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  • futureripplemovers futureripplemovers Feb 14, 2014 9:40 AM Flag

    Oil industry seeks break on gasoline sulfur limits

    Oil industry seeks break on gasoline sulfur limits

    Posted on February 14, 2014 at 8:00 am by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

    WASHINGTON — Oil industry lobbyists are making a last-ditch appeal to the Obama administration to soften looming new limits for sulfur in gasoline, warning that without changes, the mandates could send fuel costs up and force some refineries offline.

    But the Environmental Protection Agency has shown little appetite to lift the strict 10-parts-per-million cap it proposed last year, one-third the current sulfur threshold and 97 percent less than an earlier limit phased out in 2004.

    So when lobbyists from oil companies, refiners and industry trade groups meet with administration officials in coming days, they will focus their arguments on why they should get more time to comply with the limits. The EPA has proposed a January 2017 deadline.

    “We’re going to reiterate that we don’t think this rule is technically justified — not based on science or economics or common sense,” said Patrick Kelly, senior fuels policy adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, which is set to meet on Friday with analysts in the Office of Management and Budget.

    “But, recognizing that the EPA is moving forward, we’re turning our focus to emphasizing our concerns with the lead time and demonstrating that January 2017 may not be feasible.”

    Bad timing

    Representatives of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a refiners’ trade association, will amplify that message when they meet with the OMB Wednesday.

    Brendan Williams, the group’s senior vice president of advocacy, said he and his colleagues still will argue against the limits themselves.

    “But if they are moving forward, the way the rule is set up poses some big challenges,” Williams said.

    Gasoline: Fuel prices to rise as spring approaches

    The two industry groups say refiners need at least five years before they can strip more sulfur out of gasoline — either by installing new devices called

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