POSTED: Friday, March 29, 2013 - 5:38pm
UPDATED: Saturday, March 30, 2013 - 8:44am
The administration announced some new rules on gasoline that may help pollution, but will certainly raise prices.
It’s a new plan to get sulfur out of gasoline.
I know, you probably didn’t know there was any, but it is true, and the goal here is to eventually get the levels down from 30 parts per million to 10 parts per million.
If you’re wondering why, the primary reason is that catalytic converter on your car.
It is like a garbage pail at the end of the exhaust, catching the last of the pollutants headed into the air we breathe.
The thing that makes it work is platinum, and it can be fouled up by some contaminants. Lead was the worst, but sulfur will shorten the life of the cat.
A more efficient catalytic converter means lower emissions.
The EPA estimates it will be like taking 33-million cars off the road.
And automakers, who have to warranty the converter, applaud the move.
Refiners…not so much.
“This rule will add approximately 9-cents to the cost of making gasoline,” says Patrick Kelly of the American Petroleum Institute. “And we’re really concerned that these billions of investments that are put into these refineries are not justified by the negligible air quality benefit.”
They say the added technology to reach the new limit will raise the price of gas 9-cents a gallon.
The EPA says it’s more like 1-cent. The odds are it will actually be somewhere in-between.
“It’s not uncommon for EPA to underestimate the cost and overestimate the benefits,” Kelly replied.
But less pollution, while a good thing, isn’t easy for a consumer to see.
A higher price per gallon is obvious.