Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bush Blunders on Gasoline

by Calculated Risk on 4/25/2006 01:27:00 PM

The AP reports: Bush Eases Environmental Rules on Gasoline

President Bush on Tuesday ordered a temporary suspension of environmental rules for gasoline, making it easier for refiners to meet demand and possibly dampen prices at the pump. He also halted for the summer the purchase of crude oil for the government's emergency reserve.
Halting the purchase of crude oil for the SPR is reasonable, but the suspension of environmental rules is not. Last year I supported the temporary suspension of environmental rules as a response to the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Does the Bush Administration believe the recent increase in gasoline prices is temporary? Or will the suspension of environmental rules become permanent?

NOTE: It makes sense to reduce the number of different blends used around the country to avoid spot shortages, but not to return to the air quality standards of 30+ years ago.