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Health, Science & Environment

Governor Asks for Cleaner Gasoline

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Dan Bammes
The Holly-Frontier refinery in Woods Cross, Utah

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert is asking Utah’s oil refineries to produce cleaner gasoline.  But it may be years before they’re actually ready to do that. 

In an op-ed piece that appeared in Saturday’s Salt Lake Tribune, Governor Gary Herbert said he’d met with the management of the oil refineries in Utah and asked them to gear up to produce so-called Tier 3 gasoline.  That has a lower sulfur content than the fuel currently sold in Utah.

Herbert says they all expressed support for the idea. But Mike Astin with the Holly-Frontier refinery in Woods Cross says the current expansion of their refinery shows how long it takes to make big changes.

Astin tells KUER, “That’s about a four-year period to get that equipment put in.  I mean, how much can you accelerate that process in order to engineer, permit, construct and start up a process for treating Tier 3 fuels?”

Astin says Holly-Frontier’s management is currently considering whether to make that investment in new refining facilities to sell Tier 3 gasoline in the Utah market, but no decision has been made yet.

State air quality regulators have said Tier 3 gasoline would help to clean up Utah’s winter air pollution more than any other near-term strategy.

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