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    AAA Endorses EPA Plan

    Association says revamped green rules mean cheaper gasoline.

    NEW YORK

    The American Automobile Association (AAA) said an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal to streamline anti-smog gasoline rules would help to prevent a repeat of price spikes at the pumps.

    The agency last week announced proposals to make it easier for oil refiners to beef up supplies of cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold at a third of the nation's service stations, according to Reuters.

    The move, still subject to public review, was part of the Bush Administration's effort to revamp the nation's beleaguered energy policy after two summers of sky-high pump prices that were widely blamed on the environmental anti-smog rules.

    "American motorists should be pleased with the EPA's decision to issue a report seeking key changes in federal reformulated gasoline (RFG) regulations without compromising air quality," said Susan Pikrallidas, vice president of AAA Public Affairs.

    Among the EPA's proposals, submitted Wednesday, was a new April 15 deadline for fuel terminals to begin receiving specialized summer RFG -- a move that would allow oil companies to move more supplies into their tanks ahead of peak summer driving season.

    "The EPA's action to address the transition period from winter to summer grade RFG is necessary to alleviate supply disruptions and that have led to higher fuel prices, particularly in the Midwest," Pikrallidas said.

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