Wilson Offers Solutions to Increase American-Made Energy

Press Release

By:  Heather Wilson
Date: May 22, 2008
Location: Washington, DC


Wilson Offers Solutions to Increase American-Made Energy

Legislation will address and fix the delay in building new refineries

Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) today introduced H.R. 5254, the Refinery Permit Process Scheduling Act, to eliminate delays in obtaining a permit and construction of new oil, biomass, and coal-to-liquid refineries while preserving and abiding by environmental laws. Wilson's bill is part of a package of Republican-sponsored energy bills to bring relief from high gas prices.

"We need to increase the supply of American-made energy. That means opening up the outer- continental shelf and Alaska as well as producing nuclear, biomass and clean coal," Wilson said.

"One piece of the puzzle is building more refineries. This bill will streamline the regulatory process for refineries to obtain new permits and encourage the construction of new refineries," Wilson said. "A new refinery hasn't been built in nearly thirty years. We are now importing 10% of our refined gasoline and that number is growing."

Wilson's bill will allow for a Federal Coordinator to manage the multi-agency permit process at the request of a governor or tribal leader. The coordinator will work with states or tribal lands to convene the many agencies involved and coordinate schedules. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is given priority during the scheduling and permit process to ensure environmental laws are abided by.

Implementation of this new process will eliminate many of the delays and obstacles currently in place that prevent companies from building new refineries, and expedite the approval process.

Just this week, the Navajo Refinery in Artesia was forced to halt operations for a second time this month for repairs. The shutdown will result in a loss of 750,000 gallons of gasoline to the market.