New EPA Gas Plan Plus Maryland Gas Tax Equals Higher Prices for Drivers

11:36 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA9) -- Do you like what you're paying for gas? Soon, these will be the good old days we reminisce about. Two new developments will hike up prices. 

First, the EPA announced today they want to clean up gas, and put less sulfur in it. The White House says that will keep air cleaner, you healthier, and even save up to 2,400 lives a year.

The cost is up for debate.

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency say it will only cost you about a penny more per gallon by 2017. But, opponents say it's probably going to be more like 8 or 9 cents. 

Bill Becker heads up the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. He says the cost of the plan is worth it, "The oil industry is trying to scare the American people in order to delay or even rescind this rule when it shouldn't be."

He says the plan's passage is critical, "We need it because there are 150 million people today who live in areas that exceed the federal health based standards, including Washington DC and your entire metropolitan area."

Add to that, in Maryland, lawmakers just voted for a new gas tax to help pay to fix roads and mass transit. If you fill up in Maryland regularly, you may feel it by summer. Prices will go up 4 cents a gallon by July, and eventually as much as 20 cents by 2016.

That's the impact on your wallet, the impact to the environment, if the EPA plan goes through, is open to different opinions. 

Rayola Dougher is an economist with the American Petroleum Institute. She believes "carbon emissions, greenhouse gas emissions will go up" if the EPA plan goes through. She says that's "because they have to use more energy intensive equipment to comply with this regulation."

Becker says that assessment is not accurate, "If this rule becomes effective, it's the equivalent of taking 33 million vehicles off the road."

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