construction of storage tanks, citing sickening fumes.

Magali Sanchez-Hall, usually in motion, pauses for a moment on the sidewalk to gaze through a chain-link fence at the massive construction project: tanks shaped like giant tuna fish cans that will store crude oil.

The Los Angeles refinery has been her troublesome neighbor for a quarter of a century, but she finds this latest turn particularly perplexing.

“Right now, we are supposed to be moving to clean energy,” she said.

Sanchez-Hall, 50, raised her children here before getting a master’s degree in public policy. When Tesoro, now Marathon Petroleum, first proposed the tanks in 2016, she opposed them, citing sickening fumes from the ones already there.  

“It’s a poor neighborhood, we don’t have air conditioners, so we leave the windows open,” she said. “To put new tanks in, just to store more oil, it’s not rational.”

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