Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Arizona Needs Refineries
Welcome to my world, where America's love affair with its wheels continues to escalate, despite all the environmental concerns and soaring prices. Many models of cars and trucks, when you look at payments, insurance, maintenance, and fuel actually cost more than children. The Bureau of Transportation statistics now reports we have more personal cars and trucks in American homes than drivers. The typical family has more vehicles in the garage than licensed drivers in the house. Over the last two decades our population of vehicles has outgrown our people population with vans, trucks, and S.U.V's accounting for almost half of the explosion. This is especially evident in Arizona where with all the non-licensed drivers and vehicles we have more units than are actually counted and we have more and more coming into the state at an alarming rate, and that's not even counting snowbirds. So is it any wonder that a leak in a pipeline can put us in gas lines??? It's a slim margin with no error. The pipeline people are now saying they can't upgrade their ancient system until 2005 or 2006 because of problems getting permits. We got a break when the additive M.T.B.E. was doomed, allowing us to use a more refinery friendly but less than clean burning fuel, but I don't think it'll be enough without our own refineries. So what about refineries for Arizona? I ask again and again. We are one of only two states without a refinery, with one official who wants to remain anonymous saying it would take at least five or six years to unwrap the bureaucratic red tape and at least two billion dollars to get even one built. Now I don't mean to be negative but what I'm saying is that last month's crunch was only a warning, an omen, and here's hoping we are listening, as I see it…I'm H.G. Listiak.
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