API urges EPA to withdraw its Tier 3 gasoline regulations

The American Petroleum Institute urged the US Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its Tier 3 gasoline regulations because they are too costly, provide scant environmental benefits, and don’t allow enough time for them to be implemented reasonably.

“To date, EPA has failed to provide the evidence that this new standard would appreciably improve air quality,” said Patrick Kelly, API’s senior fuels policy advisor. “In fact, EPA’s proposed 10 ppm standard is completely arbitrary, not at all supported by science.”

The new standard could create $10 billion of capital expenses and $2.4 billion/year, or 6-8¢/gal, of annual compliance costs, according to a study by Baker & O’Brien, he said in an Oct. 10 teleconference with reporters.

The study also shows that the process of removing the last bits of sulfur from gasoline will actually increase carbon dioxide emissions at US refineries because of the energy-intensive hydrotreating equipment needed to meet the new standard, according to Kelly.

“EPA has proposed that refiners create this new fuel in less than 3 years,” he said. “The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.”

Kelly said no one disputes the need for regulations that protect the public’s health or the nation’s environment. “But EPA should consider the negative economic impacts of this rule,” he said, adding, “And due to the lack of sound science and economic analysis to support this new standard, we believe it should withdraw the rule entirely.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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