US oil group asks EPA to drop tougher sulphur rules for gasoline

27 June 2013 22:46 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Tier 3 regulations will do little to reduce air pollution while costing billions to the oil and gas industry, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Thursday.

The API urged the EPA to withdraw the Tier 3 regulations, which would require that federal gasoline contain no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur on an annual average basis.

This is a drop from the 30 ppm cap set by Tier 2, which the EPA said has resulted in gasoline sulphur reductions of up to 90%.

The EPA is also proposing to either maintain the current 80 ppm refinery gate and 95 ppm downstream caps or lower them to 50 and 65 ppm, respectively.

“The rule’s biggest impact would be to increase the cost of delivering energy to Americans, making it a threat to consumers, jobs and the economy,” said API group director for downstream and industry operations, Bob Greco. “Tier 3 is a reckless regulation, an unnecessary regulation and unfortunately, one of several new rules in the offing that collectively could put upward pressure on energy prices, discourage business expansion and harm new-job creation.”

Greco said a study by analysis group Baker and O’Brien indicates the new regulations would cost $10bn (€7.7bn) in new capital, while another study by ENVIRON International has found that the regulation would do little to reduce air pollution.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

($1 = €0.77)

Additional reporting by Tracy Dang

By Bobbie Clark