March 29, 2013

#EPA: Draft sulfur rules vs. reality

First question is, will the EPA's new draft rules to cut sulfur in gasoline by 60 percent and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent see the light of day?

It's a legitimate question. Everything it's proposed during Team Obama years, with the exception of fuel economy requirements (and that's loaded with loopholes, including for E85 vehicles) has been proposed, then, as it came close to being reality, been "modified," been "delayed," been "put on hold," been "called back for rewriting" or whatever.

So, pun of sorts intended, don't hold your breath over this one for a while.

Of course, Big Oil is, as it does with every other environmental issue related to hydrocarbons, inflating the cost. It might be more than a penny a gallon, but it's highly unlikely to cost 6 cents and almost certainly not 9 cents.

And, since this would make California standards national, as the story notes, vehicle makers could build one set of cars for the full United States. That, in turn, could mean lower vehicle costs.

But, given that most of those "held" proposals have involved pushback from the likes of either Big Oil or Big Coal, let's just wait and see before touting this too much.

I mean, I too love the idea, especially because it also has a particulant pollutant standard. But the idea ain't yet reality.

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