House passes Oil Industry Giveaway

Thanatoast

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Dec 3, 2002
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WASHINGTON - The House voted to encourage U.S. oil companies to build new refineries Friday in a raucous roll call that Republican leaders extended 40 minutes while they buttonholed their own members to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

Democrats crying "shame, shame" -- and some GOP moderates -- called the bill a sop to rich oil companies that would do nothing to ease energy costs including expected soaring heating bills this winter.

The bill would streamline government permits for refineries, open federal lands including closed military bases for future refinery construction and limit the number of gasoline blends refiners have to produce, eliminating many blends now designed to reduce air pollution.

President Bush welcomed the vote. "I commend the House for passing legislation that would increase our refining capacity and help address the cost of gasoline, diesel fuels, and jet fuels," he said in a statement.

The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, passed 212-210, but not before a standoff on the House floor. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., asked at one point, "Is this the House of a Banana Republic."

It looked as if the bill was going down to defeat, two votes shy of approval. Democrats to no avail called for gaveling the vote closed as GOP leaders lobbied their own members to switch votes and support the bill.

more...
Could the Republican leadership possibly be any more embarrisingly corrupt?
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
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The bill would streamline government permits for refineries, open federal lands including closed military bases for future refinery construction and limit the number of gasoline blends refiners have to produce, eliminating many blends now designed to reduce air pollution.
Well, that's hardly a giveaway, that's just getting out of their way.

When I read the thread title I thought they had given massive cash payouts or some such, which would have been disgusting.
 

toontra

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2003
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broken_keyboard said:
Well, that's hardly a giveaway, that's just getting out of their way.
"eliminating many blends now designed to reduce air pollution."

Getting out of the way of taking any responsibility for the environment, more like!
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
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Dont Hurt Me said:
In this record year of Profits for the Oil Industry
Until normal circumstances, excess profits cause an increase in supply, and the price goes back down.

But of course the supply can't increase if there's all these environmental regulations.
 

pseudobrit

macrumors 68040
Jul 23, 2002
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broken_keyboard said:
Until normal circumstances, excess profits cause an increase in supply, and the price goes back down.

But of course the supply can't increase if there's all these environmental regulations.
Or if the supply is finite and running out.

Regulations have bugger-all to do with the refineries not being built. It's the same reason nuclear power plants aren't being built: there's little profit to be had and the future of the market is grim.

They're the proverbial buggy-whip manufacturers.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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What incentive is there to build a refinery? Profits are already sky high without that additional capital expenditure. It's still very possible to find a refinery site -- they managed to find a place to bury nu-cu-lar waste. You're telling me they can find that site despite all the environmental regulations, yet the best and brightest the oil industry has to offer can't find a refinery site? Methinks the oil industry doth protest to much.

They're flush with cash and high friends in places willing to bend any rule they want (as evidenced by this and many other industry-friendly policies of this administration) and yet they somehow can't get their poor poor refinery built. I don't buy it.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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broken_keyboard said:
But of course the supply can't increase if there's all these environmental regulations.

Pesky red tape.

After all, it's only about the air that you breathe, the water you drink, the soil where your food grows... all expendable, right?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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Blue Velvet said:
Pesky red tape.

After all, it's only about the air that you breathe, the water you drink, the soil where your food grows... all expendable, right?
The red tape is a nightmare right now, who would really want to spend YEARS taking a shell company through the process for just the permit for the refinery.

Might as well look at the process for a nuclear power plant, might be easier -- and probably only take 10 years.

Then there is the oil pipeline, power lines, and refined product depots and pipelines to get easements and permits for.

Not that a refinery with a shortcut will pollute any more or be any less safe, just quicker to build.

Plus some of these military bases are superfund sites, much easier to clean them up for a future superfund site -- than a Wallyworld or Megamall. ;)

---

There is a permitted refinery project set up for Yuma, AZ -- but it was starting to look like another fantasy project getting ready to fail.

This may actually get the project rolling again and supply Phoenix and S CA with some refined produts by 2010 using Mexican Oil.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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mactastic said:
What incentive is there to build a refinery? Profits are already sky high without that additional capital expenditure.
Exactly. The industry has made a collective decision to avoid the risk associated with investing in more refineries. And as you say, why should they take that financial risk, when they can make as much if not more by producing less and allowing the price to go higher?
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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Sun Baked said:
The red tape is a nightmare right now, who would really want to spend YEARS taking a shell company through the process for just the permit for the refinery.
With all due respect, how would you know?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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IJ Reilly said:
With all due respect, how would you know?
Like you can do it quicker than the first company to be granted the permit needed to start construction of the first new refinery in 20-30 years.

They started their letter writting process in June 1999 and were granted final permits in April 2005.

