House Republicans Seek Federal Refinery

House Speaker Dennis Hastert has called on Florida Rep. Adam Putnam to gather support to add language to a GOP refinery bill that would create a federal refinery.

According to Rep. Charles (Chip) Pickering (R.-Miss.) who views the plan as a “way to find common ground” with Democrats, the federal government would  be responsible for building the refinery and the private sector would competitively bid to operate it.

In response, former House Majority Leader and FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey  issued an immediate press release that said, “A national refinery is a terrible idea.  At a fundamental level, it is an attack on our very economic system, which is built on property rights, free markets, and private capital.  This national refinery plan will cost more, put taxpayers at risk, and politicize an entire industry.  It will inevitably lead to greater costs, further Congressional meddling, and additional market distortions.”

Congress Daily, which reported Putnam would be working to advance the plan, also talked to Bob Slaughter president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. He said “Private companies in a free market without government intervention we think has served consumers well.”

Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton (R.-Tex.) is meeting this morning with Energy and Commerce Ranking Member John Dingell (D.-Mich) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D.-Va.), who would like to see have proposed a similar plan to create a strategic refinery reserve, to negotiate a bipartisan refinery bill.