A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

It’s Reformulated Gas Independence Day: NKY no longer is required to use more expensive gasoline

It’s the date to celebrate the final hurdle in a four-year journey to erase an environmental regulatory burden that negatively impacted every local business and individual who purchases gasoline in Northern Kentucky.
Today gasoline service stations in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties may sell conventional gasoline instead of the more-costly Reformulated Gasoline (“RFG”).   

The July 1 date was set by U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s written approval of the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet’s request, submitted under the direction of Governor Matt Bevin, that NKY opt-out of the federal RFG program.

The potential savings for the region could exceed $40 million dollars.

Due to myriad forces impacting the price of gasoline, it may not be immediately apparent at the gas pump that this change has occurred.

Northern Kentucky business leaders from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) worked for several years to accomplish the change.

Businessmen Steve Harper and Phil Schworer and state and local officials led by State Representative Diane St. Onge (63rd District) and Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore led the repeal effort.

Northern Kentucky had been required to use reformulated gasoline (RFG) since 1995 after the Commonwealth voluntarily opted into the federal RFG program to meet Clean Air Act requirements. Due to improvements in gasoline, cleaner operating cars, and other environmental advancements, higher-priced reformulated gas is no longer needed for Northern Kentucky to achieve its environmental goals, the Chamber argued.

The Chamber said:

·       The environmental benefits of the RFG program have run their course, and now impose an unjustified economic burden.
·       In March 2014, U.S. EPA concluded that conventional gasoline and RFG were now “essentially the same.” 

·       Elimination of the RFG requirement will have no impact on our continued maintenance of the ambient air quality standards.

·       Emissions from vehicles have and will continue to decrease due to advances in the design and performance of internal combustion engines.

Northern Kentucky Chamber  

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