Up, up and away with an election growing ever-closer. Refineries in the North East are shutting down, forcing prices up across the nation. Obumpski’s vetoing of the Keystone pipeline may have won him votes among his green crowd but they were going to vote for him anyway. Those who are still considering the matter (hard to believe, but they do exist) are going to hear the words, “not enough pipelines” and remember the veto, regardless of whether that particular pipeline could have been built in time to avoid this. Of course it couldn’t, but if the Republicans can get their act together they’ll lump Keystone in with all the other energy projects stymied by the Democrats over the years and have a winning issue.
Refineries in the Northeast are under financial pressure for two reasons. They have limited access to cheaper, high-grade crude oil produced in the middle of the U.S. because there are not enough pipelines, which is forcing them to pay more for oil from elsewhere, most of it from overseas. And many of their facilities aren’t set up to process lower-grade crude that is cheaper.
As Northeastern refining capacity declines, it will force distributors in the region to buy gasoline from elsewhere, pushing up prices across the country and increasing the likelihood of price spikes, government officials and analysts warn.
“There’s now going to be a question if we can get enough gasoline into the East Coast for summer,” said David Greely, an energy analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The U.S. Energy Department has warned a shortfall could develop as early as July.