L. R. Aalund Managing Editor-Technology U.S. refiners have trimmed down to what may be their leanest and strongest processing configuration ever as they face a new set of major technical and economic challenges. They are posed by the Clean Air Act of 1990, which calls for, among other things, radically new gasoline. U.S. refining capacity, according to the Journal's most recent annual and exclusive refining survey (p. 84), was as of Jan. 1, 1991, almost 15.5 million b/cd. This is a level typical of the mid-1970s when the industry was on the verge of another watershed -the unleaded gasoline era. Paradoxically, it was 10 y...

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