One would think after the record profits last year in the Big Oil Industry, there would be money and justification for expanding gasoline refinery capacity in the United States. Apparently, NOT.
The Washington Post, among others, is reporting today that refinery expansion is being scaled back. But a new refinery has not been built in over 30 years.
Only last year, the Energy Department was told that refiners, reaping big profits and anticipating growing demand, were looking at boosting their refining capacity by 1.6 million barrels a day, a roughly 10 percent increase.
"By creating a situation of extremely tight supply, the oil companies gain control over price at the wholesale level," says Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America. He argues the refining industry "has no interest in creating spare (refining) capacity."So there you have it, take the profits and run.