PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Summer is just around the corner and soon folks will be gassing up and hitting the road for family vacations.
Since 1999, that has cost travelers 10 to 15 cents more a gallon.
That’s because the state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency required that seven counties in the greater Pittsburgh area use a summer blend of gasoline called low Reid Vapor Pressure, or RVP, between May 1 and September 15.
But that’s about to change.
Sen. Elder Vogel, of the 47th District, is the primary sponsor of a bill that was passed Wednesday eliminating the more expensive blend of gas.
Now it only needs Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature, which Sen. Vogel says will happen, saving consumers money. It will go into effect on June 1, 2015.
“I’m glad it’s finally happened,” says Larry Ditmore, of Kittanning. “It hasn’t made a difference in the air quality. Who knows where the money was going, better in my pocket than someone else’s.”
Sen. Vogel calls the gas regulation “nothing more than a hidden tax.” He told KDKA’s Brenda Waters by phone that air quality has improved and the summer blend of gas is no longer needed.
The seven counties affected are Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland.
This bill means money in the bank for those feeding their tanks, but some are more concerned about the environment.
“It’s always good to save money, but there is always the concern about the environment,” said Ted Lund, of McCandless. “It seems all the articles I’ve read say it is not better. Fifteen cents, from my perspective, I don’t mind paying a little more to make the air quality better.”