February 26, 2013
Between the Lie-ns.

We're supposed to be producing more oil than ever before, yet gas prices are near record highs. What gives? Well, if all you did was skim this natGeo article, it would be difficult NOT to blame "greedy refineries." That is, until you read a little further:

True, the price of crude plus taxes explains most of the price at the pump. "It's basically simple for the most part," Goldstein explained, "but that doesn't mean the rest is trivial. It's not." And, he notes, the "last 20 percent is complicated."

So, even though refineries are greedy and basically evil, taxes and the price of crude constitute 80% of gasoline's price. Yeah. That's a real strong cause-and-effect you got going there, sparky. But wait! There's more!

Pipelines from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast are limited, and the only vessels permitted to move goods between U.S. ports are those built, owned, operated, and crewed by U.S. citizens and registered under the U.S. flag.


The EIA report also points to planned and unplanned maintenance at refineries ... the changeover from winter grade products to summer grade products to meet U.S. emissions requirements, and very low profit margins for refiners prior to the current run-up.

Let the libertarian translate: Due to EPA regulations strangling pipeline building, Union-friendly laws strangling shipping capacity, OSHA regulations shutting down entire refineries for months at a time, more EPA regulations mandating specific fuels for specific regions, and refineries eating into their profit margin to conform to even MORE EPA regulations, gas is expensive.

Do you see what's common in all those sentences? Do you really? The author of the article certainly went to great pains to hide it.

Posted by scott at February 26, 2013 08:34 AM

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You never get anything for free.

Go look at Bejing and see what not having a functional agency like the EPA gets you. I will give you a hint. The WPO recomends a daily partical count of no more than 20 (In an index that measures particulate matter in the air with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers). Given it's the WPO lets double the "Safe" count to 40. Bejing regularly exceeds 500. They have had to ground airplanes due to poor visibility due to polution.

Don't get me wrong they tend to go WAY WAY overboard in thier pursuits (Can you say Enviro Wacos)but they do serve a purpose. Could you do with WAY less regulations?? Probably. But I would bet that at least half of the voluminous regulations have been created to close loop holes that the companies that now complain about the regulations found in order to do what they wanted to in the first place. Some for the good but some for the bad as well.

Shipping in US hulls has far more to do with saftey inspections and regulations to prevent massive oil spills than expanding union coffers.

And a lot of the problems with laying new pipelines has more to do with the fact that it's FINE AND DANDY to put said pipeline in FRED's backyard but if you try to put it in MINE we are going to COURT!!!

The cost of building the pipeling materials wise (Even with all the regulations) is relativly easy enough but getting the ROUTE approved with all of the litegation involved.. Nother story

I think it's safe to say though that the oil companies and refineries aren't putting anywhere near the effort into finding ways to bring the price of gas DOWN as they did with trying to figure out how to maximize thier proffits (Again it's the free market and that's how it works. Eventually it evens out and the spikes ALMOST ineviatbly are followed by a crash)

Posted by: Jeff on February 26, 2013 09:01 AM
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