New Clean Gas Rule Could Raise Pump Prices

New clean gas rules could raise prices at the pump. The new rules are part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newest anti-pollution plan and will likely incite debate about cost versus health benefits of cleaner energy.

The proposal would reduce sulfur in gasoline. It would also tighten current auto emission standards — and likely raise gas prices by less than a penny per gallon, according to the EPA.

But while the EPA estimate is less than a penny, the oil industry released its own study that puts the cost between six and nine cents per gallon. The EPA added that its proposal would also add about $130 to the price of a new vehicle, starting in 2025.

But the EPA is also expecting about $7 in health benefits for every dollar it will spend to implement the new clean gas rules. The agency is required to hold public hearings before it finalizes its rules. The Obama administration has supported the new rules, saying the cost to consumers at the pump will be worth the payoff in health benefits.

The rules will likely take effect in 2017 and will raise the nation’s sulfur standard to California’s current one. The West Coast state already has the toughest regulations in the country.

Opponents of the new clean gas rules say that prices are already extremely high and Americans shouldn’t have to pay more. Along with the oil industry, Republicans and some Democrats believe the EPA should hold off on proposing stricter regulations. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) stated on Friday, “With $4 a gallon gas the norm in many parts of the country, we cannot afford policies that knowingly raise gas prices.”

Upton added that the Obama administration should work to increase energy supplies instead, namely by approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. While the new gas rule proposal has seen opposition, environmentalists are happy. They believe that the proposal will be the most significant in President Barack Obama’s second term.

The new standards, called Tier 3, would reduce the amount of sulfur in gasoline by more than 60 percent. It would also reduce nitrogen oxides by 80 percent. The new regulations would help states comply with health-based standards for smog and soot much easier. The regulation would also let automakers sell the same cars in all 50 states.

Do you think the EPA should adopt new clean gas rules, or should they hold off until the economy is stabilized completely?

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