Life has been pretty good for refiners for the past five years, especially those with refineries in the middle of the country that have been able to take advantage of the shale boom such as HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC), Northern Tier Energy (NYSE:NTI), and CVR Refining (NYSE:CVRR). Their success over the past few years has been predicated on their ability to source cheap crude thanks to inefficiencies in our oil transportation infrastructure. Without adequate takeaway capacity, the domestic crude benchmark -- West Texas Intermediate -- and the Canadian crude benchmark -- Western Canadian Select -- have both been priced at significant discount to the international standard: Brent. 

But this advantage has been slowly whittling away, and this quarter could be a little less promising than previous ones. Find out how these crude benchmarks have changed and why this could impact refiners earnings by tuning into the video below.

America's $600 billion energy problem means invest in these three stocks today
A dark specter is looming that is ready to stop America's Energy boom right in its tracks, and no one is talking about it. This one critical element could cost us more than $600 billion; but every day we wait, that number grows and grows. The U.S. government thinks investment in this sector is so important, even the Internal Revenue Service will give you a free pass if you invest in this select group of stocks. Our analysts at The Motley Fool have combed over this special class of stocks, and we have identified three that could make you rich! Find out the names of these IRS-gift-wrapped stocks in our special report, "3 Stocks The IRS Is Begging You to Buy." Simply click here, and we'll give you free access to this valuable investing resource.

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned.  You can follow him at under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

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