Refinery Workers Should Ask Executives: Where’s the Money?

Workers Being Used as Political Pawns at Companies Sending Millions to Wall Street

October 10, 2017

Yesterday, workers were used as a political prop at a rally in Trainor, PA to encourage EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to change the Renewable Fuel Standard’s “point of obligation.” While this action would hurt blue collar jobs at biofuel refineries across the country, it could mean millions in windfall profits for the Pennsylvania refineries, and their owners, noted Mike Carr, Executive Director of New Energy America.

“These companies are asking the President to change a national program that has created hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs across the country to allow small refineries in the northeast to pad their profits,” said Mike Carr, Executive Director of New Energy America. “The truth is, while this move would hurt blue collar workers across the country, these refineries are making millions of dollars for corporate parents and Wall Street investors. The real question these workers should be asking their owners is ‘Where’s all the money going?’”

New Energy America was founded earlier this year to highlight the economic impact of clean energy jobs in the United States. Last month, the group released the Fifty State Clean Energy Jobs Report, which showed more clean energy jobs than fossil energy jobs in 41 states, including Pennsylvania.

“Monroe Energy made more than $100 million for its corporate parent in the second quarter of last year alone,” Carr added. “They say they’re on track to make nearly that much again this year. PBF made hundreds of millions for its shareholders and paid their CEO more than $5 million last year. These companies don’t need handouts, particularly not as a reward for avoiding making the investments their competitors have already made.”

“This renewed push on the Point of Obligation comes after Trump crony Carl Icahn was forced to resign his position amid criticism that he was breaking the law to influence regulations to help a small Pennsylvania refinery he owned,” Carr noted. “This is crony capitalism at its worst. Instead of trying to game the system to line their pockets, they should be making the investments to modernize and remain competitive in this industry. Their parent airline is going to keep needing fuel – maybe instead of spending millions on lobbying and misleading their workers to do their political dirty work, they could invest some of that money in making their refinery competitive in the clean energy economy.”

Background on the Northeast Refineries Pushing to Change the Point of Obligation

  • Monroe Energy is Making Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for its Corporate Parent Monroe Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines, who bought the refinery to hedge against high jet fuel costs. Last year, Delta admitted the refinery was purposely running at a loss in order to save the airline costs for fuel. Jeff Warmann, CEO of Monroe noted that the refinery lost roughly $10 million in the second quarter of 2016, but the decreased costs saved Delta $100 million during the same time period. In their last earnings call, Delta CFO Paul Jacobson noted that through the first six months of the year Monroe refinery earned $30 million and they expected year end profits to be “slightly down” from an earlier estimate of $100 million, “but we're still expecting it to be profitable for the rest of the year.” Delta releases Q3 earnings tomorrow, October 11, 2017.
  • PBF Energy’s Shareholders Made Hundreds of Millions in Past 12 Months, Company Valued at $3 billion On October 14, 2016, PBF’s stock closed at $19.82. Yesterday, nearly a year later, the stock closed at $26.61, a 34% increase in value over the last year, which pushed its market cap beyond $3 billion. Bloomberg estimates that CEO Thomas Nimbley was paid over $5 million in 2016.
  • Union Official Question the Impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard Earlier this summer, when Pennsylvania Energy Solutions cut workers’ benefits and blamed the RFS, the President of the local union said, ““We have information that the RINs might not be impacting them as stated.”
  • Carl Icahn Point of Obligation Scandal Results in Resignation This summer, in advance of a bombshell New Yorker article being published, corporate raider Carl Icahn resigned his position as “Special Advisor to the President on Regulatory Reform,” as it was revealed he was using his position to influence EPA on the point of obligation. As an 82% owner of CVR energy, Icahn would have made hundreds of millions of dollars on the change.

The Fifty State Clean Energy Jobs Report, and more information about New Energy America, can be found at www.newenergyamerica.org.

Contact:

Mike Carr

New Energy America

Mike@newenergyamerica.org

(202) 258-5665