You’ve heard the complaints a hundred times from oil and gas drilling advocates…
“The United States hasn’t built a refinery since 1976.”
But it really is true.
Thanks to government red tape and environmentalist pressure, a new oil refinery hasn’t been built in the United States in over 25 years.
Even though we’re still in the grips of a nasty national recession — with spiking oil prices exacerbating the problem — the government continues to stand in the way of domestic development of energy resources such as oil and natural gas.
However, Reuters reported yesterday the first refinery in over three decades may be built in, ahem, North Dakota.
You see, the oil drilling boom in the Bakken is so big, production has tripled in just three years — to more than 464,000 barrels per day.
And that figure is set to go a lot higher in the years to come.
As a result, demand for diesel in the Bakken region has gone off the charts…
Hundreds of diesel-fueled trucks are needed to accommodate the growth in the largely remote state of North Dakota to haul crude to the nearest pipeline or rail head, to haul refined products to the drilling site, or to truck in sand and water, key ingredients to hydraulic fracturing.
As a result of its remote location, North Dakota has experienced periods of severe diesel shortages.
According to the Reuters report:
Local diesel terminals were sucked dry this month — some for hours, others for days — as a major Indiana refinery underwent planned maintenance while fuel demand rose due to seasonal demand from farmers and shippers at the tail end of the autumn harvest and the Bakken shale oil plays. Some truckers had to drive hundreds of miles to fill up.
“Trucks arrive at the loading station and some wait three to four hours and others in excess of eight hours,” said Bud Kerr, operations manager at J5, a hauling company in North Dakota. “The problem appears to be worse than what it was last year.”
What’s the solution?
Simple: Build a diesel refinery in the Bakken itself.
I love it. I love North Dakota.
The refinery received county zoning approval last week and now awaits final state approval.
Knowing North Dakota’s views and the history of its booming oil market, I’m inclined to believe this refinery will receive overwhelming support. They know it means more jobs and more tax revenue to the state’s coffers.
If only the White House was following this positive story…
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Follow the North Dakota Model or Lose Reelection
I watched a video over the weekend of liberal lapdog Chris Matthews talking about Obama’s reelection chances.
Appearing frustrated and confused by the limpness of the Obama administration, Matthews says: “What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What’s he going to do in the second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets?”
Remember, this is the same man who said not long ago that Obama gave him a tingle up his leg. Now it’s a headache.
It might be too late for Obama. A couple of weeks ago, Obama punted on the Keystone Pipeline project, delaying the decision to build (or not) until after the 2012 election.
In a perverse outcome, two of Obama’s core constituencies — unions and environmentalists — were engaged in a battle royal with each other over the project.
Labor unions supported the idea, knowing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline would bring tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs (they are in the 99%, by the way) to America.
Terry O’Sullivan, President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said this in response to the U.S. State Department delay of the Keystone XL:
Environmentalists formed a circle around the White House and within days the Obama Administration chose to inflict a potentially fatal delay to a project that is not just a pipeline, but is a lifeline for thousands of desperate working men and women. The Administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs — job-killers win, American workers lose.
Environmental groups from the Natural Resources Defense Council to the Sierra Club may be dancing in the streets, having delayed and possibly stopped yet another project that would put men and women back to work. While they celebrate, pipeline workers will continue to lose their homes and livelihoods.
To make it worse, last week the Obama administration angered workers again in Ohio by delaying for six months a mineral lease auction in Ohio’s shale-rich region, which is estimated to create 200,000 jobs.
Parts of Ohio’s rust belt have some of the highest unemployment in the nation. But it sits on the nation’s largest shale gas formations, the Marcellus and Utica.
My father was a union carpenter for over 30 years. Though I don’t always agree with what unions stand for, I do know this: They want to work.
Obama would jump 20 approval-rating points if the unemployment rate dropped. All he has to do is look at North Dakota and Western Pennsylvania for a clue.
Luckily for us, we don’t have to wait on the government…
We can participate in the Bakken boom right now.
President, Angel Publishing