API Opposes EPA's Tier 3 Rule

The oil and gas industry's trade association claims the new rule will hike costs and increase CO2 emissions at U.S. refineries.

The American Petroleum Institute responded with a broadside after EPA announced March 3 that it had finalized more stringent new standards for vehicles and fuel, mandating a lower sulfur content for gasoline starting in 2017. EPA claims the vehicle standards will reduce "tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles. The gasoline sulfur standard will enable more stringent vehicle emissions standards and will make emissions control systems more effective."

API, however, claims the new rule "requiring the last bits of sulfur to be removed from gasoline will unnecessarily raise costs and actually increase CO2 emissions at U.S. refineries because of the energy-intensive hydro treating equipment needed to meet the new standard."

"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," said API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco. "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."

API asserts the rule may require $10 billion in capital costs but would produce minuscule improvements in air quality.