Here is a list of things that have a direct impact on current gas prices: oil speculation; increased tensions with, and sanctions on, oil-producing nations like Iran; and high levels of global demand due to economic growth and increased consumption among developing nations.
Here is a list of things that do not have an impact on current gas prices: approving pipelines to import dirty fossil fuels, increasing drilling, and EPA regulations. So even though the President threw his weight behind building a section of Keystone that won’t be operational for at least 18 months, the drone of “drill baby drill” continues, and the House GOP has introduced a bill to investigate the impact of EPA regulations on gas prices and delay the implementation of any regulations until six months after a report has been issued.
The House bill specifically attacks regulations that would reduce sulfur in gasoline and implement new source performance standards for petroleum refiners, renewable fuel standards, ozone standards and some greenhouse gas regulations. This attack is so wrong-headed, I don’t know where to begin.
First of all, it is an embarrassingly abject love letter to the fossil fuel industry — which has given nearly $40 million in campaign donations to Republicans since the start of the 2010 election cycle and last year spent $148 million on lobbying in Washington. Second, reducing sulfur in gasoline reduces smog-causing pollution, which will result in overall cost savings due to improved public health. We’ve detailed before how reducing the amount of ozone emitted also results in overall cost savings. In fact, as Jack Temple pointed out, the benefits of federal regulation far outweigh the costs.
Filed under: Environment, Regulations, Uncategorized | Tagged: Demos, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA regulations, global demand on oil, GOP, Keystone XL pipeline, oil speculation | Leave a Comment »