New Refineries to be Built

With so much damage to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast some people -- including President Bush have suggested it's time to build new refineries. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more on the implications of new refineries in the US.

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Fuel consumption requires oil refining and manufacturing. But Rice University Professor and energy expert Amy Meyers Jaffe says Americans have a real problem with increasing refineries in this country.

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, President Bush called for the development of more refineries to help lower gas prices.

Jaffe says it's not that simple to say let's build more refineries because the question remains of who will pay for it. She says while crude oil is lucrative, there's really not that much money in refining. And that means many of the top U.S. companies may not want to invest in new facilities. Jaffe says Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have offered to build more refineries in both their countries and ours.

Jaffe says she doesn't know the answer to that question, but it's one that we must ask ourselves before moving forward with refinery construction. She says there are pros and cons to that kind of alliance and the geopolitical climate will play a significant role in the increase of U.S. oil consumption..

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