Three years ago Delta Air Lines bought an aging oil refinery near Philadelphia for $180 million to ensure an adequate supply of jet fuel for its aircraft and to help manage fuel costs. Views varied then on the wisdom of the purchase. Some critics dismissed the acquisition of the ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania, as an expensive distraction from the airline’s core business. Others, however, thought that Delta CEO Richard Anderson might have found an innovative and ...

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