This article should put to rest all of the same tired arguments that our gas problems would just magically disappear if we could only build more refineries. This quote from U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman:
Bodman said that a spate of US refinery outages that slowed US gasoline production are no longer to blame for rising crude oil prices, with the nation’s refineries running at more than 93 per cent of capacity.
“We can no longer explain (high oil prices) here in this country on the basis of refinery problems,” Bodman said.
For some time now, there has been a coordinated effort to attempt to lay the blame for high gas prices on the environmental lobby, by making the absurd claim that environmental hurdles make building a refinery “too costly”. I think I even read someone try to justify record profits by the oil companies by pointing to the small margins, and contrasting that margin to that of a chain restaurant’s mark-up on a cheeseburger. Something tells me there isn’t a restaurant anywhere on the planet that sells 100’s of millions of cheeseburgers a year.
The oil companies can well afford to build more refineries. They don’t for the same reason other companies, not bound by our environmental laws, don’t… it isn’t a matter of lacking the ability to convert crude oil into gasoline, at any price, but the rapidly diminishing amount of oil left underground. Why invest billions in a refinery when there is at best a 40 year supply of oil left to refine? I think we are seeing the “diminishing return” reality at work.
This sort of transparency by an official of this administration is refreshing to see. How long before he is sacked?
h/t John Lamb