Many Richmond residents have been highly critical of Chevron following a recent massive fire at the refinery, and now the city is planning to reach out to Chevron hoping the oil company will help revitalize a depressed area in the community.
Richmond City Council plans to issue a resolution Tuesday asking Chevron to create a new research center in Marina Bay, an area the city itself describes as downtrodden, but possibly on the mend.
Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory recently selected Richmond for a new campus, a major boon that the city wants to build upon with Chevron.
"With urging Chevron to help create a research campus in Richmond, most particularly at Marina Bay, because that's near where Lawrence Berkeley Labs is moving," said Richmond City Council member Tom Butt.
Butt said the idea is that with Lawrence Berkeley Labs and Chevron, Marina Bay could become a major green tech center, instead of what it is now – a collection of mostly empty office buildings.
Butt said it would help the city and Chevron.
"(Chevron) have a presence here in Richmond beyond just refining," Butt said.
But one significant tenant in Marina Bay is Chevron. The company intended a major presence, but that changed after a plan to modernize the refinery got stuck in the courts.
In a statement, Chevron said it "will not be in a position to make any additional long term investment decisions in Richmond until the renewal modernization project is successfully permitted."
Councilman Butt said that refinery modernization is important as is the Marina Bay plan.
"We keep pushing maybe we see some action," Butt added.
What the council will introduce Tuesday is a non-binding resolution with no incentives, it's one of many suggestions on what Chevron should do or invest in post fire.
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