Governor Kulongoski said yesterday that high gas prices aren't the result of gouging, but of supplies being short, and correctly observed that one reason supplies are short is that no one has built a new oil refinery in the United States for twenty years.
There's a reason no one has built a new oil refinery in the United States for the last twenty years, which I'll cheekily illustrate by asking the Governor a question: what location in the United States would you propose for a new oil refinery? Or, more directly, what location within Oregon would you propose for a new oil refinery? And would you approve giving the Public Utility Commission (or other state agency) supersiting authority to locate a new oil refinery within Oregon? ("Supersiting authority" means the authority to approve the location of a disliked land use without regard to local land use regulations. It's often implemented for "locally undesirable land uses," called "LULUs" in the trade. The state most recently used supersiting authority to place the womens' prison near Wilsonville over the objections of local governments.)
I wouldn't blame the Governor for not answering these questions, but the fact that he, and likely the governors of the other 49 states, would decline to volunteer a site within their states suggests the real reason that the United States hasn't seen a new refinery for 20 years isn't because the oil industry is bashful about building them, but because the customers don't want them.