The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 September 2005

What's next?

Put me down on the side of saving as much of New Orleans as possible.

But if it's not possible, here's a suggestion from Hatless in Hattiesburg, who is not actually in Hattiesburg and for all I know might actually have a hat:

Allow petroleum refineries to be built on the sites of the military bases closed by the BRAC commission;

Relocate all hurricane refugees to the abandoned housing around these bases, and give them jobs at the new refineries (or in other support businesses).

Which, says H/H, solves three problems at once.

And, well, we haven't had a new refinery in almost 30 years, and gas prices are starting to look like this.

Addendum: A proposal from Engine of the Future to simplify the task of the refineries:

We can temporarily lift the EPA regulations on all of these different fuel blends. We can do it for gasoline and diesel. Others if need be. We do this nationwide, and do it for a known, extended period of time. Fear and uncertainty is causing the "market" (that's "traders in Chicago", not us average consumers) to drive these extreme price jumps. Putting a plan into action that the "market" can count on will ease those fears and relieve the uncertainty. We lift these EPA regs for two or three years.

That gives the refining industry a known time to work with. "The market" too. All operational refineries would now be able to run larger batches and be able to ship that fuel wherever it's needed. Think that's a bad idea? Well, the EPA thinks it's a good idea, sort of.

"B-b-but what about the environment?" I hear you cry. Yeah, you'll really miss that MTBE, won't you?

Posted at 6:21 AM to Dyssynergy

TrackBack: 10:48 AM, 1 September 2005
» Rethinking the Rebuild from Dan and Angi have something to say

Should we abandon New Orleans? No, we shouldn't, but we should rethink the rebuild. It makes no sense to rebuild generic houses, fungible apartment blocks, gas stations and strip malls below the gulf, below Lake Ponchartrain, and below the frea...

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"here's a suggestion from Hatless in Hattiesburg, who is not actually in Hattiesburg and for all I know might actually have a hat"

This clever turn of phrase made me spurt my morning coffee. Good writing.

Posted by: Angi at 8:39 AM on 1 September 2005

Well, H/H does have a disclaimer to the effect that he's not in Hattiesburg — the name is a sendup of "Sleepless in Seattle" or maybe "Phlatulent in Phoenix" — so it seemed like a plausible assumption.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:43 AM on 1 September 2005

MTBE, yeah, don't get me started on that debacle.

"We're the EPA, making your gas more expensive AND polluting the water table with toxins!"

Wait for the media criticism of EPA policies re: additives contributing to severe fuel shortages and price increases.

(crickets chirping)

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at 8:18 AM on 2 September 2005