The Environmental Protection Agency today waived gasoline emission standards
for the Gulf Coast area.
EPA waives gas emission rules along hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast
Aug. 31 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to temporarily ease restrictions on gasoline sales along the portion of the Gulf Coast ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in an effort to avert a severe fuel shortage.
The fuel waiver for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi will allow stations to sell gasoline that does not meet local emissions requirements.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the hurricane created an "extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstance," that gasoline suppliers could not have foreseen.
The waiver will allow for the sale of gasoline meeting a Reid Vapor Pressure standard of 9 pounds per square inch in areas where a lower RVP is required.
In addition, the EPA will waive a motor vehicle diesel fuel standard requiring no more than 500 parts per million of sulfur.
The waiver will continue through Sept. 15, 2005 - the end of the high-ozone period. However, retail outlets, wholesalers and consumers may continue using the higher sulfur diesel fuel they have on hand after Sept. 15 until the supplies are depleted, according to the EPA.
I understand why the EPA would do this, but their logic is flawed. Global warming most likely has had an impact on the increase in severe weather. Why allow additional pollution for the sake of mass producing gasoline? Isn't that just contributing (albeit only slightly) to the problem?
This move reminds me of the origin of the Patriot Act. After 9/11, every Congressman/woman wanted to fight terrorism, and in their haste to do so, they passed a bill that ended up making the country worse off.
The EPA, in the aftermath of Katrina, has forgotten its duty - to protect the environment - in a rush to get gasoline to people. That was a foolish move.