To the Editor:
The recent refinery event in Philadelphia prompted Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney to mandate closing of the gasoline/aircraft fuel production facility by January 2020. It represents approximately 26% of the supply for our East Coast.
I perceive it to be an opportunity for Cape May/Cumberland counties, especially given that existing refineries in Philadelphia and North Jersey are 75 to 100 years old. New facilities that utilize state-of-the-art technologies would be safer and more efficient.
Other facilities in Gulf Coast areas are quite a distance from our area, and are subject to extreme weather conditions; this represents a logistical hazard from potential supply interruptions.
Were we to have a new facility here, it would provide year-round job opportunities for a number of workers. Further, it would enhance our industrial tax base, while increasing demand for the services of local suppliers. The local workforce skillsets would also benefit.
Finally, it would provide an additional impetus for the completion of Route 55, enhancing us economically while providing a mechanism for more rapid evacuation in severe storm events.