An Industrial Policy Success Story
December 12, 2013
by David Hackett
For a long time I’ve been concerned about the barriers that have been created to stifle industrial development in the United States. Here in California it is virtually impossible to create new industrial facilities. For example, we have a client who has been working for years to develop a new crude-by-rail unloading facility in an existing industrial zone. This unloader will allow the flow of low cost North American crude oil to flow to the West Coast, reducing imports from Russia, Venezuela, and Iraq and lowering supply costs. This client’s project has been blocked at every turn by a brick wall of government regulations.
However, recently I heard a great story of policy working to develop industry and saving jobs. I listened to Phil Rinaldi, CEO of Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), talk about the remarkable achievements that government, labor and his company have crafted in Pennsylvania.
The story begins with Sunoco planning to sell their refineries in Philadelphia and in the process cutting hundreds of good paying jobs. As I heard it, local politicians contacted the White House for help. The White House called the Carlyle Group who brought in Phil Rinaldi, long time refining industry veteran and former CEO of CVR Energy, to craft a rescue. So far that rescue has been very successful.
PES put in a 240 kbd rail unlading facility to take crude from the Mid Continent and displace crude from abroad. This will be a key factor in the survival of the refinery. As Phil recently said of the project in an interview for the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The state and the federal politicians are very supportive of growth and jobs and developing this as an energy and chemical hub.” A ribbon cutting ceremony was held when the facility was commissioned. Check out the video on the PES website (second from the left). It’s a great tribute to the cooperation of all involved.