Oil Refinery Wants Tax Dollars to Protect Itself From Global Warming

You might want to turn off your irony meters for this one. An oil refining company in Delaware has applied for public funding to protect its refinery from a rise in sea levels, brought on by the global warming that burning fossil fuels helps cause, that threaten its infrastructure.

In Delaware, severe storms are eroding the shoreline and affecting homes and businesses up and down the coast – including the business of an oil refinery. The functioning of the Delaware City Refining Company property just south of New Castle, a division of PBF Energy, is threatened by increasing extreme weather. In other words, climate disruption is hitting the doorstep of its source.

The refinery has tried to get help, submitting an application with the Coastal Zone Management Act seeking shoreline protections due to “tidal encroachment” — which is one way of saying sea level rise.

“The extent of the shoreline erosion has reached a point where facility infrastructure is at risk,” says the permit application from the company.

You read that right — an oil company feels jeopardized by sea level rise. And they’re asking for assistance. That’’s like a cigarette company asking for help paying for ventilators for it’s executives after they’ve pedalled tobacco for decades.

This particular refinery has been retrofitted to refine tar sands oil, which is even worse for putting carbon into the atmosphere than conventional crude oil.

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  • Chiroptera

    From the linked article:

    Of course it took an immediate threat to its business for the Delaware City Refining Company to confront the problem.

    Except they’re not confronting the problem. There is no indication in the article that the company is trying to get the public to reduce carbon emissions or is in the process of changing its business to one of providing alternative sources of energy. All it seems to be doing is trying to cope with the consequences of the problem.

  • raym

    …pedalled tobacco for decades

    Great cartoon material!

  • Mike Morris

    I don’t suppose Delaware could be persuaded to offer them money to move to Florida. I used to drive by this place on the back way to the Delaware beaches. Not a lovely use of shore land.

  • Artor

    I’m curious how much money the owners of this plant have spent lobbying to deny that global warming is even a thing. Probably at least as much as they’re trying to mooch off the taxpayers now.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    “Look, I never said it’s not happening. All I said is that we can’t do anything about it but adapt, that it was happening but it wasn’t me, or that it wasn’t happening. But now is not the time for blame. I think we can all agree that at this point we all have to pull together and help me with your money.” ~ Mr Oil Company

  • denisevincent

    As an unpleasant coincidence, all of the ‘smart ads’ for this post show “Invest in Oil and Gas Drilling” “Immediate Cash Flow Properties, Low Investment, Large Potential 10+% ROI” Gag.

  • parasiteboy

    As much as I would love the irony of this story to be true, “tidal encroachment” does not equal sea level rise, although sea level rise could be a factor. Shoreline erosion, and thus tidal encroachment, can happen naturally after a storm(s) without invoking AGW as a cause.

    Increasing extreme weather events (mainly intensity, not necessarily frequency) are predicted by AGW, but it does not appear that the company actually said that their facility “is threatened by increasing extreme weather”. Although, being the pragmatic business people that they are, I would not be surprised if they believed this but they wouldn’t (and didn’t) admit it.

  • Chiroptera

    parasiteboy, #7:

    No, it’s still ironic. It may not be hypocritical. (That may not be correct word, but it’s closer to what I think you’re discussing.) But you have a good point: I was reading the article as saying the executives were being hypocrites, but you are right; depending on their level of science denialism, they may not be actually hypocritical.

  • parasiteboy


    I disagree. It would be ironic if the tidal encroachment was mainly due to sea level rise, but in the article linked to by Ed, they cite shoreline erosion, presumably caused by storms as apposed to long-shore currents, which happens all the time in this area along the east coast of the US. I agree with you that there is most likely a hypocritical aspect to it all of this by the company.

  • D. C. Sessions

    So in other words, the approach of water that threatens their refinery is a normal occurrence in that area, but they built the refinery there anyway. Sounds like poor site planning — why is this my problem?

    Of course, their insurance policy should cover that kind of thing and have the risk priced in. So they don’t really need our help anyway.

  • parasiteboy

    D. C. Sessions@10

    Sounds like poor site planning

    In hindsight, yes and this can basically be said for much of the east coast (residential and commercial) and to a lesser extant the gulf coast. My major issue is that we still allow new structure and/or replace destroyed ones on land that is continually moving. A similar scenario occurs inland with river and stream flooding.

    There needs to be some infrastructure in these area’s for the transportation of goods, but we could save ourselves a lot of money if we just utilized our current knowledge of the environment.

    why is this my problem?

    You may want to write this down and have it ready to copy and paste, because you’ll be saying it a lot as the US pays for coastal properties of the rich who haven’t given a shit about AGW as the sea swallows their mansions.

  • parasiteboy

    Urrgggg “extant” should be “extent” @11

  • Trebuchet

    Good thing they aren’t in North Carolina, where shoreline planning for sea level rise is against the law!

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    You might want to turn off your irony meters for this one

    ventilators for it’s executives after they’ve pedalled tobacco for decades

    Apparently I’d be well advised to turn off my spell-checker as well.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Tell them if they don’t like it, they can move.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    Lake Michigan has problems with shore erosion.

  • freehand

    Why aren’t we sending them a bill for their proportionate contribution to the damage done nation-wide* from climate change?


    * Global damage might be more fair in principle, but harder to calculate and enforce, not to mention international politics interfering with the calculations and distribution in various ways.