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The petroleum industry opposes the EPA's sulfur reduction plans

Typically when we we're talking about the Environmental Protection Agency and gasoline, we're talking about the EPA's push to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline used around the country or its efforts to increase fuel efficiency. However, the ethanol mandate isn't the only fuel agenda that the EPA is pursuing. The EPA is now proposing rules for cleaner gasoline that would go into effect by 2017.

This time around, automotive manufacturers are backing the new clean gasoline rules. The EPA has reportedly been working on the new rules for over 18 months and the rules would eventually require a two-thirds reduction of sulfur in gasoline by 2017.

According to the EPA, that sort of reduction in sulfur content in gasoline would be the equivalent of removing 33 million cars from the highways around the country. Automotive manufacturers also say that reducing the level sulfur in gasoline will improve vehicle performance.

Automaker associations supporting the new rules said in a meeting concerning the proposed regulations, "Reducing sulfur yields immediate and future public benefits. Ultra-low sulfur gasoline is already available; costs to implement nationwide are overstated."

Sulfur byproducts in gasoline reduce the effectiveness of catalytic converters and increase tailpipe emissions according automakers. The rules would also boost the durability of catalytic converters.
 
Refineries are already producing ultra-low sulfur fuel for use in California, the European Union, and Japan.

Predictably, the oil industry is opposing the proposed rules. Industry officials say that these changes would require capital investments of between $10 billion and $17 billion and would result in recurring annual costs of between $5 billion and $13 billion. The net effect according to the petroleum industry would be an increase in the cost of fuel per gallon of between $.12 and $.25.

Source: Detroit News





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