Biden proposes making the energy situation worse

"Continuing current Gulf Coast exports is essential to efficiently rebalance markets — particularly with diverted Russian supplies.  Reducing global supply by limiting U.S. exports to build region-specific inventory will only aggravate the global supply shortfall."  

—Exxon CEO Darren Woods, in a letter to Biden's Department of Energy

Biden Grapples for Votes

The Wall Street Journal weighed in recently on Biden's threatened ban of U.S. refinery exports.  This is just another self-defeating energy policy, as Biden grapples for midterm votes by trying to ease gasoline prices.

As American Thinker readers have been learning, U.S. gasoline demands can no longer be met during peak periods due to the shortage of refining capacity.  Biden's war on U.S. fossil fuels has resulted in the permanent shutdown of refining capacity of about "1.4 million barrels a day ... according to the International Energy Agency." 

The Jones Act Exacerbates the Problem

The pipeline capacity to the Northeast is full, and the Jones Act requires that, to move the excess capacity in the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, it must be transported by American ships manned by American sailors, of which we have too few.  Therefore, the Gulf refineries export fuel products to other countries, and gasoline is imported to the Northeast region.

If the Gulf Coast refineries are not allowed to export, the refineries will have to cut back on the amount being refined, and some U.S. crude production will be shut in, reducing the world crude oil supply.  This sounds counterproductive.  More pipelines, some modifications of the Jones Act, or more shipping of oil would fix this problem for the long term.  But such a plan would run counter to Biden's war on fossil fuels and could not be executed before the all-important midterm elections.

Will Biden Make Matters Worse?

California (and the West Coast in general) presents a special problem, since the unique blends of gasoline mandated by California can be produced by only a few refineries in the Western United States.  The outage of any of these refineries, as is the case for two of them that are currently out of commission for a turnaround, could result in gasoline shortages.

I suggested in my last column, here in the pages of American Thinker, that we may encounter shortages in the fall, when most refineries shut down for turnarounds.  The recent fires and the shutdown of the British Petroleum refinery units only exacerbate this problem.  If Biden bans refinery exports, he will just make matters worse.  So what else is new?

Dennis Dowling, a former chemical engineer and plant manager, worked on the redesign and implementation of Exxon Chemical's key business processes around the globe. 

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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