The Drilling Canard

By Patrick Appel
Howell Raines largely blames the oil companies for $4 an $5 gasoline:

Oil-friendly members of Congress like to blame environmental regulation for the lack of refinery capacity. But the oil companies themselves choked supply by closing more than half of their 300 U.S. refineries in the past 25 years...Studies by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a respected, oil-friendly consulting firm, indicate that even if all environmental regulations were removed from refinery construction, few would probably be built right away because of a 75 percent rise in construction costs since 2000, largely driven by the increased fuel cost of transporting building materials.