EPA clean air plan could hike gas price

A new clean air proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency could hike gas prices by up to nine cents per gallon.

The EPA plan, backed by the Obama administration, aims to reduce air pollution by cutting the amount of sulfur in gasoline. The cleaner environment would be a cost-cutting measure that could save billions of dollars. Healthy air means less people who need health care.

Oil refineries like BP-Husky Refining in Oregon, OH would have to limit sulfur dioxide emissions from the current 1,926 tons per year, to the new allowance of 207.5 tons per year. The EPA hopes to reduce sulfur in gasoline by about 60 percent by 2017.

The EPA says the increase to prices at the pump would be minimal, not exceeding a penny. But some opponents in the oil industry believe the upgrades that may be necessary to meet the new emissions standards could cost refineries billions of dollars each year, causing the price of gas to soar.

Although the plan may also increase the cost of automobiles in 2025 by about $130, the auto industry could benefit with the ability to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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