Donatucci: protecting workers’ jobs should be top priority for refinery executives

HARRISBURG, June 26 – With the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery scheduled to close next month following a fire at its site, state Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila., issued the following statement about the economic ramifications on jobs and the economy in her district, where the refinery is situated:


“The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery is the largest refinery on the East Coast and has been the backbone of our economy for over 150 years. Closing the refinery may be a nearsighted solution that doesn’t touch on the resulting implications. These implications include the loss of 1,000 good, family sustaining jobs, as well soaring gas prices for everyone -- both at the pumps and for oil heat in homes and businesses -- once the production of roughly 325,000 gallons of oil a day cease. It’s also important to recognize that the closure of this refinery will impact numerous other businesses in our region that depend on its operation.


“We’ve been at this similar crossroad before when there was discussion about closing the refinery in 2012. I worked with many parties to prevent its shutdown and save jobs then, and I’m hopeful we will be just as successful this time around. I have always sought to balance the economic and environmental concerns surrounding this refinery, and I will continue to do so. 


“I’m grateful Governor Wolf is involved in helping the affected workers and coordinating with state agencies to assist in a proper and safe transition of the refinery. I am scheduled to meet with refinery workers and state, federal, and local elected officials, as well as residents, to weigh options. If a closure is inevitable, I will work to ensure an environmentally safe remediation of the 1,400 acres that the PES refinery occupies.”