The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Friday to cut pollution from motor vehicles. They call for a cutback in the amount of sulfur in gasoline to an average of 10 parts per million from the current limit of 30 ppm, with the reduction going into effect in 2017.
Bob Greco, downstream director for the American Petroleum Institute, said the proposals would backfire and could result in higher gasoline prices.
Sulfur, a natural crude-oil ingredient, may reduce the performance of a car's catalytic converter, a vehicle emissions-control device, which in turn leads to greater tailpipe emissions.
"Implementing the new requirements would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions because of the energy-intensive (refinery) equipment required to comply," Greco said in a statement.
The American Lung Association and Union of Concerned Scientists hailed the so-called Tier 3 regulations as a step in the right direction.
"The path from a car's tailpipe to our lungs is surprisingly short," said Michelle Robinson, director of UCS's Clean Vehicles program.