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Oil Refiners, Automakers Weigh in on EPA Regs

emissions-5U.S. oil refiners and industry groups say if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates their carbon emissions it will increase their costs and halt investments, reports Reuters.

Auto makers also have joined the chorus, reports the Wall Street Journal. In a letter to lawmakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said that EPA efforts to regulate tailpipe emissions go against an agreement on national fuel economy standards.

Leading the opposition is Bill Klesse, CEO for Valero Energy and chairman of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), who said at the group’s annual meeting that it would freeze investments for expansions and improvements and lead to only maintaining operations due to the industry’s already low demand and slow economic recovery, according to the article.

The EPA is expected to regulate carbon emissions if Congress fails to pass a climate change bill. In June of last year, the House of Representatives passed a bill with a cap-and-trade system that applied to power companies, refineries and factories. It calls for the U.S. to reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Democratic Senator John Kerry, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman are working on a compromise climate bill that also includes a cap-and-trade plan to cut carbon emissions from utilities, reports Reuters.

Charles Drevna, NPRA president, told Reuters the industry is more concerned about EPA-regulated carbon emissions than a climate bill that may not pass.

The EPA’s endangerment finding has been under fire from several industry groups over the past few months leading to EPA’s head to release a timetable for regulating large, medium and small emitters over the next several years.

Currently, the EPA is facing several lawsuits from industry groups, conservative think tanks, lawmakers and three states.

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