FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Maria P. Donatucci
Donatucci continues to press for refinery action from governor
HARRISBURG, March 12 – State Rep. Maria P. Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today said the people of her district want proof from the Corbett administration that it is working in earnest to address the issues involved in the closing of three oil refineries in southeast Philadelphia, including the giant Sunoco refinery in her district.
Last week, Donatucci took her argument before the House Appropriations Committee as part of its annual hearings in preparation for the commonwealth’s 2012-13 budget.
Donatucci questioned the timing of the closures, which she termed a “slow motion economic disaster,” noting that in the past the temporary loss of even a single refinery in the nation due to storm or accident led to worry about fuel oil and gas supplies and speculation over the impact on prices.
“Is it just a coincidence that three, three, refineries within a few miles of each other are being shut down at roughly the same time, and at the time of year when fuel prices peak?” asked Donatucci. “Is it a coincidence that the closings of the three refineries and the resulting fuel price spike are happening in a presidential election year?
“Whether by coincidence or by plan, the people of my district are caught in the middle.”
Donatucci told the committee that she and many other officials have repeatedly urged Gov. Corbett to take a more visible leadership role to assure the people losing their jobs that their state government is on their side and doing everything possible to keep the refineries in operation.
For the most part, Donatucci said the response has been vague assurances from the administration, and she pointed to reports that the governor is planning to go on an overseas trade mission.
“How about a trade mission to south Philadelphia to learn about the impact the refinery closings will have on the unemployed workers, local businesses and municipalities -- and to tell the people what is being done in response?” suggested Donatucci.
Video of Donatucci’s complete statement to the Appropriations Committee is available on her website at www.pahouse.com/Donatucci.