Federal regulation squeezing local refinery

Toledo Refinery. (WNWO/Marcus Espinoza) 

180,000 barrels of crude oil are produced daily at the Toledo Refinery plant in Oregon.

Supporting 500 daily jobs and contibuting billions to the regions economy.

But all of that could be in jeopardy if a current federal government program is kept unchanged.

"From what we hear from the refinery people is it puts such a financial burden on them, they may not be competitive and force them out of business," said Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian.

A federal program called the Renewable Fuel Standard puts a strain on local refineries.

It requires them to blend ethanol into the nations gas supply as apart of the 2005 regulation.

Large corporations get subsidized for doing this.

The Toledo Refinery does not blend it's own product, but still has to be in compliance so it pays about $100 million a year for other companies to do it for them.

"The overall concern is if PBF, our parent company at the refinery, isn't able to sustain the cost of this, it could result potentially in an issue like we saw in Philadelphia, a hit to the benefits and health care and staffing and ultimately a plant closure," said Just Donley, United Steelworkers Local 912 president.

Local officials gathered at One Government Center Monday calling on President Trump to take action.

They want him to change it so independent refineries are not handling unfair costs.

"It'd have a big impact for the city of Oregon. We'd have to refine our budget to reflect our new income for the city of Oregon so some of our city services would have to suffer," said Mayor Seferian.

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