The Oilworker: October 2019


October Update from the NOBP Chair

Greetings brothers and sisters,

I want to introduce Mike Smith, the new chair of our NOBP, to those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to meet him. Mike came to Pittsburgh last summer as we began preparation for national oil bargaining. He worked with me through the fall and was at the bargaining table with Tom Conway and me.    

Mike has a solid oil background, with experience in both health and safety and bargaining, and he is committed to continuing the success we have enjoyed in the oil sector. 

Mike was an operator at the Chevron Richmond refinery in California and eventually came out to work for the local (Local 5 in Martinez) as a staff representative. He has a deep understanding of the refinery operations, experience bargaining locally and at the national table, as well as a strong health and safety background.  

We have attended a number of council meetings as well as meetings at locals in follow up to the last round of bargaining as we look to improve going forward.  Mike is well suited to keeping up our momentum. 

I would ask each of you to give Mike the help and support that you showed to me over the years as he takes you into the next round of oil bargaining.

I also want to thank each and every one of you for the privilege of being able to work for you, not only as oil bargaining chair, but in health and safety and the Triangle of Prevention (TOP) program.  It has truly been an honor for me to serve my union and to spend time getting to know many of you over the years.

I am thankful for the friendships that have formed and for the opportunity to be inspired by my interactions with you on a daily basis.  

Although I am officially retired, I am not done working.  I plan on staying involved to promote union activism when and where I can be useful and wish Mike and my brothers and sisters in oil the best of luck. 

There is no better job in the world than to serve your union brothers and sisters. Thanks for all your help.

In solidarity,
Kim Nibarger
Retiring NOBP Chair


Southern California Air Board Opts Against Stronger Regulations of Hydrofluoric Acid 

The South Coast Air Quality Management District governing board last month voted against stronger regulation of hydrofluoric acid, a highly toxic chemical used at two southern California refineries, instead choosing to accept voluntary safety measures offered by the oil industry. 

Though community and environmental organizations raised concerns about potential leaks, business and labor groups have argued that phasing out the chemical could threaten jobs.

To read more, click here.

Enbridge Receives Permit for Supports on Line 5 Pipeline

Enbridge, a Canadian energy transportation company, announced last month that it received a permit to install 54 steel supports along its underwater Line 5 pipeline in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. 

Enbridge is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the state of Michigan over plans to renovate the underwater portion of the line, which ships 540,000 barrels of light crude oil a day from western to eastern Canada. The 54 new supports will shore up the existing pipe. 

To read more, click here.

Shell Loads First Shipment of Low-Sulfur Fuel Oil

Shell last month loaded its first shipment of low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) in Singapore, in anticipation of growing demand for the cleaner fuel. 

Beginning in January 2020, the International Maritime Organization is lowering the cap on sulfur in marine fuels.

To read more, click here.

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