API asks court to review U.S. EPA rule on consolidated fuel standards

Source: By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters • Posted: Sunday, February 7, 2021

NEW YORK, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The American Petroleum Institute, a leading energy trade group, filed a petition this week asking the U.S. Court of Appeals to review a rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that consolidated fuel quality regulations.

In December the agency issued a final rule on updating existing gasoline, diesel and other fuel quality regulations to reduce compliance costs for the industry, as well as the federal government. One of the changes included consolidating summer-grade gasoline in the United States under a single standard.

One common measure of the volatility of gasoline and other petroleum products is Reid vapor pressure. During the summer months, Reid vapor pressure requirements shift to a lower RVP gasoline as temperatures rise.

The agency said it would streamline summer-grade gasoline standards under a Reid vapor pressure per-gallon cap of 7.4 pounds per square inch, or psi. The change allows for more efficient distribution of gasoline to markets, the agency said.

The API filed the petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Monday.

“We are focused on working with the Biden administration to address our concerns and simplify EPA’s regulations for the benefit of both regulators and the regulated community,” API Vice President of Downstream Policy Ron Chittim said in a statement on Thursday to Reuters.

In October, the group issued a statement in support of the forthcoming final rule.

“Removing outdated and duplicative regulations will strengthen oversight and accountability, provide needed certainty for the regulated community and make fuel distribution more efficient in the marketplace,” Chittim said at the time.

Magellan Midstream Partners filed a similar petition on Monday. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis and Marguerita Choy)