Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel At The Pump Oct 15

Oct 10: U.S. EPA announced that Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which they said is the "single, most far-reaching environmental and public health achievement since lead was removed from gasoline," will be available for consumers at the pump by October 15, 2006. According to EPA, the clean-burning fuel has 97 percent less sulfur and will deliver billions of dollars in environmental and public health benefits. Under the administration's clean diesel rules, ULSD combined with new engine technology will not only enhance environmental protection, but will also prevent nearly 20,000 premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said, "America's pumps are primed to deliver on President Bush's goal of clean diesel and cleaner air. Over the last century, diesels have been our nation's economic workhorse – reliable, fuel efficient and long lasting. Today, through the president's investment in clean fuel technology, America's economic workhorse is also becoming America's environmental workhorse."

The availability of cleaner-burning diesel at the pump will allow for the use of new pollution control technology in cars, trucks, and buses. The clean diesel rules are addressing diesel fuels and engines as a single system that will reduce air pollution from diesel engines by more than 90 percent -- or about 13 million -- of today's trucks and buses. Once fully implemented, ULSD will result in the annual reduction of 2.6 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 110,000 tons of particulate matter. The new fuel will help to open up markets to clean diesel passenger cars, pickup trucks, and delivery vehicles that are 30 percent more efficient than current fleets with similar reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to the fuel economy and carbon emission benefits, a new fleet of clean diesel vehicles will have lower maintenance costs, longer engine life, and typically lower fuel costs.

On June 1, refiners and fuel importers were required to start producing ULSD, which contains 15 ppm sulfur, down from 500 ppm. The roll-out of clean diesel fuel is smart environmental and fiscal policy. When fully applied, clean diesel fuels and engines will result in more than $70 billion annually in environmental and public health benefits at a fraction of the cost ($4 billion per year). Expanded use of ULSD also will enhance energy security since diesels tend to be more fuel efficient than gasoline engines.

Richard Kassel, head of Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC's) Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project said, "Diesel is the invisible force that moves the American economy, but until now it has also been a big polluter. Combining the new fuel with cleaner and more energy-efficient engines will mean healthier air and help reduce our dependence on oil." Diesel trucks move 94 percent of the nation's goods -- more than 18 million tons of freight each day. Half a million diesel buses take 14 million people to work and school. The new fuel opens the door for auto companies to begin offering cleaner diesel cars that deliver greater fuel economy.

Access an EPA release (click here). Access EPA National Clean Diesel Campaign website (click here). Access EPA's Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Program website for additional information (click here). Access the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance, a stakeholder group dedicated to providing the public ULSD-related information (click here). Access a release from Natural Resources Defense Council (click here). [*Air]