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NATURAL GAS PRODUCERS SUPPORT CONTINUATION OF EPA'S DECEMBER REFORMULATED GASOLINE RULING

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural Gas Supply Association President Nicholas Bush told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today that it should fully endorse its reformulated gasoline (RFG) ruling announced in December and reject efforts to set aside part of the RFG market for renewables.
 Bush pointed out that:
 -- Set-asides are subsidies that distort markets and unnecessarily increase costs for both producers and consumers. Rather than dictate specific approaches to environmental problems, EPA should set goals and allow competitive forces to determine the best and most cost-effective way to reach them.
 -- The set-aside proposal undermines the regulatory-negotiation ("reg-neg") process. Reg-neg is an efficient administrative procedure, NGSA believes, that can reconcile government and private interests while avoiding costly bureaucratic delays. But companies will be less likely to devote personnel and resources to the process if they believe that the agreed-to outcome is subject to additional, non-negotiated caveats or mandates.
 Bush also told EPA that the natural gas industry stands eager and able to compete for the oxygenate market, as it does for many of the markets now expanding due to the nation's demand for a cleaner environment. He pointed to two tools producers are using to compete: 1) the nation's large natural gas resource base; and 2) the success of the emerging competitive natural gas marketplace.
 Today's hearing arises from a dispute over the agreement on RFG worked out by negotiators from government, industry and the environmental community in 1991. EPA announced in December that it was finalizing that agreement. But it accompanied the announcement with a proposal that would require RFG to contain additives from renewable fuels -- namely ETBE, an ethanol derivative. NGSA pointed out at that time that the proposal appeared to counter the Clinton Administration's support for market-based solutions to environmental problems. NGSA also questions EPA's statutory authority to impose the proposed set-asides.
 The Natural Gas Supply Association represents companies that produce and market over 90 percent of the domestic natural gas consumed annually. Established in 1965, NGSA encourages expanded use of natural gas and a regulatory climate that fosters competitive markets. Copies of Bush's remarks are available from Ursulina Viteri, 202/331-8900.
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Charlotte LeGates of the Natural Gas Supply Association, 202-452-6546 or, home, 202-775-2632/


CO: Natural Gas Supply Association ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL ENV SU: EXE

DC-IH -- DC001 -- 1195 01/14/94 12:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994
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