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A top Pennsylvania Cabinet member Monday afternoon indicated he was confident two of three Philadelphia-area refineries that are up for sale can be saved.

“I am confident that there’s a high likelihood that we can save two of the three refineries,” C. Alan Walker, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development said at an annual budget presentation this afternoon. “I believe that we will be able to keep operating two of the three refineries.”

Walker was testifying before the state House Appropriations Committee and was questioned about the refinery process by committee chairman, state Rep. William Adolph, R-165, of Springfield.

“That’s the best news that I’ve heard in six months,” Adolph said. “Two out of the three is pretty darn good considering there has not been a new oil refinery constructed in the United States of America in over 60 years. Trying to get refineries to relocate here in Pennsylvania is fantastic news for that community and for the entire Northeast.”

Reuters is reporting that United Refining Energy Corp., owned by New York billionaire John Catsimatidis was interested in buying the 355,000 barrel-day Sunoco refinery in South Philadelphia.

Sunoco officials have said their decision to close the refineries are linked to financial performance. They have cited losses of nearly $1 billion in the last three years.

United Steelworkers Union Local 10-1 President Jim Savage represents about 600 of the 900 employees at Sunoco’s Philadelphia refinery says they are ready to “negotiate a fair agreement with any potential buyer.”

Could the union have been part of the problem or maybe over-regulation??

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