This week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report saying that energy-related carbon emissions decreased across nearly every state between 2005 and 2013. This was news to many, but we have been saying something similar for months.
The findings of the EIA dovetail nicely with our own report released back in April: between 1990 and 2011, gasoline and kerosene-type/diesel production increased by 33 and 40 percent respectively, but overall emissions of six principal air pollutants dropped 57 percent since 1980 – and ozone levels have dropped 33 percent since then as well.
To make these cuts, the refining industry spent close to $50 billion just to remove sulfur from gasoline and diesel fuel and to manufacture reformulated gasoline. AFPM members have additionally addressed requirements for low Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline, including specially blended fuels required by State Implementation Plans under the Clean Air Act, which have reduced hydrocarbon emissions, an ozone precursor.
In addition, refiners here in the U.S. have invested $137.6 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations in technologies to produce even cleaner fuels and meet the growing variety of state and local mandates for fuel formulation.
Refiners will not stop at these investments, because at the heart of this is a drive to improve emissions from processes. As these improvements continue, we can only hope that policymakers in Washington realize that burdensome regulation is not the way to improve performance, before too many jobs are lost.