Despite the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conclusion that existing refinery regulations protect public health, the agency has proposed additional regulations that could cost an initial US$20 billion and could actually lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions, the American Petroleum Institute (API) told the agency in its public comments.
“Refineries have been reducing emissions for decades under voluntary programs and in compliance with existing regulations, and air quality continues to improve as a result,” said API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman. “EPA’s proposed regulations could drive up costs and roll back environmental progress, forcing refineries to increase emissions by installing hundreds of costly new flare systems at a time when industry has been working with EPA to reduce flaring.”
Companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce emissions by installing flare gas recovery and flare minimization systems to reduce flaring and greenhouse gas emissions – progress that could be reversed under the proposal rule, according to Feldman.
“Even without requirements that would result in the addition of hundreds of new flare systems to refineries nationwide, the cost of this proposal will still significantly exceed $100 million per year, while leading to little or no reduction in emissions,” Feldman said. “Our industry remains committed to working constructively with the agency to develop common-sense rules that control costs while improving environmental performance.”