Sunoco's new strategy: Serve beer, not diesel

Philadelphia ex-oil-refinining-giant Sunoco's decision to shut its Eagle Point, Marcus Hook and (probably) South Philly refineries will leave western New York State and Pennsylvania short of diesel fuel and may drive up fuel prices across the Northeast, writes my colleague Andrew Maykuth here, citing federal data.

But the brains at Sunoco are unswerving in their dedication to retailing. The chain's A-Plus stores in several states, including western New York, are adding fancy beers to their list of retail products, through the Craft Beer Exchange program introduced last summer. More here and here and here.

Andy tells me Sunoco has had a tough time rolling out the barrels, or bottles, in its native Pennsylvania, where beer distribution remains a state-licensed oligopoly.

So hail Gov. Tom Corbett's Harrisburg state government, which seems unable or unwilling to assist Pennsylvania workers, contractors and consumers by helping ensure continued production of basic commodities by century-old basic industries, but remains willing to protect Pennsylvanians and our big beer distributors from the specter of too much competition.