So BITE ME ...
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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Sun Baked said:
Like you can do it quicker than the first company to be granted the permit needed to start construction of the first new refinery in 20-30 years.

They started their letter writting process in June 1999 and were granted final permits in April 2005.

So BITE ME ...
Um, that's nice.

What's your example? Where is it? What's a "letter writing process" and how is that germane? Who held up the process, assuming it was, and why?
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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IJ Reilly said:
Um, that's nice.

What's your example? Where is it? What's a "letter writing process" and how is that germane? Who held up the process, assuming it was, and why?
Letter writing/permit process -- whatever...

You do after all have to begin the process at some point.

Nobody held it up, maybe you can do it quicker (Since you seem to think it cannot take years right now -- maybe you can point us to the 10 minute short form you fill out at the local library.)

But for the rest of the world, it takes years to get a permit granted in the US (pre-Katrina) -- after you fire off that first letter and begin requesting forms to fill out and find out what reports need to be generated, and what hoops to jump through.

Since there is only one recent example of a refinery permit granting, that happens to be in Yuma -- it's not hard to find.

There is Google. :rolleyes:
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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Sun Baked said:
Letter writing/permit process -- whatever...

You do after all have to begin the process at some point.

Nobody held it up, maybe you can do it quicker (Since you seem to think it cannot take years right now -- maybe you can point us to the 10 minute short form you fill out at the local library.)

But for the rest of the world, it takes years to get a permit granted in the US (pre-Katrina) -- after you fire off that first letter and begin requesting forms to fill out and find out what reports need to be generated, and what hoops to jump through.

Since there is only one recent example of a refinery permit granting, that happens to be in Yuma -- it's not hard to find.

There is Google. :rolleyes:
The usual thing around here, when one makes a claim, is to provide the information to substantiate the claim, not to direct others to find it themselves.

I've made no claims for how long it takes to get permits to build an oil refinery, let alone how long it ought to take. But I will say that it can easily take five years to get the permits to build a shopping center, so it doesn't surprise me that it takes a similar period of time to get the permits lined up to build an oil refinery. You would think by this logic that nobody would build any shopping centers. Not a problem that I've ever noticed.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
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IJ Reilly said:
The usual thing around here, when one makes a claim, is to provide the information to substantiate the claim, not to direct others to find it themselves.

I've made no claims for how long it takes to get permits to build an oil refinery, let alone how long it ought to take. But I will say that it can easily take five years to get the permits to build a shopping center, so it doesn't surprise me that it takes a similar period of time to get the permits lined up to build an oil refinery. You would think by this logic that nobody would build any shopping centers. Not a problem that I've ever noticed.
Yes, but a refinery is probably several orders of magnitude more evil than a Wal-Mart Superstore on steroids.

And those things have a whole lot of trouble landing in backyards.

Asking small companies and investors to fight red tape, 6-10 year time period, and $30+ million cash outlay for something a gas company is refusing to do because oversupply would be bad for profits...

Then getting whacked by environuts trying to chase you out quicker than a Wal-Mart Superstore -- tends to keep people out of the business.

And there isn't any link for the current level of red tape for a refineries, except to write that first letter yourself and start killing some years and $10 million bills for a dream of gasoline flowing in 10 years.

Then prepare yourself for even more pain and time wasted if you decide to use tribal land or BLM property.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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pseudobrit said:
You're the one making the claims. Why should anyone else be bothered to chase them down?

"Bite me?" Get a grip.
If anybody cannot figure out why dealing with the EPA and government red tape will take years.

Here's the link that will prove quite helpful.

No google needed.

---

And IJ knew it would take years, I figured he was being his usual PIA.

So he can search for the name of the company/info himself.

Now if he wants to know why small business doesn't want to pony up the dough for a refinery -- he can invest $100k with me over the next 5 years in a worthless shell, and I'll give him $100 back on his investment in year 10, and I'll swap that worthless stock for some real stock in year 11.

In fact only 1 small company in 30 years was dumb enough to take the gamble. Of course what does this say about the investors?
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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As noted, many projects take years if not longer to come to fruition. I talked to a guy who's in the final stages of a nearly 20 year battle to put a hotel/condominium up on the ocean side of 101 in the Pismo/Shell Beach area. Between the Coastal Commission, the city and county and state water board and the fisheries and every 'environut' between SF and LA he managed to steer this project through and make money. 20 years -- for a frickin hotel. Construction has only been going on for about 3 years, and he's about to finish the job within the next 6 months. So this argument that companies and investors aren't willing to look at long-term projects is nonsense.

And then to top that off, if there had been any real interest in building a refinery you can bet there would have been an industry push from day one of the Bush administration. Bush has betrayed the religious right, but never the corporate right. He's fought for anything that they really wanted, and I've never once heard of anyone trying to find a way to ram a refinery through. What I have heard a lot about is ANWR. They sure want that bad, and they're going to get that tiny production increase around the filibuster rules to insure it's passage. Yet they won't fight for a refinery? Why, if as you argue, they are literally dying to build one but the pesky 'environuts' won't let them?

