WATCHING GOVERNMENT: US refining on tightrope

When the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association issued its annual US Refining and Storage Capacity Report on July 26, it provided a reminder that the US refining industry is walking a tightrope.Refiners must contend with high costs for crude oil and natural gas to run their plants, on one hand, and with being suspected of “gouging” consumers, on the other.The day after his group published the report, NPRA Pres. Bob Slaughter told me strains during the past several years have been particularly high during summer, “when facilities run at high utilization rates you don’t see in any other industry to meet strong gasoline and diesel demand.”The report c...

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