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The conspiracy happened in the 80's and 90's. More than half of  all refineries were shut down in the US. Refining had very low profit margins, they were consolidated (bought up) and shut down. I have little doubt that some were outdated as the oil companies claim, but not a great deal more than the ones currently in service.

By limiting the producers and through economies of scale profits have increased. Now, they say that in order to help out the economy and bring on more capacity US environmental rules need to be eased. Bush has helpfully suggested that closed military bases be used as refinery sites. Conspiracy may be a strong word for the "free market" reaction to deregulation, but it sure has worked out well for the usual suspects.

by toad on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 01:43:33 PM EST
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