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The truth about refineries Sort by:
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justyforya
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Posted on Sat, Jun 28, 2008 20:39

The Bush administration and some members of Congress blame environmental rules for causing strains on refining capacity, prompting shortages and driving up prices. But in reality, it is uncompetitive actions by a handful of companies with large control over our nation?s gas markets that is directly causing these high prices. "Myth 1: Oil refineries are not being built in the U.S. because environmental regulations, particularly the Clean Air Act, are so bureaucratic and burdensome that refiners cannot get permits. Fact: Environmental regulations are not preventing new refineries from being built in the U.S.From 1975 to 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) RECEIVED ONLY ONE PERMIT REQUEST for a new refinery." ... "oil companies are regularly applying for 'and receiving' permits to modify and expand their existing refineries." "Myth 2: The U.S. oil refinery market is competitive. Fact: Actually, industry consolidation is limiting competition in oil refining sector. The largest five oil refiners in the United States (ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, Valero and Royal Dutch Shell) now control over half (56.3%) of domestic oil refinery capacity; the top ten refiners control 83%. Only ten years ago, these top five oil companies only controlled about one-third (34.5%) of domestic refinery capacity; the top ten controlled 55.6%. This dramatic increase in the control of just the top five companies makes it easier for oil companies to manipulate gasoline supplies by intentionally withholding supplies in order to drive up prices. Indeed, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concluded in March 2001 that oil companies had intentionally withheld supplies of gasoline from the market as a tactic to drive up prices all as a 'profit-maximizing strategy.' A May 2004 U.S. Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report also found that mergers in the oil industry directly led to higher prices and this report did not even include the large mergers after the year 2000, such as ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips. Yet, just one week after Hurricane Katrina, the FTC approved yet another merger of refinery giants Valero Energy and Premcor giving Valero 13% of the national market share. These actions, while costing consumers billions of dollars in overcharges, have not been challenged by the U.S. government. Myth 3: The United States has maxed out its oil refining capability. Fact: Oil companies have exploited their strong market position to intentionally restrict refining capacity by driving smaller, independent refiners out of business. A congressional investigation uncovered internal memos written by the major oil companies operating in the U.S. discussing their successful strategies to maximize profits by forcing independent refineries out of business, resulting in tighter refinery capacity. From 1995-2002, 97% of the more than 920,000 barrels of oil per day of capacity that have been shut down were owned and operated by smaller, independent refiners. Were this capacity to be in operation today, refiners could use it to better meet today's reformulated gasoline blend needs. Profit margins for oil refiners have been at record highs. In 1999, for every gallon of gasoline refined from crude oil, U.S. oil refiners made a profit of 22.8 cents. By 2004, the profits jumped 80% to 40.8 cents per gallon of gasoline refined. Between 2001 and mid-2005, the combined profits for the biggest five refiners was $228 billion." Source buzzflashcom/articles/analysis/310


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Junie2006
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Posted on Thu, Jul 10, 2008 08:44

Could be possible. not renewable, but maybe artificially constructed. Afterall it is made of millions of seafish and their shells pounded down and made into sludge over the years. Maybe an artificial way of producing the same effect. Watch out. Your seafood has suddenly gone up in price. lol I think in the last decades American oil companies have turned their resources away from looking and searching for oil to letting others do the job then buying in - or financing them so they can find and process the oil. Then sell it on to them. It has been due to looking at cost effectiveness and shareholders first. Foreign oil and workers are cheaper. But means you have not found any new reserves of oil in your own land for quite some time. Norway has been intelligent. They have banked equal amounts of oil for every one they have used or sold. That means Norway have enough oil reserves to last for the next half a century. That is the problem of "Boom and Bust" Make money now forget about the future until you get there. OOPS!! We are there. Milton Friedman - I'd kill him if he wasn't already dead. JunieXXX


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DynaThom
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Posted on Mon, Jul 07, 2008 07:00

Holy shit!!! Now here is a dichotomy of pessimism and optimism if I ever saw one. I try to always believe the glass is half full - - - but is it half full of Chocolate Milk, or Hemlock????? Must be Chocolate Milk!!!!


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medicinemanrn
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Posted on Sun, Jul 06, 2008 21:06

DT, let me give you something else to ponder. What if oil was actually a renewable resource? The Russians have believed this for years and have done many studies on it. We know I cant place a web addy here, but you can google "oil renewable resource" to see a Wall Street Journal article.


