Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., seeks a Federal Trade Commission probe into the massive spike of gas prices in California, where prices rose 45 cents in one week. In the past, FTC probes into price manipulation led to inaction. Politicians mysteriously lost interest in them.
There are 14 refineries in California. A massive fire occurred at a big refinery last month. The refinery isnt online yet. The problem was a worn-out pipe in that 100-year-old refinery. Other refineries there are offline for repairs, resulting in less supply of the gas blend required by California law. Less supply leads to higher prices and long lines at the pump.
This supply issue isnt only a California problem. The last new American refinery built was more than 35 years ago. Our economy and security are dependent on consistent, stable refinery capacity.
Maintaining our aging refineries as major sources of fuel is as dangerous as depending on an old, worn-out car for daily transportation. We know a reliable backup transportation plan must be in place when the old vehicle breaks down.
America doesnt have a backup plan for old refineries. Every year we read of problems such as the recent massive fire at the California refinery. Its only a matter of time until fires or other major breakdowns occur at other aged refineries.
Rising fuel prices negatively affect our struggling economy. Why dont politicians and candidates offer meaningful proposals to plan and start building new refineries now instead of ignoring the dangers of aging worn refineries?