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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Abercrombie, Star-Advertiser Laugh at Union Effort to Save Tesoro, Price Spikes Predicted
By Selected News Articles @ 5:44 PM :: 4576 Views :: Energy, Labor

Steelworkers Union: State Subsidies Saved Philadelphia Refinery

SA: A similar situation existed last year with a Sunoco refinery in South Philadelphia, said Lynne Hancock, a USW spokeswoman. Sunoco was on the verge of shutting down the refinery when the USW got involved and helped secure a $25 million package of state subsidies. The plant also will be eligible for tax abatements and tax-free bond sales.

The subsidies attracted the interest of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, which announced in July that it was investing an undisclosed amount in the 330,000-barrel-a-day refinery as part of a joint venture. Sunoco, which retained a minority stake, said the move allowed it to save 850 jobs.

The state of Pennsylvania also provided $30 million from a grant program to help prevent the closing of the Conoco­Phillips refinery in Trainer, Pa., about 20 miles south of Philadelphia. The refinery was bought by a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, which said it would save about $12 million a year by refining its own jet fuel. About 400 workers were in danger of losing their jobs had the 185,000-barrel a day refinery closed.

"The union played a role in finding buyers in both cases," Hancock said. "We were the spark in keeping those refineries operating."

A spokeswoman for Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the United Steelworkers have not contacted the governor about state support for the refinery. (Translation: “Abercrombie is happy to see Tesoro go and if you think he would offer support for the refinery, you must not be paying attention.”) In addition, Tesoro did not bring up the subject of state subsidies during discussions with the administration that took place before Tuesday's announcement about the closing, said Abercrombie spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy. (Translation: “Ditto.”)

Tesoro officials said the company was proceeding with plans to sell the terminal, distribution and retail assets in Hawaii. (Translation: “Ditto.”)

"Tesoro's decision was based on internal strategic considerations. A number of interested parties reviewed the assets, but we did not receive credible bids for the operations," Tesoro spokes­man Lance Tanaka said in an email. (Translation: “Ditto.”)

"Tesoro does not know what potential buyers might ask of state of Hawaii or federal officials." (Translation: “Ditto!!!!”)

read … Steelworkers’ Illusions

Star-Adv: Bye-Bye Tesoro

SA: If LNG's environmental and safety hurdles can be overcome, it may be time for the state to realize that another, domestic energy source, even another fossil fuel, may help consumers in the transition to a more renewable-energy future. Solar and wind energy are better for the planet's carbon footprint, but ratepayers could use a hedge against high electric bills in the meantime.

read … As they cheer the inevitable result of their own policies

Tesoro Closure Could Boost Aviation Fuel Prices, Endanger Tourism

KITV: "It doesn't mean supply will be gone. It's only local supply that will be gone," said Kang Wu from the East-West Center. (Don’t you just love that line?)

But, the closure may make us more vulnerable to outside forces.

"I am not happy with any manufacturing leaving Hawaii," said Barney Robinson, an independent owner of a Chevron station.

Robinson wondered about the price of aviation fuel and the impact on tourism.

"That refinery was engineered to make jet fuel and in the process made by a product of gasoline and that's how we got started with Gas Express and BHP and PRI and now Tesoro," said Robinson.

Read … Tourism in Trouble?

Extra $0.50/gal: Tesoro Shutdown Will Cause Price Spikes

HNN: When a massive fire forced Chevron Corp. to temporarily close its Richmond, California refinery last year, gasoline prices soared by more than 50 cents a gallon in just three days.

Experts who track gasoline prices for consumers say that Hawaii will be more vulnerable to these kinds of price spikes in the wake of the shutdown of the state's largest refinery.

"This is just going to be another thorn in the side of motorists who don't' have as many options as to what kind of gas they're going to be filling up with," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy.com.

"One less refinery in Hawaii will mean more pricing volatility. It may not be something you notice all the time but when something does happen it's going to put pressure on prices."

read … Price Spikes

Tesoro Closure Pushes Power Plant towards LNG, Biofuel

PBN: Hans Tobler, general manager of Kalaeloa Partners LP, an independent power producer that has a 200-megawatt facility in the Campbell Industrial Park in West Oahu, told PBN that the announced closure won’t affect the price it pays for oil because it is locked into a three-and-a-half-year contract with Tesoro.

The Texas-based company has said itself that it will honor all of its contracts.

But the issue does put more emphasis on attaining liquefied natural gas and other fuel sources.

“You lose one source, it puts more weight on the remaining sources,” Tobler said. “We really want to wait until we hear from Tesoro [but] now we know which direction the refinery is going.”

Kalaeloa Partners uses 2 million barrels of oil each year from Tesoro but is looking to use a mix of both LNG and biofuels.

read … LNG

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