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State senator wants to give incentive for any company that builds an oil refinery in Michigan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A state lawmaker says he has a plan to drive down Michigan’s high gas prices.

Senator Rick Jones says it’s time to build a new oil refinery.   But not everyone’s sold on the plan.

Jones introduced legislation that would give a ten-year property and equipment tax exemption to any company willing to build a new refinery in Michigan.

“And that’s exactly what we need in Michigan to make sure we have adequate supplies,” says Jones.

Jones says more supply means lower prices at the pump.

But one analyst says it’s unclear how much effect a new refinery would actually have. He says he’s skeptical tax breaks alone would be enough to make building a new refinery attractive.

The Michigan Environmental Council says the state shouldn’t be giving big tax breaks to an industry with a poor environmental track record.

Michigan currently has one oil refinery in Detroit.