Friday, March 30, 2012

For Some, Gas Prices Aren't High Enough

Amongst the complaining of so-called "pain at the pump", there are some in the oil refining industry who feel that the price of gasoline isn't high enough.  This article discusses how some American refineries, particularly on the East Coast, are shutting down because the price of gasoline isn't keeping up with the rising price of crude oil.  Part of the problem is that while America is still the world's leading user of oil, our use is declining as other countries throughout the world are becoming more advanced and using more barrels per day.  Also, much of our oil production takes place in the Midwest, giving refiners easy access.  East Coast refineries are dependent on the more expensive foreign oil, which runs up to $20 a barrel higher than domestic oil. 

Something that I have read before, but have read here too and bears repeating, is that we are actually also a net exporter of petroleum.  We export more than half a million barrels a day, up 266 percent from a mere four years ago.  This is why the "drill, baby, drill" crowd drives me nuts.  Assuming that we still have plentiful resources of oil left to strike somewhere in this country, since we are in a global market, that oil won't automatically be used by us.  The fact that we export 500,000 barrels a day of oil, with the national average of gasoline close to $4 a gallon, pretty much proves my point.

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