So gas prices are high, a refinery hasn’t been built since 1976, and the way things look it my be awhile until another is built. You can thank your environmentalist friends. “Katrina Reveals Gas Price Folly Environmentalists, NIMBYs have blocked new oil refineries for 30 years”.
But getting an oil refinery built is next to impossible, hence the 30-year construction drought. There will always be environmental activists who fight any new proposed refinery, regardless of where it might be located and how environmentally safe it is. And our environmental rules give them the upper hand.
The environmental impact-report process mobilizes the “not in my back yard” elements to oppose any proposed refinery, but it does not mobilize people or groups who are looking at national energy needs. You wind up with a very lopsided discussion where potential problems are thoroughly and perhaps overly represented, but the only group pointing out the benefits of the refinery is the “evil” oil company asking to build it – even though every automobile driver would benefit.

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