WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2001)—A broad-based coalition including the California Trucking Association, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Lung Association and the Natural Resources Defense Council is calling on the Bush administration to go forward with the Environmental Protection Agency final rule to reduce diesel truck and bus sulfur emissions to 15 parts per million from the current limit of 500 ppm.
The rule will prevent some 8,300 premature deaths annually while ensuring a steady flow of diesel fuel at a fair price, coalition members claimed. "When you restrict the supply of any product, you end up with a boutique industry," said Stephanie Williams of the California Trucking Association. "That´s how Western oil companies have made their windfall profits."
The International Tire & Rubber Association has sided with the petroleum refiners against the quick adoption of the rule, saying it would hamper the flow of diesel fuel to truckers.
ITRA supported slowing down implementation of the rule "to conduct a more complete evaluation" of its impact on the U.S. economy, the association said in the most recent issue of its Washington Update.
The promulgation of the rule last Dec. 21 showed "that the concerns about diesel supply raised with EPA and other agencies were not addressed," ITRA added.
Two associations representing fuel refiners and marketers have filed suit in federal court, seeking an injunction against implementing the rule.