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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 Nutzo on 3/5/2014 12:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
they do have an average expected life of 100k to 150k miles

Even less if you spend most your time driving in heavy/slow city traffic. If you live in a state that requires smog checks, and you keep your cars for a long time, look at the results over 5-10 years. You will see a gradual increase in the emissions, and eventually you will fail.

By Dr of crap on 3/5/2014 3:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
So glad we don't have to get inspected any longer.

And I've not heard of needing a new converter after 100k. Wouldn't that still be under warranty?

Usually they need replacing after they get plugged up, but not failing after so many miles. Not that I couldn't see that happening.

By pandemonium on 3/8/2014 6:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
Do the warranty companies get subsidies from the government for replacing catalytic converters? No.

Warranties don't cover wearable parts. Catalytic converters are wearable.

By donxvi on 3/9/2014 5:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
Catalytic converters are considered emissions components and are covered under your emissions warranty. Depending on model year and emissions certification, that warranty is required to last typically something like 8 years/80,000 miles.

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