The main problem with our oil refining capacities is that liberals like you that have made our laws so that no more oil refineries can be built. Our refining system is strained at 99.5% of capacity as is and when something like Katrina or Rita come through, there are major shortages because there is nowhere else for this oil and gas to come from. This has all been the doing of people like you, the tree-hugging whining liberals that would rather save a tree then have your gas prices reduced to 50% of current prices.
(posted to this blog earlier by Mikai)
I agree with most of what you say. I don't mind high oil prices - USD$7 per gallon for gasoline in this country is to me, a fair enough price for running a car provided there is more than adequate cheap public transport as an alternative - certainly the case in Edinburgh. We definitely don't have enough oil refineries, not even to meet current demand, let alone projected demand. Rita and Katrina may have brought this fact into sharp relief, but this problem existed long before these two storms came to town.
In the U.K. it's really hard to get new storage facilities for refined fuel built, let alone oil refineries. In Inverness, they tried recently just to get an off shore platform built, to allow ships to offload their fuel and the environmentalists launched a national campaign to prevent it happening.
The prevailing view of both my fellow liberals and environmental scientists in this country, not to mention the nimbys (not in my backyarders) is that we should look at ways to reduce demand, rather than improving supply lines. These are the same people who run their two cars, have their central heating on all winter and like to buy their vegetables from the supermarket. And don't want to pay unreasonable prices for any of it. Pretty hypocritical really.
This is a perfect example of what goes around, comes around. We have let environmentalists capture our energy policy, and because of that we have neither the refining capacity nor storage capacity to meet our needs. I'm all for saving the seabirds and providing them a safe refuge, in offshore islands or marshlands on the coast. But surely the time has come for the pendulum to swing back the other way a bit.