Friday, October 07, 2005

My solution for Detroit's economic future

Considering we're having a mayoral election in Detroit here between a competent and an incomptent crook. So in light of Katrina, and the troubles facing the auto industry here in the Motor city, here is my recipie for economic development:

  1. As hurricane Katrina illustrated - the U.S. is running perpetually at full refining capacity. There has not been a new refinery built in the U.S. in over 25 years. This has primarily been due to environmental regulations and NIMBY activists.
  2. Katrina showed what happens when a small portion of that capacity is even temporarily taken offline, in terms of $3/gallon gas.
  3. $3/gallon gas is killing the big three, whose profits are derived from larger vehicles with poorer gas mileage. They are at a competitive disadvantage in the smaller, more fuel efficient care segment.
  4. Detroit is dependent on the big three for it's economic survival, and thus $3/gallon gas is not in the interests of Detroit.
  5. Detroit has large segments of its city with abandoned manufacturing properties, which are enviornmentally damaged.
  6. Detroit should use these lands and actively promote the construction of refineries within its boundries. This would utilize land already environmentally damaged, thus not making things worse. It would bring investment dollars for construction and infrastructure of the refineries, create jobs and tax revenues for the city, and help lower the price of gasoline, which helps the industrial base in Detroit.
  7. This is also feasible location wise - if Sarnia, 40 miles up the river is the hub of refinery capacity for Ontario, why can't Detroit be the refninery hub for the rust belt?

I am suprised that neither Kwame Fitzpatrick or Freeman Hendrix have latched on to this idea. If the next mayor of Detroit becomes a champion of such a plan - it is a political and economic winner. Jobs, economic development, and helping the largest employers in the city... whowoulddathunk???

1 comment:

lebowski said...

...either all of that or the state should just grow weed. Michigan: the 420 state.