I usually take a laissez-faire, supply/demand view of energy, but this quote says they're lying profiteers.
"The fragility of the refining system became apparent after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. At the time, President Bush offered to reopen some military bases as sites for constructing refineries and Congress passed legislation to encourage refiners.
But oil companies rejected the idea of constructing new refineries in the United States, saying it would be impractical and too expensive."Kinda puts the lie to the excuse that they were regulated out of taking action. Since I also think the promise of corn-based ethanol is a very expensive hoax, it goes to show the proof of the old saying (which I just made up) "There's no politics like Power Politics."
From the New York Times
Edit 6:42--Here's what we were reading in October, 2005:
"But the primary motive behind the lack of US refinery new builds is a basic one, a lack of profits for oil companies." From the BBC