API sues EPA over low sulfur diesel rule

By the OGJ Online Staff

�The American Petroleum Institute Monday became the second trade group to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency over controversial low sulfur diesel rules.

API asked the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to overturn the EPA�s rule 2 weeks after the Bush administration said it planned to carry out the plan, which was finalized in the last weeks of the Clinton administration.

Last month the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association filed a lawsuit, saying it believed that �the Clinton administration failed in its duty to fashion a rule that balances energy supply concerns with environmental objectives� (OGJ, Jan. 23, 2001).

API also wrote EPA chief Christine Whitman urging her to reconsider her action. �As promulgated, this rule will significantly impact refiners and consumers,� API president Red Cavaney wrote in a Mar. 16 letter. �To make this important rule a success we urge EPA to consider changes that will reduce inordinate costs and lessen the serious potential for supply shortfalls.�

Both lawsuits will likely be combined and considered together by the court, legal experts said.

Both NPRA and API say the EPA standard of 15 ppm of sulfur in diesel by 2006 is not a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution. Environmental groups argue health risks associated with diesel fuel emissions justify the cost and that industry has a long lead time to adjust to the new standard.

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