Oil in the Delaware River

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In this project we explored the oil industry along the Delaware River, and considered its social, economic, environmental implications in local, regional, global contexts. Clearly the oil industry along the Delaware River has prospered the local, regional, and in some sense global economy. It has also, however, brought about social, environmental issues, positive or negative, directly or indirectly. We are trying to view the oil industry along the Delaware River in a dialectical way, to give the pros and cons, because it is really difficult to make a definite conclusion. We chose to focus on Trainer Refinery, which is located along the Delaware River. Trainer Refinery is owned by Monroe Energy, which is a subsidiary of Delta Airlines. It provides eighty percent of Delta Airlines’ jet fuel need in the United States. Since Delta Airlines is a transnational corporation, we considered Trainer Refinery as a good sample of studying the oil refinery along the Delaware River and its relation to Globalization. We discovered that the history of the oil industry along the Delaware River dates back to 1892. Since then, water port facilities, public transportation, and other forms of infrastructure have benefitted from this industry and undergone important development. More recently, however, due to the rising cost of importing and refining crude oil, a couple of refineries along the Delaware River are on the verge of shutting down. According to the report, the cessation of operations at these facilities has resulted in a direct loss of 1,800 jobs and an indirect loss of 15,000 jobs. In this situation, however, Delta Airlines spent 180 million dollars purchasing Trainer Refinery, for the purpose of lowering the cost of jet fuel. This purchase... ... middle of paper ... ...ng with the chemists we learned that they did find oil in the sediment collected from the Delaware River, which makes our research meaningful. Their success gave us great motivations. Second, we also learned from the chemists and their professor that the Trainer Refinery gas spill was actually relatively insignificant. Their specialized knowledge and advice led as to make appropriate judgments and turn to focus on other aspects of the project, which might be of more significance. I think such cross-discipline collaboration is helpful, in that the process of researching and analyzing is more efficient and outcomes are more reliable. Overall, this is really a good experience for me to participate in this interdisciplinary project. I like the implications under it, because this is a meaningful project. It is concerned about not only the Delaware River, but also us all.

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