When gas prices spiked a few years ago I read lots of whining about the “environmental whackos”. The complaint was that no new refineries had been built in years and couldn’t be built because of excessive environmental regulations.
Imagine my surprise when today’s Tribune reported that refiners are shutting down refineries at a brisk clip here in the United States and places with lax environmental regulations. Environmental whackos? Of course not. The refiners are trying to maintain their profits. This isn’t my guess – the article quotes them. They are shutting down refineries, firing workers, all to keep the supply down and the prices up. Logical free market capitalism – and of course, completely legal. But, let’s not hear any more stories that overzealous people in pursuit of clean air and water are the reason gas prices are high. While I acknowledge environmental regulations have an influence, let’s not overlook corporate profits and CEO bonuses.
Which do you think has the greater influence?