Gov. Wolf urges Pres. Trump to protect Pennsylvania refinery workers

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
Image source: Flickr

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf once again implored President Donald Trump to protect the state’s refinery workers by reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The governor made the plea after the president ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lift regulations on ethanol. Trump specifically instructed the agency to develop a regulation allowing the sales of E15 fuel year-round.

E-15 is a higher octane fuel containing 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline. It is available at retail fueling stations in 28 states. During the summer months, E15 is prohibited due to concerns that the ozone pollution levels are too high.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that EPA will act swiftly on the process of changing the ethanol policy. He said, “It’s all going to go very quickly. It’s great for our farmers” adding that he promised it during the campaign.”

At the political rally in Iowa, he said, “Today, we are unleashing the power of E15 to fuel our country all year long.”

Trump ignored Wolf’s previous requests for refinery workers

In a statement on Wednesday, Wolf said the president needs “stop only catering to major ethanol producing states.” He must also “do the right thing for Pennsylvania’s refinery workers.

The governor repeatedly asked the Trump administration to support two major refineries in Pennsylvania—the Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Monroe Energy.

The refineries collectively employ almost 2,000 workers. A study from the Department of Labor indicates that these direct jobs support almost 35,000 indirect jobs in Southern Pennsylvania.

Wolf said the Trump administration ignored his previous requests on behalf the Pennsylvania refinery workers.

“Since last year, I have been asking the Trump administration to come to the aid of Pennsylvania refineries that are burdened by unfair rules which make it impossible for them to compete. The Trump Administration’s failure to act puts thousands of good jobs and middle-class families in Pennsylvania at risk,” he said.

In addition, Wolf announced his plan to file an update to his previous petition to EPA. He will again request the agency’s administrator to exercise his waiver authority under the Clean Air Act to provide relief to the state’s refineries. The refineries are struggling due to the high cost of compliance associated with the RFS.