Sunoco Oil Refineries Shut Down In Pennsylvania

By
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Home Team

We are in the throws of one of the worst gas crunches this country has ever seen. Gas  is over $4.00 per gallon in parts of the U.S. and rapidly headed there every where else.  Some experts are convinced we will see $5.00 gas or more. 

  • Gasoline - like it or not - is intertwined with almost every facet of our daily lives and existence.  Mom - Apple Pie and Gasoline.  We depend on it to get to work, shop, and for essential errands we all must run.  Many homes in America still use oil to heat their homes.
  • Our trucking industry which moves the majority of commodites across and around our country has been severely impacted by $4.00 diesel for more than a year. More and more trucking companies and owner operators are going out of business due to the rising costs.
  • While you might consider cutting down your own useage, you will nevertheless be paying higher prices for food, clothing, electronics, appliances etc.


During this recession, many who were unemployed, took lower paying jobs further from home.  The reduced wages and higher transportation costs were accepted by job seekers so their families could be covered by needed benefits.  As unemployment ran out desperate folks took jobs for the sake of getting a job.

  • One of my family members took a job at half pay traveling 80 miles a day to work.  You do what you have to do to bring in some money, and cover your family with health insurance.


  • With gasoline prices creeping above $4 a gallon his paycheck will dwindle drastically.  Working harder and longer for less money.  This is economic recovery?


It was announced that two major oil refineries owned by Sunoco in Pennsylvania will be closed.  Closed?  Are you kidding?  These refineries have been part of the Pennsylvania economic landscape for generations.

Marcus Hook Refinery
One is located in Marcus Hook Pa along the Delaware River.You can readily see this massive facility when you cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge into New Jersey.


Almost 600 people have received pink slips.  The refinery has operated for 110 years producing 175,000 barrels a day. 

Safe to say that most of the families in this town are employed by Sunoco.Another economic disaster for Pennsylvania. Marcus Hook Refinery


Philadelphia Sunoco RefineryThe second refinery is located in the heart of Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River. 


If you have ever traveled in or out of the Philadelphia International Airport you have seen this giant refinery complex. 


For those of you who do not live in the North East this is a major loss in gasoline production impacting the entire country.  For those couple thousand who will now be unemployed it's a huge economic hit to the Philadelphia  unemployment rolls. Sunoco Philadelphia Refinery


How many oil refinery jobs are available that these folks can qualify for new employment?

  • Sunoco had hoped to find buyers for these two refineries prior to the targeted shut down date.  Previously Sunoco sold their refineries in Toledo Ohio.


President Obama says that he cannot control oil prices.  I agree that he alone cannot wave a magic wand and make this all go away. I'm not being critical of him, but I have to ask - Who in Washington has their eye on the ball? 

  • Certainly the anticipated lose of 3 major refineries should have come to the attention of law makers.  A concerted effort by Washington could and should be made to salvage an industry component so critical to the survival of our country.


If we bailed out GM - we should be just as anxious to save U.S. oil refinery capabilities.  Imported or domestic oil still has to be refined before it is used.

Our military rely on refined oil products. Should our military go on an austerity campaign? 

  • Our Police, Ambulance and Fire departments rely on oil to deliver critical services. Those services are often paid for through real estate taxes. We can expect those taxes to increase nationwide.  Smaller towns, cities and rural America rely on volunteers to provide services paid for via community donations. 

Our airline industry depends on oil and to not only move passengers, but freight as well. 

  • One of the issues raised by Sunoco, in addition to the fact that these refineries lost money, was they were tooled to only process Sweet Africian Oil not Texas crude.  So what!  GM re-tooled.  It costs millions to re-tool plants.  If we are to open drilling in the U.S. or even consider the Keystone Pipeline again, wouldn't these long standing refineries be of value? 


Who could possibly buy an oil refinery?  If other U.S. oil companies were interested they would have been sold by now.  Maybe the Chinese will want to buy them to refine their Canadian oil. 

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Rainmaker
177,110
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Sunoco which was the marketing arm of Sun Oil all were part of the industry that the Pews built. 

Although, no one likes to see others lose jobs, the downside of the refineries has always been the odors around that area as you leave the airport. 

Time stands still for no one. 

Mar 19, 2012 06:35 AM #1
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Erv:  New Jersey and Pa have been critical hubs for oil refineries. Another huge complex is along the Jersey turnpike across the river from New York city. I lived near both of them for years.  Marcus Hook was right across the river from Dupont. I lived in Deepwater where Dupont is located.  I never smelled that refinery or the Dupont plant.

