EPA Tier 3 Rulemaking Lacks Transparency and Justification

March 29, 2013

WASHINGTON – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is concerned by today’s decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to proceed with Tier 3 rulemaking imposing new vehicle emissions and fuel standards. The proposal will require further reductions in sulfur levels in gasoline to an average of 10 parts per million (ppm), a seventy percent drop from today’s very low levels without significant benefits.

“While we haven’t had the opportunity to review the report, EPA’s decision to move forward with Tier 3’s gasoline sulfur reduction program is completely without merit given that the Agency has not previously offered any cost/benefit analysis to justify this onerous rulemaking,” said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. “The Agency’s failure until today to provide any information on the need for this discretionary rule, despite repeated requests from American fuel manufacturers, strongly suggests the lack of a credible case.” 

Since 2004, refiners have reduced sulfur levels in gasoline from an average of 300ppm in 2004 to an average of 30ppm today. The adverse economic impacts of Tier 3 rulemaking have attracted bi-partisan Congressional concern, and a group of House and Senate Democrats have sent letters to the Administration asking for a more transparent process and information on potential benefits before proceeding with final rulemaking. 

American refiners have already spent billions of dollars to achieve a 90 percent reduction in sulfur levels, but Tier 3 will require another $10 billion in new infrastructure and another $2.4 billion per year in operating costs on an industry already burdened by questionable regulations.    

“Tier 3 rulemaking that targets trace amounts of sulfur in gasoline is not worth the direct threat to our domestic fuel supply, consumer cost at the pump and American jobs,” Drevna concluded.