In Southern California, the June Fume Is Underway

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Many years ago I wrote a blog post about the refinery problems that plague Southern California almost like clockwork every single summer. The timing is an eerie coincidence, isn’t it? I haven’t continued to follow this story since then, but I’m happy to report that 12 years after I wrote about it, it’s still happening:

Los Angeles-area gasoline prices rose over the last week and could tick even higher as a result of unplanned refinery outages and delays in the Exxon Mobil Torrance refinery’s return to full service, fuel experts said….Analysts say the Torrance refinery might not reach 90% to 100% capacity for several more weeks….In addition to the repair delays in Torrance, unplanned outages at other refineries in Southern California as well as at a BP refinery at Cherry Point, Wash., which supplies fuel to California, have contributed to rising gasoline prices in Southern California.

In June, the flowers bloom, the Dodgers swoon, and refineries fume. But no worries. When summer is over and everyone has come home from their vacations, I’m sure all these refinery problems will be miraculously solved.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest