Statement: Careful What You Wish for on Refineries

A Chicago real estate company that builds warehouses on old industrial sites won the auction to redevelop Philadelphia Energy Solutions, likely marking the end to more than a century of refining on the 1,300-acre South Philadelphia site where over 1,100 skilled laborers once worked at peak production. Hilco Redevelopment Partners agreed to pay $240 million to acquire the site during a closed-door auction Friday, according to published reports from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing.

If you are writing about the auction or the larger conversation about energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania, please find the following statement by Kurt Knaus, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance:

“Be careful what you wish for in trading off a refinery for massive warehouses, if that’s what ultimately comes to South Philadelphia under this plan, which isn’t fully public yet. The same people who challenged the refinery most likely will soon be crying foul over the increased traffic, idling trucks and diesel fumes that foul the air. What’s really happening here is that more than 1,000 hardworking men and women most likely will remain out of work for the foreseeable future, and the skills they gained and put to use over the years at an essential industrial operation will be lost.”

Many continue to support and remain focused on ensuring the tradition of industrial operations continue at the facility. Workers who are still feeling the economic shocks of closure of PES now have to suffer the aftershock of a bankruptcy decision that makes the refinery option that much harder. The loss of work affects those directly employed at the facility, plus more who are hired through contractors. The ancillary jobs of several thousand other workers employed by businesses that supply and service the refinery, or who cater to its employees, also will be imperiled.


For more than four years, the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance has advocated for the safe, responsible development of critical infrastructure. For more information:


Twitter: @PAllies4Energy