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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is VCPR against development?

No! We are most certainly not opposed to development or jobs. But we donít think we should settle for just any corporation that comes to town making promises of jobs and money. Focusing on safe and healthy development will bring worthwhile businesses to Vallejo that do not risk our health, quality of life, safety, property values or our beautiful city. Any new business on Mare Island will generate tax money for the city -- it doesnít have to be a heavy or toxic industry. The Bechtel/Shell proposal is not our only option. VCPR supports businesses that will bring long-term, living wage jobs for our residents, and projects that contribute to a healthy, safe future for our community.

Is VCPR against jobs?

Definitely not! We simply believe Vallejoans deserve long-term, living-wage, jobs in businesses that contribute to a healthy, safe future. Most of the 1,000 temporary construction jobs promised by Bechtel-Shell will go to union members from outside of Vallejo, and will last well less than three years. The 100 permanent jobs touted by Bechtel-Shell will go to highly skilled, trained professionals. Most Vallejo residents wonít be able to qualify for these jobs, and we donít think itís fair for Bechtel-Shell to hide this fact from our community.Vallejo needs businesses that offer thousands of reliable, safe, long-term employment for our citizens.

Mare Island produced nuclear reactors, bombs, and other polluting products for years, so what's the problem with an LNG facility and gas plant?

We are proud of our Naval Heritage and the thousands of courageous, hard-working and dedicated citizens who lived in Vallejo and worked at Mare Island -- the most famous and successful shipyard in the United States.

But the U.S. Navy closed the shipyard and is required to conduct a massive environmental cleanup to deal with the unfortunate hazardous remnants of the shipyard's past.

Vallejoans have lived for over 100 years with Mare Island's hazardous operations, but that doesnít mean we need to continue the tradition now that we have a choice. We have an unprecedented opportunity to honor Mare Island's rich history turn Mare Island into a one-of-a-kind destination where people can enjoy both the history and beauty of Mare Island and businesses can flourish and provide living wage jobs for Vallejoans. This will not be possible with a major LNG and power plant next door.

Would property values be affected by the LNG gas and power plants?

If the LNG facility and gas plant are built, Vallejo's property values will drop, which will also result in lost residential property tax revenue to our city -- and our schools.

Real estate values in Vallejo soared 19 % in 2001, the highest percentage in the Bay Area. People are moving to Vallejo for its charm, close proximity to San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area and our affordable home prices. Placing a huge polluting and hazardous gas plant in our midst would halt this recent progress.

Common sense and science agree that these types of projects harm property values. "[P]lacing a generating facility in the vicinity of residential properties causes losses of millions of dollars in property values." (Source: Dr. George Tolley, professor, University of Chicago) This was what happened to Burrillville, Rhode Island, when Ocean State Power located a plant there. After the plant was built, property placed on the open market took more that a year to sell and suffered a 29% loss in value directly related to the presence of the plant.

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Benicia has an oil refinery -- why are their property values higher than Vallejo's?

Benicia real estate professionals explain Beniciaís higher property value this way: first, the refinery does have an impact on property values in Benecia. The closer a home is to the refinery, the lower its value and the longer it takes to sell.

Benicia's higher property values are in spite of the Valero refinery and because of several unique characteristics of the town. The Valero refinery is over the hill and to the East of Benicia, and not within view of the large majority of Beniciaís residents. Indeed, passing through Benicia you would not even know there is a refinery. Benicia is a much smaller town than Vallejo, with better schools and a charming, revitalized historic downtown that has retained its original character. And, unlike Vallejo, Benicia is not on a major highway like Vallejo's I-80.

Another major impact on home values is the fact that most Benicia homes come with a water view. Water views always increase the price of homes, and Benicia is no exception. While homes with a view of the water and the refinery will sell, homes with no water view and only a refinery view take the longest to sell and have the lowest property value. The few Vallejo homes with water views also enjoy higher values.

What about Everett, Mass. property values?

Everett, Mass. has been home to the Distrigas LNG facility for almost 30 years -- so long that most residents canít remember what it was like without the facility. Their property values have slowly increased over the decades, as inflation and suburbanization have reached the town. But this increase has been markedly slower than other towns in the area.

What types of businesses are in Everett, Mass.?

Blight begets blight, and Everett proves it. Everett is dominated by heavy industry, including the Distrigas LNG plant and new nearby power plant. Despite being so near to Boston, an area rich with colleges, universities, computer, bio-tech and pharmaceutical industries, Everett has not been able to attract any of these types of businesses.

Would there be tanker truck traffic on Vallejo's streets if this plant is built?

Though Bechtel and Shell say they currently have no plans to move LNG or natural gas off Mare Island in trucks, it is simply inevitable. The Bay Area would be a huge local market for LNG -- it would be not only be practical for Bechtel-Shell to sell LNG locally, but it would be profitable.

The problems caused by tanker trucks are well-known in communities with LNG plants and other plants where products must be shipped in or out. Trucks get a lot of complaints -- they're noisy, dirty, polluting, unsafe, they tear up the road, and they make it hard to cross the street.

Everett, Massachusetts struggles with nearly constant truck traffic from its LNG and other industrial facilities.

 

© 2002 maggdog communications
Photos courtesy of Michael Halberstadt, Joyce Scharf and Friends of VallejoCPR
Page Last Updated Jan 8, 2003
Email: info@VallejoCPR.org