Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gasoline for America's Security Act

Representative Joe Barton (R – TX) introduced legislation entitled the “Gasoline for America's Security Act of 2005” intended to streamline the construction and deployment of additional oil refineries in the US. The measure is listed as H. R. 3893.

Mr. Barton raises some excellent points in the overview of this important piece of legislation. The last new refinery conducted in the US opened in 1976. Since 1981, 176 oil refineries have closed. Much of the capacity being handled by those 176 refineries has been absorbed by more efficient refineries that are in operation today, however it underscores the scope of additional capacity we would enjoy had those refineries remained in operation.

Also problematic is the location of existing refineries which tend to be clustered in areas vulnerable to natural disaster. Geographic dispersement of our oil refining infrastructure is included in the bill submitted to the House on September 26th. As we hopefully learned from the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, our oil producing infrastructure in the Gulf is extremely vulnerable to unpredictable tropical storm activity. Geographic dispersement of refineries is essential to the stability of our economy and to our ability to provide uninterrupted energy across the nation.

I fully support H.R. 3893. While the ultimate solution to our energy problems is to fund and develop alternate energy sources, the need to improve our oil producing capacity in the short term cannot be ignored. This is a measure that should enjoy bipartisan support. All Americans will benefit from increased capacity, and this measure is necessary to ensure we move swiftly in that direction.

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1 comment :

Alan Fraser said...

As the visiting liberal, I'll be more than happy to get behind positive choices that make America stronger and I regard this as one of them so long as it is balanced, as you suggest, with research into alternative fuel sources, etc. You also suggested recently that infrastructure as a whole is in need of attention and I support that as well. It's all very well to call for evacuation of Houston but it doesn't mean much if the highway infrastructure is not capable of supporting the traffic. America hasn't been getting a fraction of the attention it deserves due to other 'political priorities' and I will certainly support anything that turns that around.