Homeland Security Adviser: ‘Appropriate Steps’ Taken to Secure Oil Refineries in Texas

By Melanie Arter | August 25, 2017 | 8:10 PM EDT

White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert told reporters Friday that he has been informed that “the appropriate steps were being taken by the private sector” to ready oil refineries to withstand wind and flooding from Hurricane Harvey, which is set to hit Texas and possibly Louisiana this week.

Hurricane Harvey, a Category Four storm, is expected to make landfall Friday night, bringing life-threatening storm surge, rainfall and wind hazards, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A reporter asked what the White House was doing to prepare for the nation’s fuel supply chain being impacted by the hurricane.

Bossert said he has “full faith and trust ... in the responders at the state and local level and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate and bring to bear the full resources of the Cabinet to keep this regional event focused on the life-saving, life-sustaining efforts and to make sure Americans in harm’s way are protected.”

“Second concern you have, though, is making sure that that regional event doesn’t lose containment and become a national or international event, and so as the refining capacity, as I understand it, approximately 50 percent of the Gulf Coast refining capacity and a third of the U.S. capacity is in the storm path. That’s something we have to take very seriously,” he said.

“There have been reports on that speculating on potential gas price increases and so forth,” Bossert said. “I’m not in a position to confirm those increases, but I will tell you that the last report I received was that the appropriate steps were being taken by the private sector to take their refineries into a position where they were ready to withstand some wind and some flooding.  

“We still have to wait it out, let Mother Nature play its course and see what kind of damage is on the other side, but the hope is they’ll be able to fix those damages, repair them quickly, and be right back in business. And so, while a large proportion is affected, it might not cause a large and long-term disruption,” he added.

“Texas is by far the largest oil producer in the U.S., and at least part of the oil-rich Eagle Ford shale formation lies in the projected path of the storm. ConocoPhillips (COP) said it suspended drilling in Eagle Ford and evacuated non-essential staff beginning Thursday,” Fox Business reported Friday.

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