Because European cars run primarily on diesel and American cars run primarily on gasoline, European refineries export excess gasoline to the United States and American refineries export excess diesel to Europe and other parts of the world.
Fuel exports enable refiners to preserve and create jobs, pay billions of dollars in taxes and fees to all levels of government and reduce America’s trade deficit.
Ending fuel exports would mean America would no longer need as many petroleum refineries and refinery workers. The Department of Energy notes that in the past 20 years, 66 refineries in the United States have shut down, wiping out the jobs of thousands of workers. Two refineries in the Philadelphia area recently shut down, and a third is threatened with closure this summer.
Closing more refineries also would weaken our economic and national security because it could lead to America relying on foreign nations to supply us with vital fuels. Right now, nearly all the fuels Americans use are manufactured by American workers in our own country.
Instead of looking for anti-oil sound bites to portray themselves as champions of the consumer, politicians and pundits should be looking for sound ideas and working with the oil-and-gas sector to use North America’s vast oil and natural gas resources to serve the American consumer and our nation.
Charles T. Drevna is president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
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