Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Perhaps It's EPA Officials Who Should Be Crucified

Oil and gas companies have good reason to worry about costly punitive EPA practices under the Obama administration. Their Dallas Regional Administrator, Al Armendariz, expressed this take-no-prisoners philosophy at a taped city council meeting two years ago. The strategy described was to single out an oil company accused of a rule infraction and “punish it as hard as you can” as an example to scare others into submission. He explained: “The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean.” Armendariz continued, “They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that the town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

...An estimated 50% of East Coast refinery capacity is predicted to shut down in June thanks to EPA regulatory restrictions on new refinery plant construction and upgrades, along with others that discourage Gulf Coast suppliers from piping gas into to this fuel-starved region. Unsurprisingly, the Energy Department warns that the resulting shortage will cause pump prices to spike, and “While the short-term effects of the idled Philadelphia-area refineries will be concentrated in the Central Atlantic, their long-term impacts will be more evenly spread throughout the entire East Coast.”

... in addition to CO2 emission restrictions, EPA’s sulfur reduction requirements could also have significant adverse impacts on refinery operations. Initial costs could reach $17 billion, with recurring costs of between $5-13 billion, translating to higher product costs of around 5-35 cents/gallon of petroleum. Such added costs could lead to a reduction of gasoline supply from U.S. refiners of up to 14%, placing domestic refineries at a competitive disadvantage with foreign refineries that are not subject to EPA rules.

Over the past 60 years, the U.S. has seen the number of refineries cut almost in half, down from 324 to 149. The last facility to be constructed, the Ashland refinery near Garyville, Louisiana, was completed in 1976. As a result, disruptions of production due to maintenance, accidents and natural disasters at one or more plants can create shortfalls and price hikes with regional and national impacts.

...Combined with a raft of new Obama administration regulatory restrictions on drilling, EPA constraints on refinery development and expansion will predictably increase our dependence upon foreign sources. Huge plants now under construction in India, Asia, and the Middle East will produce countless tanker loads of less expensive gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel…. And they won’t be worrying about environmental non-compliance penalties.

...EPA’s ultimate regulatory role and policies will be decided by a higher tribunal. That American Body Electorate must be prepared to live with its own November 6th decisions…the most important rulings of all to determine our energy future. _Forbes
Of course, US voters are not required to demonstrate any knowledge or wisdom before being allowed to vote. More and more, they are not even required to demonstrate citizenship or prove their identity.

US President Obama and his faux environmental accomplices inside and outside of the US government clearly represent a threat to the energy, industry, and private sector economy of the US. Whether American voters will recognise the threat and take the appropriate measures is far from certain.

What we are seeing in the Obama administration is the rise of eco-fascism:
...Let’s sum up for a moment: burning houses, threats to life, limb, business, destroying careers, inflammatory rhetoric, deception, lies and preventing free speech. The message from the eco-fascist Left is resolute: don’t mess with us, or else. These are not guys Joe Public would want to break bread with.

...In April the US Department of Homeland Security released its Environmental Justice Strategy. It makes provision to incorporate the notion of “environmental justice” as a “homeland security” issue. If you thought Homeland was all about keeping citizens safe from terrorists, think again. Under President Obama they are about to create local “federal law enforcement” agents empowered specifically to enforce green laws and regulations in the name of “securing the homeland”. In short, a green police force. If it can happen in the land of the free, how long before the cop green-print recycles to socialist Europe? _EnergyTribune
President Obama said in his first presidential campaign that he wanted to build a US civilian (paramilitary) force as strong and as well-financed as the US military. Perhaps that was not an empty threat, to those who fear the rise of a US KGB or a US Gestapo? And all under the guise of "homeland security???" The path Mr. Obama has chosen to achieve his long cherished goals is nothing if not serpentine.

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