Like most of you, I am disgusted with the latest spike in fuel prices (okay, I understand that some of you more green-minded readers probably relish the spike in fuel costs).
Each time there is a fire, mechanical closure or whatever at any of the refineries in California, I scream and shoot off an email to our elected officials in Sacramento — I believe it is mainly due to the Democratic politicians that we are in this mess.
Increased regulations and restrictions passed in the name of the environment and the consumer have actually hurt the consumer and businesses in California. Both consumers and businesses need to put pressure on the legislature to change their policy directions, so as to reduce the restrictions and promote the construction of more oil refineries.
Below is my most recent letter to the Governor:
Along with many others, I am disgusted by the sudden increase in gas prices. This increase is not the blame of the oil industry, but the politicians in Sacramento, mainly the Democrats.
Why do I say that? More rules, regulations and restrictions have gradually reduced the number of refineries in California as the demand has steadily increased. Oil companies see no benefit to increase capacity or build more refineries in California with such increasing rules, regulations and restrictions. These restrictions, for the most part, were brought forth by Democratic politicians.
The fact is from 1985 to 1995, 10 California refineries closed, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in refining capacity. Further refinery closures are expected for small refineries with capacities of less than 50,000 barrels per day. The cost of complying with environmental regulations and low product prices will continue to make it difficult to continue operating older, less efficient refineries (This paragraph comes from the State’s Energy Commission, not from Oil Companies propaganda…
Democrat politicians will say that these increased rules, regulations and restrictions protect the consumer. Yes, they do, but they also force refineries to run at full capacity which increases the chances of mechanical problems. Also, refineries need to be shut down occasionally for routine maintenance, and what about when a fire or major problems occur? Prices go up because no other refinery can increase their capacity to fill the demand because they are already at capacity.
Governor, I urge you and your fellow Democratic legislators to wake up to the fact that your actions are hurting the consumer and businesses in California. Allow the oil companies to build new refineries (Also, they would be state of the art and thus cleaner) to make sure this kind of spiking does not happen again, thus helping the consumer and businesses of California.