Philadelphia Energy Solutions Oil Refinery: An Unintentional Monument to Power

Jaden Cloobeck, C’22

In this video essay, I discuss the now-defunct Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery as an unintentional monument to the negative consequences of power, by which I mean both socio-political power and fossil fuel energy.

For more on environmental justice in Southwest Philadelphia, see the following:

• Fredric L. Quivik, “Abundance, Dependence, and Trauma at Philadelphia’s Point Breeze Petroleum Refinery: A Mirror on the History of Pennsylvania’s Oil Industry,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 139, no. 3 (October 2015): 265–92,

• Mark A. Hughes, “Following Refinery Blast, Philadelphia Looks to a Cleaner Future,” 30 January 2020,

• Linda Villarosa, “Pollution is Killing Black Americans: This Community Fought Back,” New York Times Magazine, 28 July 2020,