FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland
Kirkland urges public attendance at hearing into refinery closings
HARRISBURG, Feb. 17 – State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-Delaware, today called on citizens with a stake in the closings of the three area refineries to turn out at a public hearing on the issues next Thursday, Feb. 23 in Philadelphia.
The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold the session beginning at 10 a.m. in the National Constitution Center, F.M. Kirby Auditorium, 525 Arch St.
“There are so many questions and contradictions about the closing of the facilities that have gone unanswered, that this hearing will help us to better define the issues and, at the same time, call for the governor to finally show some leadership on what is a dire situation for several thousand area residents,” said Kirkland. “It’s their livelihood we’re talking about here – all the people who will be adversely affected by the ultimate loss of 2,000 well-paying jobs.
“And Governor Corbett appears to be not doing a thing to help these thousands of Pennsylvanians. He’s keeping such a low profile on it that if he went any lower, he’d be in a trench.
“It’s a challenge for him to show leadership and diplomacy in dealing with the workers and the refinery owners in a tough situation and he’s staying on the bench.”
Kirkland said Corbett should demonstrate a more aggressive attitude in marketing the refineries to potential buyers. He said the state’s top executive also should visit the refinery sites, meet affected workers, provide them with insight into how the commonwealth is dealing with the anticipated loss of so many jobs. In addition, he said the governor must address the effect the closures will have on the local economy, and even the financial viability of municipalities that will lose out on the tax revenues.
“This would be an excellent opportunity for Governor Corbett to dispel the many accusations that accompanied the Marcellus Shale fee debacle that he’s more beholden to his supporters in the energy industry than to the people of Pennsylvania,” Kirkland added.