NEWS: National Journal: New EPA Gasoline Rule Could Raise Prices, Fuel Political Fires

March 8, 2013

SAY WHAT???

In Face of High Gas Prices, Obama EPA Readying New Regulation that Will Raise Prices at the Pump

National Journal Reports New Regulation Expected to Add to the Cost of Gasoline

According to AAA, for the months of January and February 2013, the nation’s motorists endured the highest increases in gas prices to begin a year on record, a jump of 49 cents. Despite stubbornly high gas prices, National Journal is reporting that the Obama administration is moving forward with a new regulation for gasoline that is expected to drive prices at the pump even higher – with some estimates suggesting an added cost of six cents per gallon. Increases in gas prices disproportionately hurt low and middle income individuals and families so it’s hard to see why anyone would pursue a policy that knowingly raises gas prices while folks are already struggling to make ends meet. Instead of raising gas prices, the Obama administration should focus on bringing stability and greater supplies to our energy markets by green-lighting projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring approximately one million barrels per day of oil from a close ally to the United States.

March 7, 2013

New EPA Gasoline Rule Could Raise Prices, Fuel Political Fires National Journal

The Obama administration is preparing to roll out a controversial new regulation for gasoline that could raise costs at the pump—only slightly, but at a time when prices are soaring again near $4 a gallon—and ignite immediate pushback from Republicans and the oil industry.

The regulation will require oil refineries to install new equipment to strip gasoline blends of sulfur, which when burned forms a smog-producing chemical that is linked to respiratory diseases. It’s also expected to raise the cost of gasoline by 1 to 6 cents per gallon, according to early estimates. The Environmental Protection Agency, already a primary target for Republican political attacks, is preparing to release the proposed rule sometime in March, sources familiar with the agency’s plans say.

EPA actually finished writing the regulation over a year ago. But it sat on the rule throughout the 2012 presidential campaign. After it came under attack from Republican presidential candidates—including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., in an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press—plans to roll out the rule were put on ice until after November’s elections.

No matter when it’s issued, any new regulation that will raise the price of gasoline—even by a few pennies a gallon—will fuel political fires. And the timing isn’t propitious for the administration: It will come as gas prices have already shot up about 15 percent this year, from a nationwide average of $3.34 for a gallon of regular in the last week of 2012 to $3.86 this week. …

Read the full article online here.

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