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In the face of high gasoline prices, the GOP line has been what it has always been for every problem--that Liberals are to blame.  From the President, to the pundits, blogs, and ministers, this is the talking point they keep coming back to:

"And so I think if you take a good look at what it means to build a refinery, or expand a refinery, you'll find there's a lot of regulations and paperwork that are required, thereby delaying the capacity for more product to come on to the market and discouraging people from doing -- building refineries. That's why we haven't had one since 1970-something."
President George W Bush--September 26, 2005
http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

"Environmental laws on emissions, gasoline blends, etc. all can create barriers to entry and raise the costs for firms in the market already."
Steve Verdon--October 4, 2005
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/...

"And why are refineries operating at capacity and, in fact, have insufficient capacity to meet growing market demand?  Look no farther than years of liberal-socialist opposition to building new refineries for environmental reasons."
Thomas E. Brewton--May 18, 2004
http://www.thomasbrewton.com/...

"The environmentalists went after the refinery. The environmentalists stopped the rebuilding of the refinery and the judge issued the restraining order. That has happened all over the country. We haven't had a new refinery since Jimmy Carter. What will we do about this? It takes years to build up the infrastructure."
Pat Robertson--August 31, 2005
http://www.cbn.com/...




But are Liberals really to blame?  Not according to the oil and gas industry:

"The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today exposed internal oil company memos that show how the industry intentionally reduced domestic refining capacity to drive up profits. The exposure comes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as the oil industry blames environmental regulation for limiting number of U.S. refineries."
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center--September 7, 2005
http://midsouthpeace.blogspot.com/...

"Energy executives and analysts insist that in spite of the supply crunch that has kept oil above $50 a barrel for much of the year, demand and prices are still prone to ups and downs, so the industry should not rush to drill wells and expand refineries just because it is flush with cash."
Brad Foss, AP Business Writer--October 28, 2005
http://news.yahoo.com/...

Case Closed!

Originally posted to greasymadness on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 12:31 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It looks like big oil (none)
    might be in violation of antitrust laws. If so, I hope the federal government or some concerned states will pursue the bastards.

    "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

    by LawSkoolPunk on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 12:45:25 AM PDT

    •  Also (none)
      As this diary was posted at night, thereby making it more likely to make its round unnoticed, I urge any poster with front-page privileges to bump it up to the front page.

      "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

      by LawSkoolPunk on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 12:57:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  antitrust (none)
      I haven't taken any antitrust classes, but I imagine application of either TITLE 15, CHAPTER 1, §1, §2 or §3 might be plausible:

      § 1. Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty

      Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

      § 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty

      Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.  

      § 3. Trusts in Territories or District of Columbia il­legal; combination a felony
      Release date: 2005-08-01

      (a) Every contract, combination in form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce in any Territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or in restraint of trade or commerce between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory or Territories and any State or States or the District of Columbia, or with foreign nations, or between the District of Columbia and any State or States or foreign nations, is declared illegal. Every person who shall make any such contract or engage in any such combination or conspiracy, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
      (b) Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce in any Territory of the United States or of the District of Columbia, or between any such Territory and another, or between any such Territory or Territories and any State or States or the District of Columbia, or with foreign nations, or between the District of Columbia, and any State or States or foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

      "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

      by LawSkoolPunk on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 01:13:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary (none)
    It points directly towards something that should stick in the craw of every 'non-owner' that is forced to sell themselves to the highest bidder just so they can live to see tomorrow...

    The 'two party system'. One points the finger at the other and claims it's to blame...and back and forth it goes

    Meanwhile those of us on the receiving end of this BS are all in the same party, the losing one.

    What does the blame game accomplish? It serves as a smokescreen so the guilty can do as they please...it's why we get the boots put to us every day, all day.

    The game isn't Dems and Repubs, its owners vs. slaves. Until we stop fighting amongst ourselves over whose to blame they will continue to put the boots to us every chance they get...and blame it on the other guy!

    Parties divide, movements unite.

    by Gegner on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 12:47:55 AM PDT

  •  I recommended (none)
    I felt all along this was the case.  Thanks for coming up with the money quotes.  Now maybe those guys at financialsense.com will stop knocking environmentalists.

    Naw, now it will read, "well, yes environmentalists aren't TOTALLY to blame, but the fact is that the climate they created has helped to cause this problem."

    Important catch!  Thank you.

    My Liberal Values: a clean earth, universal access to health care, human and civil rights, a broader distribution of wealth, and a global perspective

    by Pellice on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 02:41:46 AM PDT

  •  Tell me what you want (none)
    Tell me what you want, what you really, really want?   Is it more refineries and more consumption of oil? Is it lower prices and more consumption of oil?  

    Or, maybe, the the current refinery limitation is not all that bad.  If there are windfall profits for the refiners (who is getting that extra profit?) then windfall profits taxes could take some of the sting away.  And the net effect of that would seem to be what many greens have advocated -- higher gasoline taxes to limit consumption.

    Maybe the current situation is not all that bad?  Of course, we do not have windfall profit taxes currently ....

    The price of oil has gone up a lot in the last few years, and, it seems the price of oil is just going to keep going up on average in the long-term.  Is a refinery shortage really responsible for higher gasoline prices?

    Television is the opiate of the masses.

    by i dunno on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 03:15:51 AM PDT

    •  Having fewer kids (4.00)
      I really want a gradual, voluntary decrease in the human population to start happening, together with more dedication to sustainable and environmentally sound energy practices.  At the same time, I want a gradual increase in wealth for most people, as the population decreases.  I want us to be dedicated to living in an interesting planet alive with diversity.

      In short, the Garden of Eden, with just a few more people and critters!  

      My Liberal Values: a clean earth, universal access to health care, human and civil rights, a broader distribution of wealth, and a global perspective

      by Pellice on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 03:30:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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