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E-P-A Urged to “Step on the Gas” on Refinery Emissions

August 28, 2007

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accused of failing to address a significant source of global warming emissions. At issue is the lack of limits on CO2 emissions for refineries in rules proposed for final comment yesterday by the EPA. Ohio has the second-highest number of refineries in the Midwest, and Earth Justice attorney Tim Ballo says the EPA should be taking action when it comes to refineries.

"They are a significant source, the second-largest industrial source after power plants, and if we are going to be serious about tackling global warming, we have to attack it on all fronts."

Ballo says the EPA needs to help attack greenhouse gas pollution from refineries and a number of other sources, and he says states like Ohio can also help by passing more-stringent standards.

"Global warming is a huge environmental challenge, and there is no one single silver-bullet answer. These standards really sort of set a minimum floor that states can then go beyond."

Ballo does not believe the new regulations would increase gas prices because the greenhouse gas reductions would come from energy efficiency projects.

The EPA issued new rules for refinery emissions last May, but set no limits on carbon dioxide. A recent Supreme Court decision directed the agency to regulate carbon emissions as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OH