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RE: COP buys stake TransCanda P/L -Bitumen to Woodriver (& Cushing)

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Charles Randall

Here is update on COP Woodriver Refinery & Coker expansion – as COP ties up ownership in pipeline for moving Canadian Bitumen crude from its EnCana partner to the Woodriver refinery.  The $5.2 Billion TransCanada Keystone pipeline will start moving its 590 MBD in 2009 from Hardisty to Woodriver & other oil terminals in Illinois & Oklahoma.  Part reason the TransCanada project cost doubled was the increase in volume & extending it to Cushing, Oklahoma – a major US crude transfer terminal.
COP already has its state air permit for Woodriver expansion – but article also mentions a coalition of enviromental groups trying to block the expansion & appeal to the U.S. Environmental board. I think it is time for US Refining industry to stop paying “greenmail” to these environmental thugs and demand that permits meeting all the Federal, State and industry standards not be overthrown or stalled by NIMBY special interest groups whose only purpose is to stop ANY development of US based industry which is done at the expense of all US citizens.
These groups themselves have shabby track record on spending their extracted blackmail funds to improve air emissions which is often spent instead on pet area projects their own agencies have not funded.
The Refining industry has been thrown into an fuel crisis because these groups have blocked ALL expansions so successfully that no new refineries have been allowed to be built in the last 25 years even though the US has been forced to rely on gasoline imports to meet demand.
Not satisfied with blocking new construction, and overloading any existing plant expansions with heavy emissions limitations and additional technology expenditures – they are moving into blocking any new fossil fuel additions within the US unless their blackmail funds are paid.  Two new grassroots refineries have been locked in battle by these groups for the last 2 years in two of the 13 states that have no refining capacity – even though all federal & state agencies and residents welcome the additions.
I believe these environmental groups should first be required to prove that all of the foreign sourced refineries supplying imported gasoline & fuels into the US have a superior emissions level & record to the US refinery addition or expansion that they are trying to block as a minimum. Even better would be for the Federal government to set these filings aside for the frivolous lawsuits that they are, and to start upholding the permits that have already been issued.
It is time to stop appeasement and expose them as the agents for the $3/gal price on gasoline, greenmail thugs that they are, and seek legislation to offer the same right of eminent domain over-ride that other critical services like water, sewer & power to be able to service the public at large over the special interest of a few.  This industry is in crisis the youngest refinery is over 32 years old, the average age on most refineries varies between 60-100 years old! We not only have 13 states without any refineries – we have 11 states with less than 2 refineries that do not meet their states demand. Over 60% of the US refining assets are located in 3 states – California, Texas & Louisiana and Hurricanes Rita & Katrina show what a huge risk allowing this trend of elimination & concentration to continue is.

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