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Thu Mar 28, 2013, 05:09 PM

Obama administration moves ahead with sweeping rules requiring cleaner gasoline

Last edited Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:59 PM - Edit history (1)

The Environmental Protection Agency will move ahead Friday with rules requiring cleaner gasoline and cars nationwide, despite fierce protests from the oil industry and some conservative Democrats, according to several individuals briefed on the matter.

The proposed rules — which had been stuck in regulatory limbo since December 2011 in the face of intense political opposition — would cut the amount of sulfur in U.S. gasoline by two-thirds and impose fleetwide pollution limits on new vehicles by 2017.

The regulation enjoys support from auto companies, state regulators, environmental groups and equipment manufacturers. But oil industry officials and their congressional allies argue the proposed standards would raise gasoline prices and could result in greater carbon dioxide emissions because they will spur additional refining activity.

S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said the new standard could be “the most significant air pollution policy President Obama will adopt in his second term.”


E.P.A. Plans Stricter Limit for Sulfur in Gasoline
The Environmental Protection Agency will propose a rule on Friday that will cut the amount of sulfur allowed in gasoline by two-thirds to improve the performance of the catalytic converters in engines that fight smog, the agency has told refiners and clean-air advocates.

The proposal has been ready for about 15 months but was delayed until after the election because opponents will argue that it will raise the price of gasoline, according to people familiar with its history.

The rule will essentially move the country to the sulfur standards now in place in California, Mr. Becker said.


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