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EPA tightens refinery emissions cap

17th May 2012

US environment agency cracks down further on refinery greenhouse gas emissions.

US refiners believe the industry is already too heavily regulated

The US environmental protection agency (EPA) will tighten existing regulations controlling pollution from oil and gas refineries, it emerged this week.

The Tier III standards, proposed earlier this year, will upgrade a previous version implemented in 2004 which forced refiners to cut sulfur levels from an average of 300 parts per million to an average of 30 ppm.

The 90 per cent decrease is reported to have cost the industry USD 10 billion; the new rules would see sulfur content in gasoline drop further from 30 ppm to 10 ppm.

Tier III would add approximately six to nine cents per gallon in manufacturing costs, according to a report from Baker and O'Brien conducted for the American Petroleum Institute (API).

"We urge the administration to take a step back on Tier III and its other proposed rules," said Bob Greco, API downstream and industry operations director.

 "We must be sure that new regulatory proposals are necessary, properly crafted, practical and fair to allow US refiners to remain competitive, preserve good paying refinery jobs and ensure our energy security."

American Petroleum Institute officials have previously warned the new standards would put several US refiners out of business and place others at a significant disadvantage to overseas petroleum product manufacturers.

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