Petroleum, Refineries, and the Future

Legislation to Help Refineries Prepare for Disaster


Matthew Huber, author of the book Lifeblood, outlines that, “the level of U.S. oil consumption is a massive yet intractable problem[...] all life, depends on access to and control over energy” (ix-8). With our addiction to oil unable to be stopped, or retracted, we must adapt to better prepare for the future as, in previous years, the time will come when a mistake is made and a spill occurs. When this happens, the government must step in and enforce legislation in place that is supposed to ensure oil companies take every precaution throughout the refining process to prevent incidents. However, past legislation was not putting enough pressure on oil companies to ensure they do not cut corners every once in awhile to gain a little extra profit. The failure of past legislation and the heightened occurrence of spills pushed the National Petroleum Council in 2014 to push forward potential legislation to help better prevent disaster. The National Petroleum Council helped push for a “National Response Framework,” or NRF. The NRF, according to Enhancing Emergency Preparedness For Natural Disasters: Government and Oil & Natural Gas Industry Action to Prepare, Respond, and Recover by Marvin Odum et al., is,

The framework under which government agencies, departments, and responders at the local, state, and federal levels interact with industry to respond to all types of disasters and emergencies.  It establishes an organizational structure whereby information is exchanged between the local, state, and federal levels to enable decision-making and resource distribution to respond to large nationally significant incidents (Odum 32).

The NRF helps guide how all responses to hazards are coordinated by providing, “structure and mechanisms for incident response” (Odum 35), and builds off the “Incident Command System,” or ICS. The ICS is basically the template used to manage incidents or disasters on any given scale.
The National Response Framework is a key aspect for oil companies to consider implementing in their refineries because it helps bridge all gaps between the powers within the oil companies, and the government; allowing them to pool their resources together and accomplish more when it comes to disaster prevention.

Works Cited:

Huber, Matthew T. Lifeblood: oil, freedom, and the forces of capital.
       University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 
Odum, Marvin et al. Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters.
       National Petroleum Council, 2014.



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