President Obama’s EPA is at it again, unleashing yet another costly regulation on the US economy. The agency is now mandating that oil refiners remove all sulfer from gasoline. Although the rule isn’t opposed by the auto industry, oil companies and other groups say it could add about 10 cents to a gallon of gas. It might not sound like a lot, but it adds up. Plus, the industry may not even be prepared to meet the mandate in time.
However, the oil industry opposed the new rule, saying it will raise costs for producers and consumers while not significantly improving air quality. Ninety percent of sulfur is already removed from gasoline under current regulations.
“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,” the American Petroleum Institute’s Downstream and Industry Operations Group Director Bob Greco said in a statement. “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.”
The EPA’s cost-estimate is also disputed by industry analysts. Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobbying group, told the New York Times that the price of gasoline could rise by 9 cents per gallon under the new rule.
“I don’t know what model [the EPA] uses,” Drevna said. “The math doesn’t add up.”
In addition, the oil refining industry argued that the industry will struggle to meet the 2017 deadline.
“Besides the enormous costs and negligible environmental benefit, we are also concerned about the timeline of EPA’s new rule,” Greco said. “The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required. This accelerated implementation only adds costs and potentially limits our industry’s ability to supply gasoline to consumers.” (Read More)
They were already required to remove 90% of sulfur, which they have done.
The rule will go into effect in 2017, after President Obama’s second term is over. So another one of his policies will have long lasting negative economic impact.