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Chevron CEO Issue Chilling Warning: There Probably Won't Ever Be Another Oil Refinery Built in the US

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If the left gets its way, the U.S. will never be energy independent again. The war on oil is real. It’s an ideological attack engineered by those who are hijacking environmental issues for political gain.

On June 1, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said in an interview at Bernstein’s Strategic Decisions Conference that he does not believe another oil refinery will be built again in the United States. He sees governmental policies as the reason why.

“There hasn’t been a refinery built in this country since the 1970s,” Wirth said when asked about more refining being added in the Gulf of Mexico. “I personally don’t believe there will be a new petroleum refinery ever built in this country again.”

“We haven’t had a refinery built in the U.S. since the 1970s,” Wirth said, according to Bloomberg.

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“Capacity is added by de-bottlenecking existing units by investing in existing refineries,” continued Wirth.

“But what we’ve seen over the last two years are shutdowns. We’ve seen refineries closed. We’ve seen units come down. We’ve seen refineries being repurposed to become bio refineries. And we live in a world where the policy, the stated policy of the U.S. government is to reduce demand for the products that refiners produce.”

Wirth said the federal government’s current policy to reduce the demand is making it “very hard” for a company “where investments have a payout period of a decade or more.”

Should the U.S. build more oil refineries?

“How do you go to your board,” asked Wirth, “how do you go to your shareholders and say ‘we’re going to spend billions of dollars on new capacity in a market that is, the policy is taking you the other direction?'”

Good question. A better one might be, why are leftists in such a rush to eliminate oil? Transitioning to sustainable energy is well and good — the oil supply won’t last forever — but common sense suggests that it will take time.

Even President Joe Biden’s climate czar John Kerry has admitted that zero emissions in the U.S. would have little if any impact on climate change, according to the New York Post.

In 2021, as Biden was preparing to announce executive actions pushing his $2 trillion Green New Deal-inspired climate agenda, Kerry told reporters at a White House press briefing that “He [Biden] knows Paris alone is not enough.”

“Not when almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s global emissions come from outside of U.S. borders,” Kerry continued. “We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.”

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Kerry was referring to Biden re-entering the U.S. into the Paris Climate Agreement. The fact that this was one of Biden’s first acts as president is telling.

Kerry went on to acknowledge that it would be difficult to bring the world’s top polluters to the table. China alone produces bout 30 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.

The point? If the U.S. doesn’t produce oil, somebody else will. Does relying on foreign oil producers make the U.S. more secure? That’s a rhetorical question.

The U.S. needs more oil refineries, not less.  One reason for the skyrocketing gasoline and diesel prices is insufficient oil-refinery capacity, according to the National Review. This should be more concerning for long-range U.S. energy policy than the war in Ukraine or even domestic crude-oil production.

If you don’t have the capacity to refine your own crude oil, the only thing you can do is sell it to somebody who does. Then, I guess, you could buy the refined product back. How does that make sense?

If Chevron CEO Mike Wirth is correct and the U.S. fails to prioritize refining, we’re just setting up future crises.

And maybe that’s the leftist strategy. Everyone knows how Democrats never let a crisis go to waste.

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Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.
Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.