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Junie2006
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Posted on Fri, Jul 04, 2008 07:41

I am sure man will over come this problem too. Necessity is the mother of invention. There are a lot more examples in nature of fusion and energy that we have yet to learn from. and inventors have been producing alternatives to the petrol driven car for years. except i think some of them have been paid to shut up and some of them have been assassinated - by the oil moguls. I think someone invented a water run car. I think man will overcome this. i just find the blind, blinkered naivity of those in power and on "committies" overwhelming. and of course the common man and worker is expendable - farmers, haulage drivers, builders, fishermen etc for those who push pens. Must admit Marx was right when he said its the common working man who is producing the majority of the wealth and resources in a country and it is he who should be respected as if he stops the whole country will stop. Sorry Mr Top Executive can't have your tuna on rye cox no one caught the fish, no one grew the rye and no one was able to drive it across country to your desk. Have a coffee and doughnut instead? - Pass. Ditto. But then scientists have invented a Doomsday Machine in Switzerland which is dug miles into the ground. this machine is starting up in July - this month. and it builds up to a cressendo over about a year til it creates a situation similar to waht it would be like a few seconds after the "Big Bang." OK. you have built a machine to create the same force as created the beginning of the Universe and yous till expect us to be here after. I'll say Goodbye to you now DynaTom. Nice knowing you. Who needs to propel a car a few miles when we are going to propel a few asteroids into the Galaxy starting with us first. JunieXXX


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DynaThom
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Posted on Wed, Jul 02, 2008 06:53

JUNIE!!! At last - someone has said the same thing I've been saying for years!!! (I think it's what you said!!!) My reply to the "No dependence on foreign oil" crowd has, for years, been, "Yeah!!! Let's burn America's Oil FIRST!!! - - - Not." The sickening thing is that the whole world - not just the US and it's Allies - has spent the last 40 years continuing to build a greater and greater dependence upon a nonrenewable resource. We have the technology to do - - - just about ANYTHING - - - and yet we continue to pump - and scream when something goes wrong at the pump. DT


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Junie2006
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Posted on Wed, Jul 02, 2008 02:29

Meanwhile over the pond. Politicians are opposing a drop of 14 pence tax per gallon to help businesses and the common man. They say the envirnoment and reduced emmisions are most important. Asked about haulage firms and trawler men and builders going out of work. They say these people and businesses are expendable and can be afforded to lose. Polticians and Conservatives remain the bloody same. the common man is expendable. Let every business and person who uses a vehicle for work not work for a few days and just see how much the country stops. Food, transport, doctors, firemen, ambulance, community nurses. Just what cloud cookoo are they on. These posh educated people all want to eat fish, eat vegetables and wear clothes. I think they think the little elves do it in the night. Bang Bang Bang - my head feels better now


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Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2008 17:07

The myth of Myth 1: No no Justy it's not that they can't get permits. They certainly can, it's that there are over 800 licenses required to get a refining permit and it takes 3-5 years. Not to mention the OSHA Nazi dictators that will be breathing down their necks 24/7. OSHA men can go into any plant and make up rules as they go and you must adhere, no matter what the cost, or go to prison. Same thing with the EPA. Then there are the burdensome and expensive rules which refiners must abide by such as, the sniffer. This is a devise that measures whatever is in the air and they use it to check for leaks. Great manpower must used to sniff every single connection of every pipe, valve, fitting pump etc in a plant every day, and there are millions of them. In addition to all that crap potential refiners face the threat of lawsuits and judgments filed by environmentalists which are strongly backed by the Democratic party. So, years ago the Oil companies decided that the refineries covered under a grandfather clause would continue, but all new construction would be elsewhere where all of this stupid needless government intervention doesn't exist. The oil companies are all now owned by foreign interest so why would they feel obligated or even want to build refineries here? The US govt, had to agree to the grandfather clause just to keep the plants from moving overseas that are here. If we attempt to "Nationalize them" the foreign interests would simply close them down and build new refineries elsewhere and we would have none. You will never force foreign investors to drill or refine, or sell gas cheap here. No way, they go where it is most cost effective. All of your statistics are useless. So its screw you, you stupid liberal Americans we are going to make our money back for all the multi billion dollar fines and lawsuits we have be getting all these years. Get your oil the best way you can.


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JerseyAngel
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Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2008 11:55

well let me add this. My former husband works at the refineries. Domestic and international. He works on the boilers that breaks down the crude. I am very happy that the US has tough environmental regulations. When I have been to one of the countries where he works, you can see the smoke pouring from the stacks. There aren't any regulations there. The citizens and workers are all breathing in the lovely toxins. People in this line of work are the ones who are dying of the asbestosis all the time. Years ago, nobody told them to wear respirators. Now the only chance they have to beat it is by having an annual chest x-ray and hope it was caught in time. Please don't say they need to find a different line of work either. These men grew up in families doing this kind of work. It's all they know!


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Junie2006
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Posted on Tue, Jul 01, 2008 06:36

Oi!!! You haven't got through with ours yet. Its pumped straight to you then sold back to us. We may let you have a drop inbetween. lol. Why pump your own when you can buy someone elses set up? It says BP = British Petroleum. The only thing British is in the title. Be wise. Save yours till last. JunieXXX


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demoman
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Posted on Sun, Jun 29, 2008 08:32

nothing there i would debate. its simply peoples lack of giving a shit and/or doing anything that will keep this going on.


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