If you think odor from an oil refinery is bad - try a pulp paper processing plant.  One of those operates just outside of York Pa.  The odor can be cut with a knife. It literally feels heavy and oppressive.  Taking a breathe can cause you to gag.  Another one is located in Georgetown South Carolina a coastal and popular community.

True time does not stand still.  That may become the adage for our cars as well.

Mar 19, 2012 06:48 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,086,055
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA
LandlordWhisperer

The Obama Administration wants to make this about BIG OIL and Wall Street - I'm BIG OIL as are a lot of pensioners and retiree SHAREHOLDERS who have XOM, etc. in their retirement accounts.  I WANT MORE drilling in the US and OFFSHORE

Mar 19, 2012 07:02 AM #3
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Wallace:  We can drill more and approve the Keystone Pipeline - if we reduce our refineries the oil will sit unrefined. 

Granted - supply is only part of the problem.  At some point we have to free ourselves from the shackles of oil dependency so that it is an option not a way of life.  In the meantime an oil starvation diet is not going to reduce our need.

Mar 19, 2012 07:15 AM #4
Rainmaker
366,234
Raymond E. Camp
Empire Realty Group - Webster, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

One of these days someone will invent an alternative to get around the oil companies and the government!

Mar 19, 2012 07:25 AM #5
Rainmaker
333,284
Vern Eaton
Askov, MN
Realtor 320-630-6995

Interesting.  I wonder if these older setups are not as efficant as they should be.  otherwise, why would you close a profitable entity.

Mar 19, 2012 11:16 AM #6
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Raymond:  I wish they'd invent it pretty soon.  All we get is quagmire.

Mar 19, 2012 11:34 AM #7
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Vern:  The article stated that Sunoco found they were not profitable because they were designed for African oil not Texas crude.  They would probably need to re-fit the facility.  If we invested millions in GM certainly investing in refineries which could process other forms of crude would make sense.  These facilities are huge - acre upon acre.  That land is not suitable for many other uses.

Mar 19, 2012 11:37 AM #8
Rainmaker
584,146
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

No, they are quite happy with the refineries shutting down. They want less production in the US to further hamstring or economy while satisfying his 'green' donors.

Mar 19, 2012 02:30 PM #9
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Than  It certainly seems like no one is paying attention.  Soon they will dole out coupons for gas to us.  Use your coupons no more gas

Mar 19, 2012 06:20 PM #10
Rainmaker
387,018
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Ocean County - Toms River, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Part of the problem with a lot of American based refineries is that the companies that own them have refused to invest in upgrades...unlike our foreign competitors...

People always seem to complain about infrastructure spending, but when it starts biting us in the butt, we wonder how we fell so far behind.

But on gas prices no one seems to want to acknowledge that we EXPORT a helluva lot of gas.  Why? Because oil companies can get better prices overseas, which means that our gas prices, in comparison to the rest of the industrialized world, aren't so bad.

Remember, we Americans, don't OWN the oil that comes out of the ground, it is owned by the companies that extract it and prices are determined by the world oil market.

Mar 20, 2012 05:02 AM #11
Ambassador
713,606
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Dyersburg Tn Real Estate

Bonnie,

Guess these refineries were getting too much tax payer money to stay in business. Obama says the free money to oil companies has to stop. They will for sure there in Pennsylvania.

Mar 20, 2012 08:01 AM #12
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Karl:  Investing in upgrades was the point I was trying to make.  Here is an article on West African Sweet Oil production.  Towards the middle of the article is a statement that demand from the US has dropped because some of our Atlantic refineries have stopped buying. The drop was about 50%.  http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL5E8D63M620120206

What were we doing with that oil when Sunoco was refining it?  Using it here or selling it overseas?   According to the story I read Sunoco was getting out of the refiing business and focusing business interests elsewhere.

I also gleaned that sweet oil has less sulphur than our Texas oil.

 

Mar 20, 2012 04:55 PM #13
Rainmaker
244,274
Bonnie Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Mike

Thousands of people will be out of jobs.  Underlying industries like trucking will lose the revenue as well.  Those storage tanks left to decay will be a hazard.  More so if they are empty.  What a target they will be.

Mar 20, 2012 04:57 PM #14
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Rainmaker
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Bonnie Vaughan

CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin
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