HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (PPMCSA), Empire State Petroleum Association (ESPA) and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) honored Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for his efforts to keep a strong refinery presence in Southeast Pennsylvania as part of their annual convention and trade show at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center this week.
In 2011, ConocoPhillips and Sunoco announced plans to permanently close their refineries in South Philadelphia, Marcus Hook and Trainer unless buyers were found, not only directly putting at risk 2,500 good-paying jobs, but another 25,000 jobs in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Tom CorbettFor petroleum product distributors, this would have meant fewer refineries to supply gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel to customers in the Mid-Atlantic Region leading to the potential of not only higher prices, but petroleum product shortages, the groups said.
In May, however, Corbett announced that the commonwealth would help support the sale of the refinery in Trainer to Delta Air Lines, preventing its permanent closure. In July, Corbett was a key player in closing the deal for selling the Sunoco's Philadelphia refinery to the Carlyle Group and continuing its operation as a reborn facility to process Marcellus Shale natural gas products.
"Had the refineries in Southeastern Pennsylvania closed, it would have had a domino effect on motor fuel and heating oil supply and price along the whole East Coast. PMAA commends Governor Corbett for his leadership role in maintaining a strong petroleum presence in the region," ," said PMAA president Dan Gilligan.
"Marketers in New York were extremely concerned when the potential closings of the Southeast Pennsylvania refineries were announced last fall. Governor Corbett's action to maintain oil refinery production in the Philadelphia area provides stability in the markets not just in Pennsylvania, but the Mid-Atlantic region as well," Thomas J Peters, executive vice president of ESPA, said.
"Most people are not aware that the supply system in Pennsylvania for gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel has primarily consisted of pipelines that transport product from the Southeast to pipeline terminals in the west and north. Our members transport the petroleum products from the terminals to customers across the state," said John V. Kulik, executive vice president of PPMCSA.
"According to industry observers and the federal government, had all the refineries closed this past summer, consumers across the Commonwealth would no doubt have been jolted by spot supply outages gasoline price spikes and difficulties-perhaps crossing the $5 a gallon threshold," said Kulik.
"The governor is to be commended for his leadership in keeping the refineries operating in the Southeast and preserving jobs in that region," he added. "But his action resonated far beyond that immediate area. Pennsylvania would have been dependent on Gulf Coast refineries, a pipeline that crosses 11 states, and increased import from Asia. It is far better for the economy of Pennsylvania and the surrounding states to have a refinery nearby than to depend exclusively on imports from thousands-and tens of thousand miles away. We thank Governor Corbett for keeping Pennsylvania moving."
The PPMCSA/ESPA Trade Show annually attracts over 1,000 attendees from Pennsylvania, New York and around the United States.