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EPA gasoline regulations, costly and counterproductive

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The API has said that the EPA’s new Tier 3 rule requiring the last bits of sulfur to be removed from gasoline will unnecessarily raise costs and actually increase CO2 emissions at US refineries because of the energy intensive hydrotreating equipment needed to meet the new standard.

Bob Greco, API Downstream Group Director said, ‘this rule’s biggest impact is to increase the cost of delivering energy to Americans, making it a threat to consumers, jobs, and the economy. But it will provide negligible, if any, environmental benefits. In fact, air quality would continue to improve with the existing standard and without additional costs.’

Cost of the new rule

The new EPA rule could require US$ 10 billion in capital costs, according to a study by Baker & O’Brien. The annual compliance cost is US$ 2.4 billion, equating to a potential cost increase of between 6 cents and 9 cents /gal. of gasoline produced. The new sulfur standard of 10 ppm would yield only very small additional improvements in air quality, according to analyses by ENVIRON.

Greco continued, ‘besides the enormous costs and negligible environmental benefit, we are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule. The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, startup, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.’

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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