agriculture * food * energy * environment
Information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration
Of the more than 17.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of refinery capacity located in the United States as of January 1, 2012, about 44% (or nearly 7.7 million bbl/d) is located along the Gulf Coast. As the map above indicates, there are a number of refineries, some of them very large, situated along the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual Refinery Capacity Report provides capacity information about individual refineries as of January 1 each year. The report identifies refineries that are operable at the beginning of each year. Operable refineries are further classified as either operating or idle. A refinery could be idle for a number of reasons including routine maintenance, unplanned maintenance, or market conditions.
The Refinery Capacity Report also identifies refineries that were new, reactivated, or shut down in the previous calendar year, as well as refineries that were sold in the previous calendar year. The report includes detailed information about the atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity at each refinery and the capacities for several important downstream refinery units that are used to process the products coming from the atmospheric crude oil distillation unit for further processing.
Many refineries are located close to crude oil production centers such as the Gulf Coast (which has significant volumes of crude oil produced both onshore and offshore); near destinations for importing crude oil; or near major population centers where much of the refineries’ output will be needed (e.g., California and the areas near Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago).
Antelope, Kearney, Platte, Dixon, Knox, Polk, Franklin, Madison, Thayer, Hall, Nuckolls, Wayne, Hamilton, Phelps. Webster. Jefferson and Pierce.
The Drought Monitor was updated today and designated these additional counties as being in a “D2 – Severe Drought” status. Secretary Vilsack recently authorized FSA State Committees to release counties for CRP emergency haying and grazing once they reached the D2 level. In addition, the associated payment reduction was decreased from 25 percent to 10 percent to further assist producers impacted by the drought conditions.
CRP participants need to file a request to hay or graze at their local FSA office. CRP use includes specific rules for haying and/or a grazing plan to insure consistent uses of the land. An additional approval was granted this year for practice CP-25, Rare and Declining Habitat, to allow grazing for the first time.
“This approval will provide additional forage to livestock producers in the affected counties as the drought continues to intensify,” said Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Dan Steinkruger.
As drought in Nebraska spreads and precious water from the Ogallala Aquifer is helping crop and livestock production, plans continue for a pipeline that could threaten the very source of that water that many farmers and ranchers are now so desperately depending on.
According to Bold Nebraska, a Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality report released on Tuesday found that the proposed route for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline still passes through a number of sensitive eco-regions, including the Ogallala Aquifer and sandy soils with a low water table.
Bold Nebraska reports that “Though the agency notes that it does not have the legal authority to mandate a route change, it does encourage TransCanada to consider altering the route to avoid these regions.”
Bold Nebraska quoted an Associated Press story that reported: “A report released Tuesday says the 2,000-foot-wide corridor runs through land that could erode, and passes near unconfined aquifers that supply drinking water to residents and livestock.
“Regulators say pipeline developer TransCanada should carefully consider a route that avoids the aquifers, and document what safety precautions the company takes if doing so is not possible.”
A new map, based on University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources soil and water maps and reviewed by Dr. John Gates, clearly demonstrates that the proposed tar sands pipeline route will pass through soils formed in dominantly sandy materials—the same type of soil found in the Sand Hills Region—and the Ogallala Aquifer.”
The Pew Charitable Trust reports that by two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, the poll indicated, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.