Re: Tom Elias Column, Aug. 25 |

Re: Tom Elias Column, Aug. 25

Mr. Elias argues that California’s refineries operate near capacity and therefore won’t be able to use additional crude oil produced in or near California. He’s wrong.

California imports 40 percent of its daily crude oil needs, much from politically unstable countries. Safely producing more of our own oil means we will need to import less. That has little to do with refining capacity.

That’s why many recognize that prudent energy plus conservation, improved energy efficiency and development of alternative energy sources.

Elias insinuates that the oil industry has colluded to not expand the state’s refining capacity to keep up with rapidly rising demand. However, numerous government investigations of gasoline prices and petroleum markets have consistently concluded that gasoline prices are determined primarily by market conditions and not illegal or anti-competitive practices by the petroleum industry.

He also fails to mention that the petroleum industry has increased refinery output over the past 20 years, despite what the California Energy Commission has identified as very difficult and cumbersome permitting requirements and community opposition to needed infrastructure improvements.

Americans, understand that expanding domestic energy supplies is a key component of our future energy security.

Joe Sparano, President, Western States Petroleum Association


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