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"Boondoggle" time
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'll be traveling today, as it is time to put my "paid shill of the oil company's" hat on again.

Yes, the American Petroleum Institute is sponsoring (as in paying all expenses) another trip to a petroleum industry site in order to ply us with booze, glamor and big city lights with an eye toward getting a favorable blog post or two out of us.

Las Vegas? Los Angeles? New York?

Uh, no - Billings, MT, where we're going to do an overnighter and visit the ConocoPhillips refinery there.

But hey they're going to put us up in a 5 star hotel (Holiday Inn) and feed us at Emeril's (Jake's Steakhouse), right?

Uh yeah, right.

Actually I'm really looking forward to the trip as my ever expanding knowledge of the petroleum industry gets another boost. And besides, I've never been to Billings and I hear the area is breathtakingly beautiful. I'll observe and report.

Anyway, use this as an open thread. I'll try and do a little airport blogging if I get a chance (and as you know, you usually do get plenty of chances in such cases, except when you want them, and then, not so many).

Enjoy the day.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Outside Billings, yes.

Inside Billings, not so much.

At least based on my few hours passing through.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I expect Jake’s Steakhouse will be enjoyable. Just don’t order anything they challenge you to eat.
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
I am enjoying the oil boom here in Houston. Got a job interview this morning for a job that would pay 50% more than my last one. My wife who works for an EVIL oil company just got a promotion. Sweet. Hope the prices stay high for a while.
Written By: kyleN
booze, glamor and big city lights
What no floozies?? :)
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Steer away from the lamb fries.

Written By: Bithead
One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today’s senators — including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain — have voted to keep ANWR’s estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
But this part is great ..
So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. "Democracy," said H.L. Mencken, "is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I grew up in Billings. The beauty is more to the south and the west of there. But I still like the town. The rim-rocks on the the north side of town have their own beauty. And typically this time of year, Billings is a sea of greenery surrounded by the just browning hills and prairies of the locale. I understand from my father-in-law that it has been cooler than normal there this year, so everything may still be green.

Billings has a surprisingly robust oil industry with the Conoco/Phillips refinery, and the Exxon/Mobile refinery in Billings, and the Cenex refinery in Laurel, just 20 miles away. The Yellowstone pipeline gets its feedstock there and pumps product to the west as far as Spokane, WA iirc.
Written By: Loren
URL: http://

Have fun landing at the Billings airport (on the side of a cliff).

Also, the Billings area is the northern extension of eastern Wyoming (i.e., NOT Big Sky country). It’s not a bad town, just not what most people expect when they think Montana.

Oh, and you might want to invest in some Vicks for under the nose. The combination of oil refineries and sugar beet plant is pungent!
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Have fun landing at the Billings airport (on the side of a cliff).

Also, the Billings area is the northern extension of eastern Wyoming (i.e., NOT Big Sky country). It’s not a bad town, just not what most people expect when they think Montana.

Oh, and you might want to invest in some Vicks for under the nose. The combination of oil refineries and sugar beet plant is pungent!

Lies, lies, all lies.

The Billings airport is on top of a bluff, not the side of a cliff. The road to the airport goes up the side of a cliff.

Plenty of Big Sky in Billings, the mountains are far enough away that they don’t block the view of the Big Sky. With a good set of binoculars, you can see how crowded the ski slopes at Red Lodge are.

And it is too early in the season for the sugar beet plant to be truly pungent, they haven’t even dug the beets up yet. Besides, you left out the tang of stockyards in the mix. All of which are different permutations of the smell of money . :)
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
West acknowledges that the IPCC and other scientific groups have "conclude[d] that the contribution of solar variability to global warming is negligible." He argues that these groups have done a poor job modeling the Sun’s impact, however, and that’s why they have "significantly over-estimated" the "anthropogenic contribution to global warming."
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

If you have a chance, grab a rental car and take a quick little drive.

Head down I-90 to the west until you hit the Hwy 78 exit in Columbus. Head south on 78 (you’ve got to kind of wind through town) and towards Absarokee and Roscoe, then on to Red Lodge. Go south on 212 up to the Beartooth Pass (I think the road is open now, if not, go as far up towards the pass as you can get). Spectacular scenery, even if Red Lodge itself has become slightly Kalifornicated.

You can return quite quickly to Billings by heading north/east on Hwy 212.

All told, a days-worth of driving and some spectacular scenery.
Written By: Blackwing1
URL: http://

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