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Gas shortages ahead?

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According to recent report by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, America is headed for an energy meltdown unless we increase oil refining capacity drastically.

The report states that it expects energy demands to continue to grow at nearly 2% a year. Currently we are at 95% of capacity, and 10% of our supplies come from other countries. The only way we can make up the difference is by importing more refined oil products. This is very troubling news for our country.

Our increasing dependence on not only foreign oil, but refining capacity too is a major contributor to our problems in the Middle East. Until we cut some these strings, they will play us like puppets.

Joe Barton, committee chairman said in a press release on his web site, that after the passage last month of H.R. 4517, members from both sides of the aisle approached him, saying “they wanted to work on ways to increase refining capacity and were willing to help on a refinery bill that would do so.”

H.R 4517 offers a myriad of federal subsidies for the oil industry. My question is:

“Why do we need to subsidize the most profitable industry in the world?”

The industry certainly benefits from the current situation, but is greed the reason? Will government giveaways solve the problem?

There hasn’t been a major oil refinery built in the USA in many years. The reason may lay more with environmentalists than oil tycoons. Like nuclear power plants, nobody seems to want one anywhere near them. Not in my backyard dammit. The problem is that then you end up with not being able to build one anywhere. When gas hits $5.00/gallon we may start to think different; but if we wait that long to start we are really in for it.

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