One of the few ways Congress can do something, really anything, to affect high gasoline prices is to increase the supply of products. To increase supply we must increase our domestic refinery capacity. The Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act that the U.S. House will vote on this Wednesday would simply establish a federal coordinator to work with the federal government agencies responsible for issuing permits in the development of a new refinery.

This would help eliminate some of the needless delays that beset any large project, such as a refinery. The bill also looks at closed military bases for possible sites for a refinery, including at least one biofuels refinery. In addition, this legislation would benefit coal to liquid refineries, which I strongly support.

The bill does not exempt a refinery developer from any regulations or environmental standards. It simply gives them a single point person to assist in running the maze of the permitting process and tries to keep government agencies on a time schedule for making their decisions.