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Study: EPA’s costly gasoline regulations bring no significant environmental benefit

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2013 – EPA’s new Tier 3 regulations on gasoline would not provide measurable ozone air quality benefits, according to a study released today by API.

“EPA’s new gasoline regulations are a prime example of what happens when regulators ignore facts and hard science,” API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told reporters in a conference call. “Refiners have made massive investments in cleaner gasoline over the last decade and air quality will continue to improve under existing standards. . . The additional energy needed to refine gasoline to meet EPA’s new proposal would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions from refineries.”

Refineries have already removed 90 percent of sulfur in gasoline over the last decade, according to the study conducted by environmental consulting group Environ and commissioned by API. Removing the last bit of sulfur left in gasoline, as EPA’s Tier 3 rule proposes, would raise manufacturing costs without leading to measurable ozone reductions, the study concludes.

“And this rule is just one of a number of ill-conceived EPA regulations that could put upward pressure on prices,” Greco said. “Americans shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of EPA regulations that lack a basis in science and will, at best, yield negligible environmental benefits.”

Greco said EPA has not ruled out a vapor pressure reduction requirement that could increase refinery costs as much as 25 cents per gallon along with the new Tier 3 rules, according to Baker & O’Brien estimates. In addition, he cited a NERA study that shows the ever increasing federal ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard could increase the cost of gasoline by approximately 30 percent in 2015, EPA’s upcoming Refinery Sector Rule, new Ozone NAAQS requirements and greenhouse gas controls for refineries.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
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