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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 EricMartello on 3/12/2014 6:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of people in localities with regular exhaust system testing can tell you from firsthand experience that catalysts don't necessarily outlast the vehicle.

It's definitely a wear item whose effectiveness will degrade over time, but it's not a widespread issue - certainly not one that justifies the new SO2 legislation.

In case my statement wasn't clear enough, I agree with you that nobody is dying from excessive SO2 inhalation from cars. Occasionally people complain about the smell. SO2 isn't the pollutant being blamed for deaths, but controlling it is the key to the claimed health benefits of this change. It's that tricky catalytic chemistry, so you have to be knowledgeable and think your way through it.

Nobody is denying that catalytic converters eventually wear out, but they typically last well over 100K miles even with mediocre maintenance practices.

The problem I have is more general, that legislation is being passed under false premises - actually, just lies - with the result of expanding government control over a critical resource (fossil fuels).

As I said in another post, it allows the govt to set up a "pay to play" scam, where these fake "public health" or "global warming" laws which were sold as being "for the people and the planet" are used to limit access to energy production, effectively controlling the price we all pay for fuel. Either to continue cronyism and/or to artificially drive up prices of fossil fuels in an effort to make "green energy" seem financially practical.

P.S.- there's a subtext here for someone that hates Obama and green regulations and unions and Government Motors to pick up on if you're clever enough to spot it...... ;)

If this comment was directed at me, then it's a stretch to say that someone who finds obama to be incompetent and a terrible president equates to "hate".

My issues with obama are purely practical - hate is an emotion and I do not like mixing emotion into areas that should be limited to fact and objectivity. The other things you mentioned are all cogs in the machine of big government, the oppression engine.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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