California Attorney General Bill Lockyer says Shell Oil should keep its Bakersfield oil refinery open at least until next year so farmers are ensured a supply of diesel fuel during their harvest.
In a letter to the company, Lockyer stressed that plans to close the refinery by October first could hurt area consumers, farmers and the state´s economy. The company has said it is closing the facility because crude oil supplies in the San Joaquin Valley are drying up and the refinery has not been profitable.
Lockyer also suggested that Shell “aggressively” seek a buyer for the refinery, one of three owned by Shell and 13 statewide. A Shell spokesman says the company had not yet received Lockyer´s letter, but the company still plans to close the refinery as scheduled.