In 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule tightening national air quality standards for ozone and airborne particles. This rule was finalized despite the EPA's admission that the nation's air is getting cleaner due to existing standards, and that the new rules will produce few additional benefits to public health.
These two new air standards are already presenting challenges for every city in the nation. Meeting the ozone standard is a question of emissions and weather. Hot summers have caused many cities to exceed the new ozone standard, even as their local emissions stayed constant or even decreased. This means that many cities are headed back to a "dirty air" classification despite their great efforts to achieve the old ozone standard.
The EPA expects that additional emission controls on electric power plants will further contribute to our nation's ability to meet the tougher ozone standard. New specifications for gasoline and diesel fuel are expected to be part of the solution as well. Every U.S. citizen will be subjected to increased costs for goods and services, and vehicle emission inspections to obtain license plates will be imposed in many areas.
Where CITGO Stands
CITGO, along with a majority of the U.S. public, believes it's important that the costs be considered when any new regulations are eventually proposed. We all want clean air. Subjecting CAA rules to a cost benefit analysis, and mandating responsible rule-making procedures, will bring much-needed balance to the regulatory process as we seek that goal.