Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dinosaurs 4 Oil

Well this was an interesting press release:
As Governor, I would call upon Mayor Bill Haslam, CEO of the nation’s largest, diesel fuel retailer, to lead the way in assisting our state in financing and building the world’s largest, fossil fuel refinery on the Haywood megasite. The need for refineries is undeniable, and ultra-liberals have used them as a wedge issue with the intent of destroying private, capital markets.

You hear that, West Tennessee? GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Kirkpatrick wants to put the world’s largest oil refinery in your backyard!

Everybody panic!

The Haywood Megasite is near the Hatchie Wildlife Refuge. The best neighbor for a wildlife refuge has definitely got to be an oil refinery. Not just any refinery, of course, but the world’s largest oil refinery.

I love how right-wing Republicans think!

Here’s a little piece of information for Joe Kirkpatrick: no one wants to build more oil refineries, least of all the oil companies. Back in February I linked to a story explaining that oil refineries are only operating at 80% capacity to increase their profits. It’s why gasoline prices are still high, even though demand has dropped.

Fast forward eight months, and we find refiners are actually shutting down U.S. plants:

HOUSTON -- Excess capacity, weak demand for fuels and rising product inventories continue to squeeze margins for U.S. oil refiners.

Sunoco ( SUN - news - people ), the second-largest refiner in the country that doesn't produce its own oil, said late Tuesday that it will soon shutter its Eagle Point refinery in Westville, N.J., which has a capacity to handle 145,000 barrels of oil per day. During the second quarter, Philadelphia-based Sunoco lost $77 million in its refining business and told analysts Tuesday that the third quarter could be worse.


Industry observers believe the Sunoco shut-in is a sign of what's to come. In September, Valero ( VLO - news - people ), the largest of the independent refiners, extended the shutdown of a refinery in Aruba and cut back capacity to process heavy oil at a subsidiary in Delaware City, Del.

Among the majors that produce and refine oil, ExxonMobil ( XOM - news - people ), which operates the largest refinery in the U.S. in Baytown, Texas, (572,500 barrels per day), reported a $15 million loss in the second quarter in the so-called downstream sector of its U.S. business. ConocoPhillips ( COP - news - people ), the fifth-largest refiner in the world, reported a second-quarter loss of $52 million in its refining and marketing business due to lower refining margins and volumes. On Wednesday, ConocoPhillips said it would sell $10 billion in assets over the next two years from its exploration and production and refining and marketing segments in order to reduce debt. (See "ConocoPhillips On The Block?")

Kirkpatrick wants to build the world’s largest oil refinery at a time when those already in operation are being shuttered for lack of buisness. Brilliant!

No wonder Republicans keep destroying our economy. Their policies are purely ideological, based on partisan talking points blaming “ultra-liberals” for everything. Let's put a grown-up in charge of Tennessee's government, shall we?