Paramount Petroleum Corporation announced the layoff of 62 workers in its Bakersfield California Refinery. An additional 65 workers would lose their jobs in struggling company operations in southern Los Angeles county, according to the Bakersfield Californian.
While workers will receive severance pay and continued medical coverage, the lay-offs will be permanent. Company officials have hope for resumed operations later in the year, but they offer no promises. “We cannot guarantee the number of future available jobs,” said company president Paul Eisman.
Paramount’s investors have been informed that the company’s three California refineries will soon shut down. High crude prices and decreased demand for asphalt account for the slowdown. To adapt to changing conditions, the refineries will be reconfigured to utilize cheaper oil from North Dakota.
That’s if state’s strangling restrictions will allow the adaptations energy companies need to survive in California. Legislators and environmental activists seek to remove any hint of fossil fuel production in the state, destroying jobs and cheap available energy as collateral damage.
Eisman, nevertheless, has vision and opportunity in his sights.
It is our collective goal to restructure and reinvest in the West Coast operations so that we may provide sustainable jobs and opportunities for more employees.
It remains to be seen whether California will let him.