Governor Wolf Issues Statement on Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery’s Plan to Close
June 26, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement in response to Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ announcement that it plans to cease operations of its South Philadelphia oil refinery within the next month:
“My administration has been in contact with Philadelphia Energy Solutions regarding its plans to shut down the refinery. This is devastating news for these workers and their families. These are skilled and hardworking people who helped to prevent the fire from doing more damage. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by a company that has profited from their labor. I expect the company to take care of these workers first before prioritizing their own further profits.
“I am currently working with the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin and the Governor’s Action Team, and the Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak on a plan to address potential negative economic impacts for the Philadelphia region and to provide assistance to the workers affected by this announcement.
“Labor & Industry’s Rapid Response Coordination Services will immediately initiate outreach to offer the potentially affected workers with the information and services they need to successfully return to the workforce. The Rapid Response unit provides workers who are facing a layoff with information on retraining, continuing education, job-seeking, health insurance and unemployment benefits to help them transition to re-employment. All services are offered at no cost to the employees or the company.
“I am offering the full expertise of the Department of Environment Protection to ensure the company decommissions the plant responsibly and no corners are cut on mitigating environmental damage. Further, there must be a complete investigation of recent fires and the explosion. If any action or failure by the company led to these incidents, there must be accountability.
“My administration will work to identify new opportunities for the affected employees, or to determine a plan for them to return to their current positions as soon as economically feasible.”