EPA Strikes Back at Sulfur Emissions

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 07: A customer pumps gasoline at a service station May 7, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Gas prices reached a record national average price of $3.07 per gallon of regular unleaded, up over twenty cents in the past two weeks. San Francisco leads the nation with the highest average price of $3.49 per gallon.
National Journal
March 3, 2014, 1:38 a.m.

The En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency re­leased a rule­mak­ing on Monday to lower the amount of sul­fur in gas­ol­ine and re­duce air pol­lu­tion from auto­mobile emis­sions.

EPA pro­jects that the rule will slash at­mo­spher­ic con­cen­tra­tions of smog and soot by re­quir­ing re­finers to cut sul­fur con­cen­tra­tions by more than 60 per­cent in gas­ol­ine blends. The stand­ards also set lim­its on tailpipe emis­sions from auto­mo­biles.

“I’m proud to an­nounce that today EPA is set­ting clean­er air pol­lu­tion stand­ards for cars and for gas­ol­ine,” EPA ad­min­is­trat­or Gina Mc­Carthy said dur­ing a press call. “These stand­ards will re­duce pol­lu­tion. they’ll clean the air we breath and pro­tect the health of amer­ic­an fam­il­ies in a way that re­spects eco­nom­ic growth.”

Auto­makers and oil re­finers will need to in­vest in new tech­no­logy by 2017 to com­ply with the reg­u­la­tion. The rule re­quires cars to be built with clean­er-burn­ing en­gines and re­finers to use spe­cial equip­ment to strip sul­fur from gas­ol­ine.

EPA and the oil in­dustry say this will in­crease the cost of gas and drive up mar­ket prices for new cars. There is dis­agree­ment, however, over how much prices will rise. 

Mc­Carthy said the reg­u­la­tion would “cost less than a penny per gal­lon of gas­ol­ine on av­er­age.” In con­trast, oil in­dustry stake­hold­ers say the stand­ards could tack on an ad­di­tion­al 9 cents per gal­lon of gas

Sup­port­ers of the stand­ard are de­scrib­ing the reg­u­la­tion as a sig­ni­fic­ant factor in es­tab­lish­ing the pres­id­ent’s leg­acy on pub­lic health. 

“This could prove to be the sig­na­ture clean-air ac­com­plish­ment of the en­tire Obama second term,” Frank O’Don­nell, pres­id­ent of the en­vir­on­ment­al or­gan­iz­a­tion Clean Air Watch, said in a state­ment. “Without any doubt, this is the most sig­ni­fic­ant move to pro­tect pub­lic health that the EPA will make this year,” he ad­ded. 

All this has the oil in­dustry se­ing red. 

The Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute, the largest trade as­so­ci­ation for the oil and gas in­dustry, called the stand­ards costly and un­needed. 

“This rule’s biggest im­pact is to in­crease the cost of de­liv­er­ing en­ergy to Amer­ic­ans, mak­ing it a threat to con­sumers, jobs, and the eco­nomy,” API down­stream group dir­ect­or Bob Greco said in a state­ment. “It will provide neg­li­gible, if any, en­vir­on­ment­al be­ne­fits. In fact, air qual­ity would con­tin­ue to im­prove with the ex­ist­ing stand­ard and without ad­di­tion­al costs.”

API pro­jects that the reg­u­la­tion will force the oil in­dustry to spend $10 bil­lion up­front to in­stall new tech­no­logy and res­ult in a $2.4 bil­lion an­nu­al pay­out to com­ply.

Not every­one in the in­dustry is bit­ing back, however. The Al­li­ance of Auto­mobile Man­u­fac­tur­ers, an as­so­ci­ation rep­res­ent­ing Ford and Gen­er­al Mo­tors, sup­ports the reg­u­la­tion.

“We un­der­stand that this is the trend, to get cars clean­er and clean­er,” Glor­ia Ber­gquist, the as­so­ci­ation’s vice pres­id­ent, told The New York Times. “Our en­gin­eers are pre­pared to work for it.”

What We're Following See More »
BY 180 DAYS
Trump Delays Tariffs on Japanese and European Cars
2 days ago
THE LATEST
WOULD PRIORITIZE SKILLS OVER FAMILY TIES
Trump Unveils New Immigration Proposal
3 days ago
THE LATEST
HE WILL SIT FOR AN INTERVIEW IN MID-JUNE
Trump Jr. Agrees to Testify in the Senate
5 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Donald Trump Jr. has struck a last minute deal to comply with a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee ... Trump Jr. will sit for an interview some time in mid-June for between two and four hours, with the scope limited to five or six topics pertaining to his communications with Russian officials. This will be the last time Trump Jr. has to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to the terms of the deal."

Source:
STOCKS, DOLLAR FALL IN RESPONSE
China Hits Back with Tariffs on $60B in U.S. Goods
6 days ago
THE LATEST
IN RETALIATION
China Raising Tariffs
6 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login