Senior German official faults U.S. for lack of oil refining capacity

A senior urged the United States on Wednesday to consider increasing its refinery capacity after Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Economics and Labor Minister Wolfgang Clement said damage to refineries in the region likely would cause the U.S. industry to buy extra oil in Europe possibly inflating fuel and heating oil prices in Europe.

"On top of that, I have to say that the USA for a long time has had too little refinery capacity," Clement said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio. "And this has or probably has now been damaged, so that the situation there will become more critical."

Clement argued that planning rules led to insufficient prospects of profit from investments in the sector with the result that "at least visibly, activity aimed at creating extra capacity is not getting going."

"I hope the American government will react differently to the current situation," he said, reports the AP.

Photo: the AP

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