Union City, SD, Approves Zoning Ordinance for Refinery

After hearing a comment today that gas prices *could* hit $6 a gallon by Labor Day, I decided to start tracking issues related to oil. I’ll post a few here. I’m hardly an expert on the subject, so I’m sure I’ll learn something along the way. I’m going to track in an effort to get a handle on what’s going on and how to plan for it.
The first thing I’ve come across is this article about Union City, SD, approving a zoning ordinance for the first potential oil refinery to be built in this country in 32 years. This is only the approval for a zoning ordinance; I don’t know if the refinery will ultimately be built. Although I recognize some disagree with this, I consider it good news. Why? One word: capacity. We’ve all heard the basic economic terms of supply and demand. These are most of the reason why we’re paying so much for gas at present. Sure, there’s the mythical greedy oil company executive and of course Congress is beholden to special interest groups, but for the most part our supply is not great enough to balance out the demand. There are several reasons for this, and very few of them have to do with SUVs and minivans and the distance many of us have to commute due to boneheaded zoning laws we’ve put up with over the years because gas was negligible. You may have heard of a couple of nations, China and India. Both of these nations are modernizing rapidly, and as such are competing with the world’s supply of commodities, like, well, oil. As these nations grow more thirsty for oil, there is less available for the rest of us. As the world’s supply decreases, we also have to realize that our infrastructure has remained the same since the 1970’s. Many oil refineries actually closed during the 80’s, and no new ones have been built. That means that no matter what our supply is, we still can’t refine and transport it to the local gas station if we don’t have enough refineries to provide the refining capacity.
Before I post this, I just want to leave one more comment. Do you know what the difference is between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist is uncertain about the future. I hope, if I actually track this issue seriously, not to become entirely pessimistic about it. I don’t know how the future will ultimately work out. I can track and analyze trends and data, but I can’t see what’s coming around the next corner. I’ll try to keep that in mind. Although I don’t see things improving in the short term, I’m not going to herald this increase in fuel as the "Black Horseman" of the Apocalypse (Rev 6:5-6).


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