What is causing high gas prices at the pump? The Republicans will tell us that we need more oil production and that drilling more oil will lower the gas prices and blame President Biden for not allowing more drilling in federal lands.
In 1976 there were 276 oil refineries in the United States producing 15.237 million barrels of fuel a day. Today we have only 129 oil refineries producing 17.94 million barrels of fuel a day. The last oil refinery built in the United States was in 1976. Five oil refineries have shut down in the last 2 years thereby losing the capacity of producing 1 million barrels a day.
The oil refineries are producing fuel at 94% capacity. Each of the top five oil refineries produced 500 thousand barrels of fuel a day. If one of these oil refineries were to stop producing fuel due to schedule maintenance or by fire, hurricane or earthquake, that would cause a 2.7% decline of the daily production of fuel.
If the Republicans are so concern about the price of gas, why don’t they turn their attention to Big Oil and tell them to build more oil refineries instead of allowing Big Oil to reduce the number of oil refineries by more than 50% in the last 48 years.
Imagine pumping water from a lake to fight a house fire nearby using a fire hose with a very tiny diameter. It will take forever to put out the fire. The problem is not the amount of water in the lake but the size of the diameter of the hose. You don't need a larger lake but a fire hose with a larger diameter. The oil refineries are the hose.
So the next time you are at the gas station and see that ubiquitous sticker with the face of Biden with the words “I did this”, remember it is Big Oil that is doing this.