U.S. could see cleaner fuels powering cleaner cars by 2017

I cannot imagine there being a single vehicle owner who wouldn’t support a rule stipulating cars run cleaner. If not that, then how about much improved motor vehicle fuel economies – who would not want this? Maybe I’m just a dreamer.

Washington Post correspondent Juliet Eilperin on Mar. 29, 2013, wrote: “The Environmental Protection Agency will move ahead today with a rule requiring cleaner gasoline and lower-pollution vehicles nationwide, amounting to one of President Barack Obama’s most significant air pollution initiatives, according to those briefed on the decision.”

Got hydrogen?
Got hydrogen?

Questions I have regarding achieving the standards, assuming implementation, what effect will this have on the price of gasoline and vehicle purchase costs and will there be any added burden placed on existing refining operations?

“The proposed standards would add less than a penny a gallon to the cost of gasoline while delivering an environmental benefit akin to taking 33 million cars off the road, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been made,” Eilperin noted. (Nowhere in the Washington Post article in question could I find information addressing how implementation of such standards could potentially impact vehicle purchase costs).

Eilperin further stated that of 111 American refineries surveyed, it was determined that 66 (better than half) can meet the sulfur production standard with but modest modification, 29 can meet the requirement or are at least close to meeting the sulfur standard, while a major overhaul would be required at only 16 refineries.

If cutting back on the release of harmful emissions matters, then there is much to be gained it seems in implementing standards such as these.

“While gasoline sulfur itself doesn’t pose a public health threat, it hampers the effectiveness of catalytic converters, which in turn leads to greater tailpipe emissions,” Eilperin wrote. “These emissions — nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and fine particles — contribute to smog and soot, which can cause respiratory and heart disease.”

In moving forward, doing what is in the best interest of the breathing public, isn’t it this that should be taken into consideration first and foremost?

I think so.

Meanwhile, “The proposed standards, which had been stuck in regulatory limbo since 2011, would reduce the amount of sulfur in U.S. gasoline by two-thirds and impose fleetwide pollution limits on new vehicles by 2017,” Eilperin wrote.

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