To the editor:

Gas problem?

If indeed fuel prices are rising for lack of refineries and there have not been new refineries built in the past three decades due to cost and environmental issues, it is time to face and to solve the problem.

Would it be logical for the state to build refineries to produce fuel for state vehicles only? With the vast amount of state maintenance vehicles, school buses, etc., there must be an enormous amount of fuel used by the state annually. If a refinery was built for state use only, the savings would soon pay for the cost of building the refinery and could save taxpayers money for years to come. The refinery would create state jobs in refining and transporting the fuel. Also, it would enable the state to purchase crude oil in volume contracted bids from suppliers. This would not be infringing on private enterprise since it would be for state use only. It would take a huge amount of pressure off the existing over-worked refineries, which are unable to keep up with the fuel demands.

The bottom line ó if there is lack of refineries and the energy producers are making record profits, then why donít we build state-owned and state-run refineries and make some profit for the taxpayers?

Rick Sikes