Have the 'environuts' managed to stop any of the disasters that the Bush administration has proposed under names like 'Clear Skies' and 'Healthy Forests'? Those had strong 'environut' opponents, yet easily became law. Bush talks of building new nuclear plants, but never refineries.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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Sun Baked said:
Yes, but a refinery is probably several orders of magnitude more evil than a Wal-Mart Superstore on steroids.

And those things have a whole lot of trouble landing in backyards.

Asking small companies and investors to fight red tape, 6-10 year time period, and $30+ million cash outlay for something a gas company is refusing to do because oversupply would be bad for profits...

Then getting whacked by environuts trying to chase you out quicker than a Wal-Mart Superstore -- tends to keep people out of the business.

And there isn't any link for the current level of red tape for a refineries, except to write that first letter yourself and start killing some years and $10 million bills for a dream of gasoline flowing in 10 years.

Then prepare yourself for even more pain and time wasted if you decide to use tribal land or BLM property.
I didn't expect such a generic rant as a response. No facts at all, that I can detect. "Evironuts?" This is the kind of language I'd expect from Rush Limbaugh, not from somebody making a serious argument.

Okay, I did your homework for you. Here is what I found out about the Arizona Clean Fuel project:

1) They have been looking for a site for some years. Turns out not many communities were anxious to be home to an oil refinery. What a shocker.

2) The big holdup has been with the state, not federal, EPA.

3) They obtained their federal EPA permits in March 2005.

4) They have not even begun their federal environmental review process.

5) They are not close to raising the financial commitments needed to build the facility. Not even remotely close.

Of all of these, the last is the most telling. They could have all their permissions in hand today, and they still would not be able to build the plant. I wonder why the industry isn't lining up to finance this new refinery. Don't you?

BTW, coming to one of these debates unarmed with facts is what makes a person a "PIA." Or a troll. Take your pick.
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
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LaLaLand, CA
Sun Baked said:
If anybody cannot figure out why dealing with the EPA and government red tape will take years.
We should get rid of the EPA then.

Seriously though, what you've described is pretty much what happens with anything. Apple Stores even. There are some who take things a little too far, but I'd rather have a few "environuts" trying to keep oil companies honest (insert joke here) so I don't get my food or water supply contaminated while they're contaminating my air. We all gotta live with Big Oil, most of us need things like gas, but that doesn't mean they get to take dangerous shortcuts any more than any other company/industry.

Your argument is without merit.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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solvs said:
Your argument is without merit.
So I should have to provide a link to my opinion that it takes years to get through the red tape, because a bunch of people cannot figure out why the red tape will take years?

It's a little hard to link to common sense -- so I provided one on how to tie your shoes instead. ;)
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
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Sorry, you won't get anywhere in this debate or any debate in this forum by spouting a series of vague generalities mixed with personal attacks.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
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RE: rewind

IJ Reilly said:
Sorry, you won't get anywhere in this debate or any debate in this forum by spouting a series of vague generalities mixed with personal attacks.
Considering the quote that started this was a vague generality ... you live for this debate crap, I don't.

"The red tape is a nightmare right now, who would really want to spend YEARS taking a shell company through the process for just the permit for the refinery."

How the hell do you provide a link to that, everybody here "knows" it's years of red tape, plus I have no idea where to look for a copy of the step-by-step refinery permit process to confirm it does indeed take years for this process that takes years.

Certainly there aren't a lot of new refineries opening proving it takes less, unless I missed one.

I cannot provide a link to a second part -- because I don't "know" anybody that would be dumb enough to try gamble in a refinery shell company under the current rules. And I sure as heck don't know anybody that was dumb enough to do it during the period Arizona Clean Fuels was trying to put their company together. At that time there were better places to put your money.

Certainly there are better places that offer something with better odds of paying off over 10 years. And Arizona Clean Fuels, still looks like a long shot over the next 2 years.

A large company like Tosco might, but they would do it in their own name -- instead of using a shell company. Plus they'd be rather dumb to eliminate their only loophole for market manipulation and megaprofits.

Now if you found more that 1 company in the last 29 years that to tried it, provide the link. ;)

Edit: Sorry I cannot provide a link to generalities ... don't see why you are still asking for one. And to provide a link to something you already know is silly. :p
 

solvs

macrumors 603
Jun 25, 2002
5,693
1
LaLaLand, CA
Sun Baked said:
you live for this debate crap, I don't.
Then boy, are you in the wrong place. :p There is red tape, but that doesn't help your argument, because there's red tape to get anything done. I thought I made that clear.

And don't tell me to bite you, because I might.