EPA Can Level Gas Prices, Indiana Rep. Says

     INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – To keep gas prices stable during the next supply disruption, retailers need more freedom from regulation, a congresswoman in Indiana said.
     Since the EPA currently requires different blends of gasoline to be sold in different parts of the country, U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski says this can complicate the supply chain and drive up prices when fuel is in short supply.
     The Republican congresswoman introduced legislation Tuesday that she says will make spiking gas prices a thing of the past.
     Principally the Gas Accessibility and Stabilization Act would expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to waive fuel mandates, Walorski’s office says.
     The move comes at the end of a summer in which northern Indiana saw gas prices rise by as much as $1 more per gallon after a BP refinery in Whiting shut down the largest of its three crude-oil distillation units because of a small leak in one of its pipe distillation units.
     The disruption in production caused gas prices to jump in just a matter of days, forcing drivers in some parts of Indiana to shell out in excess of $3 per gallon.
     “It’s unfair for hardworking families to constantly worry about unpredictable spikes each time they pull into the gas station,” Walorski said in a statement. “While we can’t prevent natural disasters or unforeseen disruptions like the emergency maintenance at Whiting, we can try and do everything in our power to mitigate the ripple effects to consumers by waiving fuel mandates to stabilize gas prices.”
     BP has not returned a request for comment.
     Walorski says the EPA’s waiver authority needs more wiggle room for petroleum retailers to buy and sell any fuel blends during times of disruption in supply.
     Walorski represents Indiana’s Second District.
     Reps. Robert Latta and Steve Stivers, of Ohio, Billy Long, of Missouri and Pete Olson, of Texas, co-sponsors of the GAS Act bill, H.R. 2823.

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