Oil refineryThe expected mid-December announcement from the EPA on plans to regulate emissions looks to be delayed based on an announcement yesterday.  The regulations, which would be the first United States’ regulations ever on emissions from oil refineries, was set to be finalized by the end of 2012 based on agreement between the EPA and various state and environmental organizations.

The statement claimed that the EPA “expects to need more time to complete work on greenhouse gas pollution standards for oil refineries.”  It went on to say a new schedule is in development with input from states and environmental groups.

The proposed regulations have met with disagreement from the oil companies.  They claim that their industry already run on natural gas and will have difficulty finding ways to cut emissions without high associated costs.  They point out other regulated industries, such as the power sector, have had an easier time making cuts in emissions by switching from coal to more environmentally friendly sources such as natural gas and renewables.

Supporters of the regulations point out (as told to Reuters) that improvements could still be made at a reasonable costs by doing such things as replacing inefficient boilers and using waste heat to generate power.  This latest delay has increased the frustration of some environmental advocates who argue that this is just the latest in a continuing series of delays to environmental legislation caused by Washington politics.

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