Republicans bemoan EPA chemical rule’s impact on refineries

By Sean Reilly | 05/08/2024 06:55 AM EDT

Pennsylvania Rep. John Joyce accused the administration of trying to “cripple our refining industry.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.).

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing and Critical Materials, on Tuesday. Energy and Commerce Committee/YouTube

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee split along party lines Tuesday on a recent EPA rule aimed at preventing accidental releases of potentially deadly air pollutants.

While the regulations cover almost 12,000 facilities that must file risk management plans, members of the Environment, Manufacturing and Critical Materials Subcommittee repeatedly returned to the impact on just a few dozen: those that turn crude oil into higher-octane gasoline through a process known as alkylation.

“We cannot afford to cripple our refining industry,” Rep. John Joyce (R-Pa.) said.


Under the newly strengthened rule, refineries that use a highly toxic compound known as hydrofluoric acid in the alkylation process will have to consider alternatives, a switch that the industry maintains would be prohibitively expensive. The result, Joyce and E&C Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said, will be higher prices at the pump.