EPA rule could drive up gas prices - Tucson News Now

EPA rule could drive up gas prices

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

With gas prices anywhere between $3.30 and $4.00 per gallon, the last thing anybody wants to think about right now is another tax on fuel.  

But that's exactly what the Environmental Protection Agency is considering right now, meaning it may be only a matter of time until we start feeling it in our wallets.

As if our current pain at the pump wasn't enough, gasoline could get even more expensive.

"It's just gonna make life more difficult," says Evie Walker, as she and a friend filled up at a northwest-side gas station Friday.  "We're just not going to go to as many places."

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules this week that will require lower sulfer fuels to help reduce smog-causing emissions in vehicles.

It's too early to say just how much this will cost, though we're hearing up to ten cents more per gallon.

"I just feel sorry for the young people that are trying to raise families and all this other stuff," says Wayne Aultman, a concerned local motorist.  "It's just more additional expenses for them."

The goal is reduce the amount of sulfer in gasoline which leads to smog and a whole host of health-related concerns.

"Well I do see some validity in that," Walker says.  "But I think the economy is more important.  People have to get to work and it's almost getting to the point where we can't afford to drive."

Vehicles will eventually have to meet new emissions standards as well at a cost of about $130  per vehicle.

Once implemented, the EPA says the new regulations will help avoid up to 2400 premature deaths per year and prevent 23,000 cases of respiratory illness in children.

Motorists we spoke to see the good in that.

But when you drive 850 miles every other month to see your family in Mexico -- like Lucy Borbon is doing on this day -- even a few extra cents per gallon makes a big difference.

"Before I was in Mexico every two weeks, now every two months," Borbon says.

"Because of gas prices?" Tucson News Now asks.

"Yes, there's no money, not enough money," Borbon says.

If passed, the regulations could go into effect beginning in 2017. 

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