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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Testifying at budget hearings today, Pennsylvania’s economic development secretary said he’s optimistic two of the three Delaware County refineries slated for closing can be saved.

Saying he was restricted by confidentiality agreements as to how much detail he could offer, Alan Walker, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development, offered an update on the refineries to the state House Appropriations Committee.

“I am comfortable saying this to you today: I am confident that there is a high likelihood that we will be able to save two of the three refineries,” Walker said.

Chairman Bill Adolph of Delaware County and other members of the committee sat in stunned silence for a moment.

Walker later edited his comments and said he’s “cautiously optimistic.” Again, Walker said he could not give many details, including which two of the three refineries might be saved. But he did say he hoped for an announcement before June, and that it is not necessarily oil companies who are eyeing the facilities.

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