PITTSBURGH, Jan. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today issued this statement from National Oil Bargaining Chairman Kim Nibarger after Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, owner of the U.S. East Coast's largest oil refinery, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing the cost of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as the main contributor to more than $1 billion in debt incurred by the company:
"More than a year ago, the USW joined independent refiners and leading political figures from both major parties to urge the administration to address imbalances created by the EPA's use of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to track compliance with the RFS, and now as a result of inaction, union members working for Philadelphia Energy Solutions face an uncertain future.
As part of this broad coalition, the USW has called for the administration to change the point of obligation from refineries to retailers or exempt independent refineries from compliance due to its unfairly high cost, and in light of yesterday's bankruptcy filing, we must reiterate the need for urgent and immediate action.
Independent refiners generally lack the capacity and infrastructure to blend ethanol into their gasoline and must purchase RINs at prices artificially inflated due to hoarding by the largest oil companies and manipulation by the ethanol industry.
Continued indifference by the administration and EPA will only drive more East Coast refineries into bankruptcy while thousands of good jobs that allow highly skilled workers to support their families and sustain their communities are at stake."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)