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The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health

Gasoline is about to get a whole lot cleaner as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks to reduce the amount of sulfur in fuel with a new regulation. 
According to the EPA, it's finalizing new rules that will cut the amount of sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds starting in 2017. The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health.
A vehicle's catalytic converter primarily controls emissions, but over time, sulfur in fuel can disable auto technologies that work to eliminate emissions. 
Sulfur took a massive hit in 2000 when the EPA required the amount be lowered from an average of 300 ppm (parts per million) to 30 ppm. When these new rules are finalized, that number will drop further to 10ppm nationwide by 2017. 
The EPA estimates an 80 percent reduction in emissions for cars and trucks from today’s fleet average, and a 60 percent reduction for heavy-duty vehicles.

[SOURCE: Automobile Magazine]

"These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By working with the auto industry, health groups, and other stakeholders, we're continuing to build on the Obama Administration's broader clean fuels and vehicles efforts that cut carbon pollution, clean the air we breathe, and save families money at the pump."
Automakers like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- a trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and others -- have welcomed the rules because it lowers the cost of technologies needed to improve fuel economy and meet emissions standards. The auto industry will spend about $200 billion to double the efficiency of the fleet by 2025 to 54.5 MPG.
The program is estimated to cost less than a penny per gallon of gasoline, and about $72 per vehicle. The annual cost of the overall program in 2030 is estimated to be about $1.5 billion. 
Putting these new rules in place would also improve public health. According to the EPA, the rules will annually prevent up to 30,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children; 2,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits; 2,000 premature deaths, and 1.4 million lost school days and work days. 
Total health-related benefits in 2030 are estimated to be between $8 billion and $23 billion annually.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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By NovoRei on 3/4/2014 9:58:34 PM , Rating: 3
It costs to remove sulfur from Gas. The price hike will be higher than 1 cent.

On the other hand expect engines to last longer. Both due to lower oil contamination and due to cleaner internal components. Direct injection is heavily affected by sulfur.

By ammaross on 3/4/2014 10:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
300 to 30 was a big deal. 30 to 10 is not so much. Anyway, the 1 penny per gallon likely is the estimated cost of the desulferization unit itself, not the cost to design, implement, and maintain said unit. Also, it's likely scaled for large oil refineries, and will likely put unfair strain on low-volume refineries who have to buy the same type of unit at the same price. Expect price hikes to vary depending on refineries in the area.

By StevoLincolnite on 3/4/2014 11:58:26 PM , Rating: 1
On the flip side... Sulfur helps add to the oils volume, so should be interesting to see what it does to supply/demand and whether prices will increase because of that factor. (And compounded by the cost of removing the sulfur.)

By Mint on 3/5/2014 4:29:17 AM , Rating: 3
Do you know what 30 ppm means? No, it doesn't add to volume in any significant way.

By StevoLincolnite on 3/10/2014 6:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
It *still* adds to the volume.

30 ppm is 0.003% of the volume.
However, when we start talking in billions of barrels... It would probably start to add up over a several year period.

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