PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Environmental Protection Agency has signed a final rule that will no longer require Allegheny County to use the more expensive summer gas blend.
Previously, rules were in place to control gasoline volatility during the summer months in an area around Pittsburgh that affected seven counties.
The EPA says these rules were approved federally more than 20 years ago as part of a plan to help Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh area reduce pollution.
“We’ve been in constant contact with the EPA, letting them know what’s going on inventory-wise and also what’s happening in the market,” says Don Bowers, Vice President of the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association.
Previously, rules were in place to control gasoline volatility during the summer in an area around Pittsburgh within seven counties.
As far as inventory and the market, The Pennsylvania Petroleum Association says with Iran threatening to shut down two of the world’s most important oil transit routes, it could seriously impact price and supply further.
In addition, the announcement that the largest refinery in the East Coast will be closing after a massive fire and explosion there a week ago weakened an already short supply of gas and summer blend which primarily came from that East Coast refinery.
“I think that rushed it along, the closure of the refinery because a lot of that gas they made went to Sunoco and that’s a big part of the Pittsburgh market, Sunoco,” said Bowers.
In May, a waiver was in place to lift the requirement that said summer blend gasoline had to be sold.
This waiver was issued because of a supply problem, but now the requirement that prompted the waiver has been removed by this final rule.
Overall, gas experts say this will save the Pittsburgh area money on gas this summer.
According to experts, “That means we will get decreases on the wholesale side too.”
“Let’s just grin and bear it for awhile hopefully, they won’t go too much higher than where they are now.”