Focus on Oil Makes Us More Vulnerable

The "Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act" will do nothing to affect gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The implication that efforts to expand our national refinery capacity have been prevented or impeded by the environmental permitting process is just plain wrong. Even the CEOs of Shell and Conoco have stated that environmental regulations are not impeding their refinery building decisions. By focusing exclusively on oil drilling options as a cure-all for our nation's energy challenges, the Republican Leadership is neglecting it's duty to work on forward-looking policy ideas for improving CAFE standards and moving to cleaner, renewable fuels. Oil is not the answer.

(The Shell and Conoco CEO statements were at a Nov. 2005 joint hearing before the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources, and Commerce, Science and Transportation.)