The Philadelphia refinery deal, which will be finalized in September, has Carlyle acquiring two-thirds of the business, with a commitment to run it and spend $200 million upgrading it.
In return for the joint venture with Sunoco, Carlyle secured an agreement that the “Obama administration and state regulators” would, according to the Wall Street Journal, “loosen certain environmental restrictions on the refinery.” Additionally, Pennsylvania’s Republican governor, Tom Corbett, has promised $25 million in state subsidies and other incentives.
So, in just a couple of months, the Obama administration orchestrated the rescue of the East Coast’s largest oil refinery. Utilizing quiet but muscular exertions, the administration circumnavigated its own onerous regulations, wielded executive power to plow through multiple sticky layers of bureaucracy, goaded — or intimidated — state and local governments into offering incentives for investment, and appealed to the financial sector for help.
The administration successfully shielded the president from the embarrassment of a late-spring/early-summer spike in gas prices of 20-30 cents a gallon, as well as a much-needed examination of his failed “energy policies.”
The administration accomplished all this in record time, without requiring the president to neglect his golf game, his furious scramble for campaign cash, or his relentless, cynical, class-riling, and divisive demagoguery and demonization of “the rich,” as well as just the merely successful.
The administration accomplished all of this while seeking no recognition, and also while earning no cries of “hypocrisy.”
It is a model of efficiency I hope the Romney administration is capable of emulating — without the demagoguery.
Buckley Carlson, a Washington-based writer and political strategist, can be reached at Buckley@buckmedia.org.