McMorris Votes to Increase Domestic Oil Supply by Expanding Refining Capacity

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today supported the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act (H.R. 5254) to help provide relief for high gas prices and increase domestic oil supply by expanding the number of U.S. owned oil refineries.

“Increasing our domestic energy supply is crucial to our economic and national security,” said McMorris. “It is hard to believe that 50 years ago the United States was an exporter of oil. We must once again focus on finding and developing energy at home in America. Our Eastern Washington families, small businesses, farmers and ranchers are feeling the impact of high energy costs. We need to look at a variety of ways to increase domestic supply.”

The Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act addresses the need for new refinery capacity and supports the development of renewable motor fuels that can be produced from the nation’s agricultural, forestry, and other biomass resources. A new refinery has not been built in the United States for over 30 years, yet the demand for fuel has increased, causing increased dependence on foreign oil. Total capacity at operating refineries is roughly 17 million barrels a day, while total U.S. consumption averages nearly 21 million barrels a day.

The bill helps increase our domestic oil supply by establishing a federal coordinator so permit decisions can move efficiently, eliminating bureaucratic delays in the permitting process, giving EPA priority in the scheduling coordination, and directing the president to identify at least three closed military bases that are suitable sites for new refineries, one of which must be designated for biofuel refining.

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