Editorial: Imposed gasoline costs

Every time lawmakers or regulators tighten specifications for gasoline or diesel fuel-and there have been many such times in the past 15 years-a guessing game begins over cost. Refiners estimate costs of compliance and project the effect on fuel price. Government officials proposing the new specification do likewise and project price effects usually much lower.At this political stage, each side is making a case. And at this stage, neither side can know precisely what the price effect will be. Lawmakers and regulators don’t refine crude. They can’t know what the costs will be. Refiners can’t either. They can’t predict the innovations of processing and catalyst techn...

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