Oil helped build Pennsylvania.
It helped feed the industry’s workers by giving them jobs, such as those at the old ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer, Delaware County.
But these days, the oil industry is unpredictable. Crude oil is costing more, shrinking an already low profit margin. More than one refinery in Pennsylvania has felt the pain.
Recent events show that state government isn’t afraid to step in with taxpayer dollars to make sure those private-sector jobs stay in the commonwealth.
Earlier this month, Delta Airlines announced its subsidiary, Monroe Energy, would buy the ConocoPhillips refinery.
Before the purchase, hundreds of pink slips had been readied, threatening the community at its economic core. A Department of Labor and Industry report says every 100 jobs at the refinery leads, indirectly, to 1,800 jobs.
The purchase, with an initial cost of $180 million, was bolstered by a $30 million state subsidy — called an Opportunity Grant — from the Department of Community and Economic Development.