Who's a friend of Big Oil (inspired by jmullaney)

Referring to the Clinton administration’s decision to release extra oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, jmullaney said,

Has it occured to anyone…
What a huge boondoggle this is to Big Oil – i.e. the Gas companies. They get to buy this oil cheaper.

Has it occured to anyone that the shortage is not OPEC’s fault, but a lack of refineries? All of our refineries are already operating at capacity – that is what is causing the shortage of home heating oil – they are having a hard enough time making enough gas.

Since the problem is not a shortage of oil but a problem of shortage of refineries, “Big Oil” get’s cheaper Oil, and still gets to charge just a much for goas and heating oil on the consumer end.

But don’t worry – Clinton will release $400 million dollar which the poor can give to Big Oil in exchange for not being allowed to freeze to death because Big Oil hasn’t built enough refineries. Big Oil is thus being rewarded for not building enough refineries.

Although I’m sure they will give a good chunk of that money to a worthy charity, like, oh, I don’t know, maybe to Al Gore’s campaign coffers?

Meanwhile, one of the cities that does have a number of refineries, and they have to be somewhere, is Houston. Houston is in Texas, and because of the refineries, Houston is polluted. Obviously all George Bush’s fault. Nothing to do with soccer moms with SUVs.

Oh, and of course, George is the “friend to big oil” not Al Gore.


I reply with a link
questioning the assertion that Gore is ever going to get nearly as much support from big oil as Bush.

I’d also like to note that Texas is one of the worst states in the country as far as the environmental affects of its oil refineries.
This study takes into account the number of refineries, and still maintains that Texas is qualitatively one of the dirtiest states in the country in this regard.

Ooops. The second quote isn’t supposed to be embedded in the first. It’s not even a quote. It’s just me writing new stuff in response to the jmullaney quote. Sorry

I’ve always been curious about just who Big Oil is. In this country (U.S.) the overwhelming majority (90+%) of wells are drilled by independents, who are rarely refiners.

Oh yeah, Boris’ link to the CBS page.

OK, so the Oil companies have given more hard money to Bush instead of Gore. Who has gotten the most soft money?

I don’t know if I like the games those statistics play to make Texas in the bottom 3rd. They give links to their “methodologies”, but these don’t seem to work for me.

First, they throw out 38 of the states from their study because these states have less than four refineries. That isn’t very fair to Texas, since Texas is 4 times the size of all of New England, it could be said to be as big as 24 states put together.

Then, they determine their numbers by dividing by the total state refining capacity. Maybe Texas has 23 really big refineries that could be like having 46 refineries in another state? Maybe in 1999 the refineries in other states weren’t running as near capacity as Texas? They don’t definer their terms

Then they don’t tell me what TRI transfers are. They rank on these 5 different categories, then put in the bottom third (note that if they did quarters and not thirds Texas wouldn’t be in the bottom anymore) the states that are in the lowest 3rd on three of the indicators. It doesn’t matter that Texas has much less sulfer dioxide pollution than half of the 12 states the study considers.

Even the way they display their results is misleading. By listing the states in each third alphabetically, they make it look like Texas is next to last.

Also, not to put too fine of a point on it, you know what refineries do. Perhaps the oil that is refined in Texas comes from a different location that has less pure oil that has more contaminants. Louisiana and Oklahoma are ranked fairly low too. States that get their oil from Alaska rather than from under water in the Gulf of Mexico or South America may not have problems with sulfates, benzenes, and whatever TRIs are to the same degree.

The other thing to keep in mind is all that gas our cars use has to be made somewhere. Texas has some of the oldest refineries in the nation. Bush could have had them shutdown but gas would be even more at the pump. Whether you want to see his actions towards them in Texas as a slap on the wrist or a stern warning that, without wanting to hurt his states economy by driving them into Mexico, they do need to clean up their act because someday soon the axe is going to fall. If there were thousands of unemployed people in a few small Texas towns knocked out of work when “the factory shutdown,” I’m sure Gore would make sure the world knew Bush didn’t care about the working man.

A hundred years and some global warming ago, before these infernal horseless carriages were invented and Ma Bell still had competion from the other telgraph companies, Big Oil ran the heating oil market.

The name hasn’t ever had much to do with crude oil, although more to do with that than, say, olive oil. :smiley:

surely your not suggesting that people would skew their statistics to give more creedance to their position.

That never happens! :rolleyes:

and when they do it is tough to argue without sounding whiny. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

That’s hard to say, since soft money doesn’t go directly to candidates. The Center for Responsive Politics suggests that a large majority of soft money contributions from the oil industry have gone to Republicans for several years running. Gore’s second biggest hard money donation from the oil industry came from Occidental Petroleum , which, like the rest of the industry, directed the majority of its soft money at Republicans. Enron, both candidates’ biggest hard money contributor in the oil industry, likewise gave most of its soft money to Republicans. El Paso energy (Bush’s number two source of hard oil money) gave 99% of its soft money to Republicans.

On the other hand, these are just statistics. The historical evidence makes it clear that the Bush family is more closely connected with the oil industry than the Gores. The conventional wisdom - reporters referring to Bush and Cheney as “oil men” - would suggest that same thing. Common sense - Bush’s support for new offshore drilling, vis a vis Gore’s support for environmental and energy conservation programs - leads one to the same conclusion. Here is statistical evidence in complete agreement.

Perhaps these four sources of evidence don’t convince you, and you still believe that Bush is less of a friend to the oil industry than Gore. My work is done here in any case.

California seemed to do okay.

This would be normalized by the process of dividing by total capacity.

The explain that on the methodologies page. The Toxics Release Inventory covers cyanides, dioxins, and others - a total of several hundred compounds.

If they used quarters and not thirds, then the three of the states would not have appeared at all.
Or, they could have used a four-tier system instead of a three-tier system … where would Texas have appeared? At the bottom of the second-to-last tier. So they obviously used a three-tier system in attempt to protect Texas’ reputation. Darn them, skewing their statistics to favor Texas. <- satire

How would you rank Texas? How important is sulfur dioxide pollution to you, compared to toxic releases (on which Texas comes out the worst by far) or benzene (on which Texas is second worst, being beaten only by Wyoming)?

Do you honestly think they chose to alphabetize their results to smear Texas? I’m just curious.

OK. The data at your site here for 1997 (latest year they have data) does show Texas to have the highest releases of TRI’s by poundage, but again, Texas is two to twenty times bigger than a lot of the “runner ups.”

And again, the gas for your car has to be made somewhere.

I’ll concede Bush has gotten more money from Big Oil than Gore. But Gore seems to be trying to get on their good side with these government handouts.