Thank God Daphne Zuniga can Explain Hydrogen Sulfide to Us

Celebrities should always become advocates for things. Whether it would involve advertising or going on television shows or appearing in public with sandwich boards, I don't know.

I do know this--the Huffington Post is the place where celebrities go to talk above their paygrade:

Atchison Village would seem like a great place to live. It's a pleasant-looking neighborhood in Richmond, California on the east shore of San Francisco Bay. The residents are diverse. Some have lived there since the village was built in 1941. Others have discovered the neighborhood more recently. It's an ethnically diverse neighborhood with a comfortable feel, barbecues on the weekend and neighbors who know each others' names, with home prices far more affordable than most places in the Bay Area.

But there's a downside: Atchison Village has a bad neighbor. You know the kind we're talking about, right? The kind of neighbor that seems not to care about property values, or endangering the welfare of the people around them. The kind of neighbor that lets their garbage blow into other people's yards. The kind of neighbor that makes messes and refuses to admit it or clean them up.

In most places, behavior like that might get a person run out of town on a rail. But Atchison Village's bad neighbor has some clout: it's the third-largest corporation in the world.

The Chevron Corporation has run a gigantic oil refinery just west of Atchison Village since 1902. Ever since the city of Richmond was built, its residents have been breathing in the poison that comes out of the refinery stacks, or escapes from its miles of pipes. People in Atchison Village and other nearby neighborhoods report much higher levels of diseases from asthma to cancer. Kids living in Atchison Village are much more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than kids in other neighborhoods. Tests have found high levels of toxic substances like sulfur and heavy metals inside Atchison Village residents' homes, which are pollutants known to be emitted by oil refineries.

Well, move, then.

Seriously, if you haven't already figured out that one shouldn't live in close proximity to a Chevron chemical plant or a Chevron oil refinery, then move. Apply for government help getting out. Government, your job is to help those people move before anyone gets sick. Next time you allow something like this, remember what you had to do to help those people.

People, let's acquire something I like to call basic common sense. If your children are in danger, you have to move with a sense of purpose. You have to get off your dead ass and get them away from whatever is poisoning them. Put your vast pyramid of crap you can't afford into the back of an 18-wheeler and move. If they could move the oil refinery as easily as you can move your real-estate challenged rear end, they would.

I hate to break it to you, but we kind of need oil refineries. Houses? Oh, we have plenty of those. Apartments, too. What's more important? That swell house in Richmond or your kid with leukemia? Glad I could help you figure that out.

Oh, and remember:

Co-authored by Bill Gallegos

Celebrities need help every now and then. Don't judge them for that. And, yes, a Theater Arts Major from UCLA who has had severe mercury poisoning and isn't named Jeremy Piven is allowed to talk about environmental issues, I certainly get that.