Senators Elder Vogel (R-Beaver, Lawrence and Butler), Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny), and Don White (R-Armstrong, Butler, Indiana, and Westmoreland) joined together in urging Governor Wolf to push the Department of Environmental Protection to formally petition the federal Environmental Protection Agency to lift the “summer gas” mandate that drives up the costs of gasoline for western Pennsylvanians.
“In order to avoid an unnecessary increase in gasoline prices this summer, we request you urgently instruct your DEP to take any and all actions necessary to immediately submit the SIP (State Implementation Plan) to the EPA and formally request suspension of this unnecessary regulation through whatever waivers or notice may be needed,” the Senators wrote in a letter to the Governor.
“Surely you are as eager to avoid increasing gasoline prices for our mutual constituents as we are and understand our dismay over the length of time it has taken your DEP to formally submit this request to EPA,” the Senators wrote. “The roughly 2.5 million residents of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties would certainly appreciate any and all efforts to provide relief of any more ‘pain’ at the gas pump this summer than is already being inflicted. We appreciate your consideration of this urgent request and look forward to your response.”
Act 50 of 2014 started the process for the elimination of the statutory requirements for low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties during the summer months. This “summer gas” is routinely more expensive than gasoline sold in the rest of Pennsylvania and also in neighboring Ohio and West Virginia.
Since 1999, the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency have required that gasoline sold between May 1 and September 15 in the seven-county Greater Pittsburgh Area have an RVP of 7.8psi. Regular gasoline has an RVP of 9.0.
Earlier this month, the Senators wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt urging his agency to quickly approve the change and ensure “adequate gasoline supplies through the transition to a summer specification fuel.”
Cheryl Schriner/Sen. Vogel (717) 787-3076
Nate Silcox/Sen. Vulakovich (717) 787-6538
Joe Pittman/Sen. White (717) 787-8724