Cost of the Clean Air Act

A late-year report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration could haunt refiners in future environmental battles. The report, The Impact of Environmental Compliance Costs on U.S. Refining Profitability, examines financial effects of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) on refining and marketing results of major U.S. oil and gas companies. The effects, EIA concludes, "have been minor in relation to the overall deterioration in the financial performance of the industry." Measurable consequences of CAAA requirements may indeed represent a fraction of the past decade's financial slump in refining and marketing. But characterization of those consequences as "minor" i...

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