Put down your popover, clotted cream and jam . . .
For the Anglophiles out there who are also die-hard royal watchers, Prince William and Kate Middleton visited the Valero Pembroke Refinery in southwest Wales earlier this month. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit served to highlight the refinery’s 50th anniversary, which was first opened by the Queen Mother in 1964.
Considered to be one of the largest refineries in western Europe, the Valero Pembroke Refinery processes 270,000 barrels per day, and makes products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas, and petrochemical feedstocks. As an employer of 1,200 people, the refinery also boasts a 45-year history of community engagement through its support of extracurricular education, sports programs, environmental projects and charitable works. According to the BBC, Valero’s Vice President and Refinery General Manager Ed Tomp said the Duke and Duchess’ visit was in recognition of the role the plant “continues to play supporting our economy and communities here in west Wales.”
While it’s nice to see the recognition the British Royal Family paid to the oil and petrochemical industry—as refineries play a vital role supporting the livelihood of communities worldwide—American leaders should take a cue from the example being set by their neighbors across the pond.