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lsc76cat
Senior Advisor

Gasoline Reality Check?

Following is a little tidbit that seems to have been left out of the recent news about the cause of the gas price jump in Minnesota:

Quoted from Wikipedia:

 

"About 70% of the gasoline fuel used in the state comes from Pine Bend and the nearby St. Paul Park Refinery, while most of the rest comes from a combination of the Mandan Refinery in North Dakota, and the Superior Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. 40 to 50% of Pine Bend's output is used within the state. Flint Hills has recently completed a $100 million expansion to increase capacity at the plant to about 330,000 barrels (52,000 m3) per day."

 

The Koch family owns this Pine Bend (known as Flint Hills Resources) refinery that is supplied by a pipeline from Alberta, Canada.

 

This refinery is responsible for 25 to 30% of Canadian tar sands oil processed in the US.

 

Long story short:  WE ARE GETTING HOSED AT THE PUMP!!

One of my favorite quotes comes from Captain Ramius:  "A little revolution now and then is a good thing.

"

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5 Replies
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Gasoline Reality Check?

Is the blocking of the pipeline from canada to okla. unrelated or does the refinery you are referencing corner market share because of it?

 

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lsc76cat
Senior Advisor

Re: Gasoline Reality Check?

If you are referring to the much debated Keystone pipeline I don't believe that will come anywhere near Minnesota.

 

This Pine Bend refinery, more commonly referred to in our area as the Koch Refinery is located in Rosemount on the south side of the Twin Cities.  It has been supplied for many years by a pipeline from the oil sands in Alberta.  It is a huge refinery and only about half of the gasoline it refines is needed in Minnesota.  There is no supply problem locally that would justify the recent increases.  We have 3 gas stations in my home town.  All of them are supplied by the Koch refinery.  One of them is owned by the local coop but they discontinued E85 last year because nobody was buying it.  We'll see if they bring it back.

 

I'm sure everybody has seen prices jump at a gas station.  Even when there hasn't been a delivery of fuel.  The station gets a call from its "home office" telling it what to charge.  JR mentioned how much gas jumped overnite when he was in Minnesota recently.

 

Gouging is the only term that applies.  While we may say we believe in free markets we all know that some regulation is necessary.

The current situation is totally unacceptable but until we change the people that make the laws and hold them accountable we'll continue to get screwed.  That's where the revolution part comes in.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Gasoline Reality Check?

Isc,

Thanks for the explanation.

 

The one set of laws we will probably never enforce is the monopoly laws-------------- where would we start.

 

We have created monopolies and unfair advantages in nearly every industry and our love of regulation has created an economy very unfriendly to new startups.  Local ownership is almost unheard of except in cafe's and farms.  And those two are seeing handwriting.

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lsc76cat
Senior Advisor

Re: Gasoline Reality Check?

The only way out of the mess these politicians have put us in is growth.  The only way significant growth can return to our country is to bring manufacturing back home.  A service economy does not create original wealth.  Only growing, extracting and processing does that.  We have the technology to make cheap energy a reality.  If we can make sure it is done cleanly they'll build monuments to the legislators that make it happen.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Gasoline Reality Check?

We been loosing that battle for years because we did not have a work force that would compete on a world wide basis.  Maybe that will eventually change or we will be able to generate a tecno/mechanical work force instead.

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