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Public Statements

Letter to Howard Gruenspecht, Acting Administrator of U.S. Energy Information Administration

U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and U.S. Representatives Bob Brady (D-Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) sent a letter to the U.S. Energy Information Administration today requesting a thorough analysis of the potential impact of three possible Pennsylvania refinery closures.

The owners of three refineries in Philadelphia, Marcus Hook and Trainer, recently announced that they plan to sell, and if no buyers are found, shut down. If these refineries are forced to close, more than 2,600 people will lose their jobs. Another 5,000 to 6,000 workers - largely employees of contractors and suppliers - indirectly rely on these facilities for their paychecks and would be impacted by their closures. In addition, local townships and school districts would be hurt by the loss of tax revenue.

"A broad range of American families and businesses could be negatively impacted by further reduction of U.S. refining capacity. From daily commuters to families reliant on home heating oil; from chemicals manufacturers to airlines -- all depend on the steady, affordable supply of fuel," the legislators write in the letter to Howard Gruenspecht, acting administrator of the Energy Information Administration.

Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) also signed the letter.

The full text of the letter is below.

Mr. Howard Gruenspecht
Acting administrator
U.S. Energy Information Administration

Dear Mr. Gruenspecht:

As you know, the Philadelphia area has been hit with the news of three potential refinery closures. In September, Sunoco and ConocoPhillips announced the Philadelphia, Marcus Hook, and Trainer facilities were being put up for sale. Each faces permanent closure within the next year if a suitable buyer is not secured. As members of Congress in the immediate region that will likely be impacted by these closures, we are writing to express our concerns about jobs losses, the implications of reduced refinery capacity, and other market impacts. To help us better understand these issues, we request your independence assessment of the critical concerns at hand.

Our first and foremost concern is with regional employment and the potentially devastating impacts three refinery closures would have on communities in the Delaware Valley. Beyond that, however, are several concerns that reach the level of regional and national significance.

In their public statements, both companies acknowledge a strategy of reallocating investments away from East Coast refining. The Philadelphia and Marcus Hook facilities can process 505,000 barrels of crude per day. The Trainer facility can process 185,000 barrels daily. This represents 31 percent of the East Coast's refining capacity.

As evidenced in the significant market disruptions in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the location of our refining facilities and distribution networks is significant. A large amount of production shifted to the East Coast while Gulf Coast facilities recovered from the storms. Today, demand for refined products continues to rise as the economy recovers and developing nations increase their consumption. This will only increase pressure on the industry to manage supply and meet demand, as domestic refining capacity shifts and contracts.

We are writing you today to request that the Energy Information Administration conduct a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of these three Mid-Atlantic refinery closures. A broad range of American families and businesses could be negatively impacted by further reduction of U.S. refining capacity. From daily commuters to families reliant on home heating oil; from chemicals manufacturers to airlines -- all depend on the steady, affordable supply of fuel.

We wish to understand how the closure of these three facilities might affect the supply of refined products. Specifically, we wish to discern the possible effects on: supply; distribution; dependence on imports; prices; and market volatility for refined products, including regional disparities therein.

Given the short timeframe the refineries are facing, we respectfully request your prompt attention to this matter. We urge you to work with your counterparts in the Department of Energy and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as needed to provide a comprehensive analysis on of the energy landscape.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

Pat Toomey
United States Senator

Tom Carper
United States Senator

Chris Coons
United States Senator

Bob Brady
Member of Congress

John Carney
Member of Congress

Chaka Fattah
Member of Congress

Pat Meehan
Member of Congress

Allyson Schwartz
Member of Congress


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