Texas Explosion Raises Concerns about Aging Refineries ; Most of the Energy Plants in the US Are over 25 Years Old and Operating Overtime to Meet Growing Demands for Oil

By Kris Axtman writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

Texas Explosion Raises Concerns about Aging Refineries ; Most of the Energy Plants in the US Are over 25 Years Old and Operating Overtime to Meet Growing Demands for Oil


Kris Axtman writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


This week's deadly blast at an oil refinery south of Houston, the area's worst such disaster in 15 years, has put a fresh focus on questions about the age and safety of America's oil refineries.

The blast at the British Petroleum refinery rocked the Texas City area Wednesday, leaving more than a dozen dead and more than 100 injured. The explosion sent plumes of black smoke high into the air and shattered windows of nearby homes and buildings.

The industry seems to be holding its breath, and experts warn against premature conclusions until the cause of the blast is known. Whether it was worn-out equipment or human error could make a big difference in how the accident is perceived and dealt with.

"But either way, this is the accident we are always worrying about," says Robert Ebel, chairman of the Energy Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. "It shows the very, very slim balance between oil supply and demand right now."

It's important to note that chemical plants, even with all the careful safety procedures, are dealing with dangerous explosive materials and machinery.

They require annual or semiannual inspection and maintenance, but the newest are at least 25 years old - brought online during the oil boom of the mid-1970s. Many are even older. The BP plant, for instance, began operating as an oil refinery in 1934 under another owner.

But because of the 1990 Clean Air Act and the changing requirements for cleaner gasoline products, many of these refineries have been highly upgraded with new equipment and technology.

Even so, there continue to be sporadic accidents and problems at these plants. This is the second accident this year at the sprawling BP plant in Texas City, for instance. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Texas Explosion Raises Concerns about Aging Refineries ; Most of the Energy Plants in the US Are over 25 Years Old and Operating Overtime to Meet Growing Demands for Oil
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.