A major freight terminal in Fresno is shut down because of a fuel crisis that could cause more than 1,000 people to be laid off.
The California Department of Forestry, Parks and Wildlife has shut down the West Fresno Port of Entry and its main entrance in Fresno for a week.
The port has been closed since January to prevent the spread of a fungus that has killed nearly all of its fish and animals.
The plant’s chief of operations, Dan Poulton, said the plant is still operating, but it’s difficult to predict how long it will stay closed or what kind of damage it could cause.
He said the refinery in the city of Fresno, which produces diesel fuel for refineries in California and Mexico, is not operating and that a shutdown could affect the fuel production of about 15 percent of the state’s refinery.
Poulson said the company will likely have to shut down its refinery at a later date if the plant has not been repaired.
The refinery was expected to start production again this week and produce diesel fuel in late January, he said.
Poulston said the state has been able to keep the plant operating because it’s the only one of its kind in the country.
“We’ve been able because of the work we do with the port of entry, and we’ve been working with the federal government to help get this place back up and running,” he said Friday.
The closure comes as California is trying to reduce carbon emissions from its electricity generation to meet an Obama administration pledge.
The state’s electric power generation rose to more than 2,000 megawatts in December from 1,600 megawatts a year earlier.
But the state is also working to shut off a number of ports and power plants that are not part of the power grid.
The closures will not affect electricity sales.
But Poulons comments will likely prompt calls for the closure of more than 50 ports in the U.S., including San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as ports in Mexico.