U.S. oil group questions EPA rules, auto sector sings praise

March 4, 2014 at 8:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 4 (UPI) -- Representatives from the automotive sector praised U.S. rules for lower emissions, though the oil industry said it questioned the benefits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced new so-called Tier 3 standards Monday aimed at cutting the amount of sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds by 2017. The EPA said the new standards would lower the health risks from smog and other airborne pollutants at pennies on the dollar.

Michael Stanton, president of the Global Automakers Association, which represents the interests of companies ranging from Aston Martin to Toyota, said the standards would provide "instant benefits" to consumers as well as the environment.

"This rule-making will reduce emissions from the existing fleet of vehicles on our roads today and opens the door for even cleaner cars in the future," he said in a statement Monday.

Bob Greco, the director of downstream operations at the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's lobby, said the net benefits from the EPA rule are negligible and the timeline was unreasonable.

"The rushed timeframe leaves little opportunity for refiners to design, engineer, permit, construct, start up, and integrate the new machinery required [to meet the new guidelines]," he said.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rules are flexible.

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