Ryan Urges Immediate US EPA Action to Reduce Gas Prices
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2000
WASHINGTON, DC Governor George H. Ryan today renewed his call
for the US Environmental Protection Agency to grant a temporary suspension
of the new Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG) requirements while stressing
that the agency has the authority to grant this request immediately.
"It is clear that the US EPA has the power to grant a temporary
waiver which would immediately ease the burden felt by Illinois consumers,"
Ryan also repeated his request that the US EPA immediately act on a
proposal that recognizes the environmental benefits of ethanol in the
Reformulated Gasoline Program. The proposal would make it easier for
refiners to blend the environmentally friendly gasoline used throughout
the Chicagoland area.
"What is most troubling to me is that US EPA tells us that they
cannot take action on this proposal short of its normal administrative
procedures, when it is clear they have the authority to propose a direct-final
rule to implement this common sense proposal and provide real benefits
to Illinois consumers," Ryan added. "In fact, US EPA invented
direct-final rulemakings in the 1980s and since that time has issued
hundreds of such rulemakings. US EPA should have acted on this months
"While I have never claimed to have all the answers, I do
know that inaction is no solution," Speaker Hastert said in a statement
released last week. "Consumers are hurting and need relief right
now. The EPA should listen."
"We have been working non-stop with Speaker Hastert and the Illinois
Congressional Delegation to find a long term common sense solution that
the US EPA could take to help people in throughout the Midwest,"
In anticipation that Phase II RFG rules would make it more costly to
produce blend stocks for ethanol, the Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency last year submitted to US EPA a comprehensive analysis that justified
a environmentally sound proposal that recognizes the positive benefits
The proposal recognizes the added reductions in carbon monoxide (CO)
emissions gained by using ethanol in the RFG program. Unfortunately,
this proposal has been ignored by US EPA.
Prior to the new rules taking affect, Ryan and other Midwest governors
warned that the new production rules were untested and it was unknown
what the new requirements would mean for the environment or consumer
In May of 1999 Ryan wrote EPA Administrator Carol Browner warning her
about the uncertainties of the new RFG program rules and asked for a
delay in its implementation. In December of 1999, Ryan and other
members of the Governor's Ethanol Coalition sent a letter to Vice President
Gore and again requested a delay the new RFG rules.
In addition, Ryan sent a letter to the vice president asking for a
delay in the new rules to prevent "fuel price fluctuations for the consumer."
In March of this year Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley sent a
letter to President Clinton asking that the new RFG rules be delayed.