US announces stricter gasoline standards
Washington: US regulators announced on Friday stricter rules on vehicle emissions and low-sulfur gasoline as part of President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed rules will require ultra-low sulfur gasoline as well as stricter tailpipe emissions standards for cars and light trucks.
"The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent -- down to 10 parts per million (ppm) in 2017," the EPA said in a statement. "The proposal is designed to be implemented over the same timeframe as the next phase of EPA's national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks beginning in model year 2017."
The Obama administration has said the proposal would result in a one cent per gallon cost increase at the gas pump. But critics say the costs will be higher, with industry estimates ranging from six to nine cents more per gallon.
"With $4 dollar a gallon gas the norm in many parts of the country, we cannot afford policies that knowingly raise gas prices," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan. A massive lobbying effort by oil and gas interests to delay the rules was unsuccessful, according to US media reports.
High sulfur content in gasoline creates more pollutants and adds to smog and soot in the air. Supporters of the new rules hailed the move as a crucial step in Obama's second term as US president.