“The massive refinery investments it would require could drive up the cost of making gasoline and weaken the nation's energy security without producing much, if any, environmental benefit,” he said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
Kelley said the new rules would cost the industry $10 billion, which would translate into a cost to consumers of 6 cents to 9 cents a gallon.
Janet Grothe, senior adviser for health safety and environment at Phillips 66 in Houston, said Phillips representatives have met with the EPA and others several times in recent years to discuss the proposed rules.
“We have been evaluating what changes would be necessary in our refineries to meet the more stringent sulfur standard,” she said. “The proposed standard of 10 ppm annual average would require capital investment in the majority of our U.S. refineries.”
But Prentice-Dunn dismissed the claims of significantly higher costs.
“It's the same tired old argument they've used time and time again,” he said. “What we've seen is numerous, credible studies showing that this would cost less than a penny per gallon and that this is a small price to pay for preventing childhood asthma and making sure we have clean air to breathe. I think more than anything this is the oil industry crying wolf yet again.”
Besides the proposed rules themselves, the oil and gas lobbyists said they are most concerned with the timing and the rule-making procedures. The API on Tuesday formally asked the EPA to allow a full 90 days for public comment before taking up the proposed rules.