Federal EPA Lobbied to End Summer Blend Gasoline

Prices Could Hike Anorther 30 to 50 Cents

Joe DeStio
April 11, 2019 - 3:17 pm
Officials continue to put pressure on the federal EPA to do away with the requirement for less polluting but more expensive summer blend gasoline in Allegheny County.

Joe DeStio

Related: Allegheny County Could See Gas Prices 50 Cents Higher Than Surrounding Area

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Officials continue to put pressure on the federal EPA to do away with the requirement for less polluting but more expensive summer blend gasoline in Allegheny County.

Oil industry executives say motorists in the immediate Pittsburgh area could pay 30 to 50 cents more a gallon once summer blend hits the pumps in the next few weeks.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says county officials started the process to eliminate the more expensive fuel here months ago.

“We got this passed as quickly as we could and we did. We’re just hoping that our friends at the federal government will give the same consideration that everybody around us gets.”

Allegheny County is the only county in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia that is still slated to use summer blend.

Pittsburgh Congressman Democrat Mike Doyle says he’s been lobbying too. And he hints there may be a political motive for the delay. “Why the Trump Administration’s EPA is refusing to grant a waiver to Allegheny County while they grant one to all the counties around us is starting to look suspicious to me,” said Doyle.

Part of the problem is that Allegheny County runs its own air pollution control program through the county’s Health Department. Surrounding counties rely on the state for pollution control and so they were part of the state’s initial request.

It may already be too late to avoid some extra expense. Refineries have started to make the summer blend and will want to sell it even if the EPA acts soon. The program is supposed to go into effect June 1st.

County officials have said they will not enforce the summer blend requirement but refineries apparently aren’t willing to take that chance.

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