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As Gov­er­nor Cor­bett and Har­ris­burg law­mak­ers try to lure a nat­ural gas pro­cess­ing plant to Beaver County, near Pitts­burgh, oth­ers seek to revive a shut­tered Sunoco refin­ery in sub­ur­ban Philadel­phia by con­nect­ing it to the shale gas boom.

The bor­ough of Mar­cus Hook may be one of the old­est Euro­pean set­tle­ments in the state, stretch­ing back to a Swedish trad­ing post in the 1640’s. But it has a long his­tory in the refin­ing busi­ness. In 1892, to serve Pennsylvania’s oil rush, the borough’s first refin­ery was built, fol­lowed by a 300-mile pipeline from the borough’s port to oil fields in west­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. Walk­ing down the streets today, the tidy homes are dwarfed by the giant pipes and tow­ers of the Sunoco refin­ery, which has oper­ated here for more than one hun­dred years.

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