Legislators begin effort to save Phila.-area refineries

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) said Wednesday he believes the two companies planning to exit refining in the Philadelphia area are serious about trying to sell their three refineries, not just shut them down.

To help in that sale process, Meehan organized a meeting at the Marcus Hook Community Center in the small Delaware County community bookended by refineries run by Sunoco Inc. and ConocoPhillips. Citing competitive pressures, both oil giants announced plans this month to sell or close their local refineries, meaning the loss of more than 2,000 jobs.

Meehan and fellow Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah, both Democrats who represent Philadelphia districts where Sunoco operates its biggest refinery, were on hand as part of an effort to show prospective buyers that labor, regulators and elected officials are eager to do what it might take to keep a major industry going in the region.

Also attending the meeting were officials from Delaware state government who shared their experiences in helping to convince a buyer to restart a Delaware City refinery that reportedly had been losing $1 million a day under Valero Energy Corp. ownership.