Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GAO: Refinery closings hurt case for Delaware River dredging

Oil and steel imports are down, so the Army Corps might not really need to deepen the Delaware to Philadelphia, says the Government Accountability Office

GAO: Refinery closings hurt case for Delaware River dredging

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Just when it looked like the Army Corps of Engineers was going to go ahead and dredge the Delaware River so big ships can keep running to Philadelphia, despite opposition by rival port states NJ and DE, here comes the Government Accountability Office to question whether there's enough cargo to justify all that digging. GAO report here.

Inquirer story here. From the GAO intro:

"The Department of Energy has lowered its long-term forecasts for growth in East Coast refinery capacity and U.S. imports of crude oil. Also, in the fall of 2009, Delaware River refinery firms closed two major facilities [Sunoco at Eagle Point, Valero at Delaware City]. Further, steel imports have declined... However, the Corps' 2009 and 2009 updates for the [Delaware River dredging] projects did not analyze the potential effect of these changes...

"Because of these and other omissions, decision makers do not have sufficient updated information to judge... the project's net benefits." The Army Corps of Engineers needs another study, and "the Department of Defense generally agreed with these recommendations." 

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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