Editorial: The fuel-politics circus

The politics of petroleum refining has become a circus of contradiction in the US. On the West Coast, liberal senators who would never sanction a new refinery are trying to keep an old one from closing. And on the East Coast, two states have followed California's lead in trying to escape the need to replace a gasoline additive they rushed to prohibit.The West Coast hubbub involves plans by Shell Oil Products US to close its 65,000 b/cd refinery in Bakersfield, Calif., on Sept. 30. The plant was designed to process locally produced heavy crude. Shell says diminishing feedstock supply will make the 70-year-old refinery unprofitable after the closure date. It will convert its Bakersfield...

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