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    Governors Pushing Administration to Enact ‘Tier 3’ Gas Standards

    Industry trade groups oppose the rule due to its likely impact on gas prices.

    NATIONAL REPORT -- Despite opposition from groups such as the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), six governors and the Washington, D.C., mayor jointly sent a letter to Pres. Barack Obama in an effort to reduce smog-forming sulfur emissions.

    The letter signers, which were Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and Washington, D.C., mayor Vincent Gray, asked the president to support a proposal to cut sulfur emissions from 30 parts per million to 10 parts per million.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could formally propose the requirement, known as "Tier 3," this spring. The EPA has contemplated the Tier 3 rule since 2008.

    According to the letter, the politicians believe Tier 3 standards are necessary as "emissions from vehicles must continue to be significantly reduced in order to attain and maintain the ozone air quality throughout the nation. Failure to meet the ozone standard results in approximately 200 additional deaths and $2 billion in health related economic impacts annually in the Northeast alone."

    More specifically, cutting sulfur emissions would allow catalytic converters to work more effectively, allowing cars to emit fewer smog-forming compounds, reported FuelFix.

    However, there is another side to the story as indicated in an exclusive October column written by Dan Gilligan, president of the PMAA, for Convenience Store News. He noted that the industry trade group is opposed to Tier 3 gasoline and "will be participating with other industry and consumer groups opposed to the rule.

    "The new specifications will result in significantly higher gasoline prices with very little environmental benefit," Gilligan continued. In addition, Frank Greinke, president of SIGMA and CEO of SC Fuels in Orange, Calif., stated in an exclusive Convenience Store News column that the trade group is opposed to proposals that "would raise prices at the pump such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 gasoline standards."

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