Reports surfaced this morning that Philadelphia Energy Solutions would be closing the Southwest Philly refinery. This announcement comes less than a week after a massive explosion at the plant.
PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur released the following statement in response:
"The explosion and ensuing fire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions was a stark reminder of what local residents, environmental groups like PennEnvironment, and health professionals have been saying for a long time: dangerous fossil fuels, and the refineries that house them, put our health, environment, and communities at risk.
Closing the plant is certainly the right step. We understand that there are hard decisions to make and that the loss of jobs will be difficult. But it’s time to start the transition process and move Philadelphia to a clean energy future, while ensuring that the workers displaced by this closure are properly compensated and protected. The local community should also be given the opportunity to provide input on the future of the site.
With the refinery closing, city officials should use this as an opportunity to halt other new fossil fuel projects in the City. We hope that Mayor Kenney will veto City Council’s recently approved proposal to allow PGW to expand LNG production at the same location.
If we’re going to solve climate change and protect our families from air pollution, we have to get off of all of these dirty fossil fuel projects as quickly as possible.”
PennEnvironment is a statewide, environmental advocacy organization with 140,000 supporters advocating for clean air, clean water and open spaces. For more information, visit www.PennEnvironment.org