New Report Fuels Fight Over Tighter Diesel Emission Rules
WebMD News Archive
The industry groups say that the EPA and air advocates seek cuts in sulfur
levels that are unrealistic. According to the American Petroleum Institute
(API), the reductions are "far beyond what is warranted to achieve
environmental goals, and may be technologically impossible."
Julie Rosenbaum, spokeswoman for the National Petrochemical & Refiners
Association, tells WebMD that the lower sulfur levels would increase the price
of diesel fuel and cause supply problems, as refineries shut down in order to
alter their equipment to comply with new standards. The association and its
allies back a less severe cut to sulfur levels that would be phased in more
slowly than that favored by the EPA and pollution control officials.
API also claims the cancer projections are "broad extrapolations"
that lack "sufficient scientific backup."
Paul Billings, a lobbyist with the American Lung Association, says that the
industry's position is a "Chicken Little approach." He tells WebMD,
"They want to ignore the health effects."
But as independent truckers make their second pilgrimage in a month to
Washington to complain about high diesel prices, the air advocates acknowledge
concern that the EPA proposal may change before it is publicly released later
Becker tells WebMD, "There is a lot of pressure that is being mounted by
the industry that might interfere with them doing the right thing." Noting
that this is an election year, he says, "It's a weird political season, and
anything can happen."
- Clean air advocates report that today's exhaust from diesel engines, left
uncontrolled over one's lifetime, could cause more than 125,000 cases of lung
cancer in the U.S.
- The report comes as the White House reviews new regulations proposed by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One proposed measure is to cut the
amount of sulfur in diesel fuel and to require engines to be able to filter out
- Members of the petroleum industry say they fear the expense new EPA
regulations would create, and they question the scientific validity of the
report about diesel wastes causing cancer.