| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 24 The U.S. House of
Representatives will hold a hearing on March 19 to look at how
the closure of three refineries in the Philadelphia area that
represent half of the refining capacity in the Northeast could
impact national security.
U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, a Republican who
represents the Philadelphia area, said on Friday that the
Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and
Intelligence would examine the implications of Sunoco Inc
closing two refineries and ConocoPhillips
closing a third.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey has also called for a probe on the
impact the refinery closures will have on prices for gasoline
and diesel. No date has been set for those hearings.
Refineries on both U.S. coasts are at risk for closure as
high crude costs cut into profit margins for refining companies.
The East Coast refineries run light, sweet crude oil
imported from Africa and the North Sea that is priced at a
premium to the U.S. West Texas Intermediate benchmark.
Sunoco, which owns two of the refineries, has said that it
has lost money running the plants and the refining profit
margins are not enough for them to keep the plants going.
ConocoPhillips, owner of the third plant, is also not
interested in East Coast refinery operations as it works to
separate itself into two different companies -- an upstream
Conoco and a downstream Phillips 66.
The three refineries are with in a 12-mile (19-km) radius
in southeastern Pennsylvania. The USW has tallied as many as
2,500 jobs will be lost directly related to the plant closures
with tens of thousands ancillary and service related jobs also
at risk once plants close.