Senator Elder Vogel (R-47) today announced that legislation he introduced with Senator Tim Solobay (D-46) designed to make gasoline cheaper for Pennsylvanians and has passed the Senate and now moves to the House of Representatives.
“With fuel prices already rising, we need to get this legislation passed before the switch to summer gas. If we wait, the effects could be catastrophic to the folks in western Pennsylvania. Not only does this mandate mean higher gas prices, but it could mean that motorists will be scrambling to find any gas to put in their tanks,” Vogel said.
Senate Bill 1386 removes a costly and burdensome regulation requiring a special “boutique” blend of gasoline from being sold in the seven county Pittsburgh-area of 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. The closing of three refineries on the east coast and one in the Virgin Islands have created a scenario whereby summer gasoline may not make it into the fuel pipeline, meaning no gas at all.
“This legislation is a commonsense, bipartisan proposal that would finally end an unfair and costly regulation on the people of western Pennsylvania. This regulation is nothing more than a hidden tax, not only at the pump but also in the goods and services we use,” Vogel added. “I applaud my colleagues for their efforts in getting this passed quickly.”
In addition, the legislation will allow for the termination of another regulation requiring gas stations in the same seven county region in Pittsburgh, as well as the five county region of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia, to install Stage II vapor recovery systems on fuel pumps. These pumps prevent the release of gasoline vapors when in use, but the law contains a specific provision to eliminate the requirement if onboard refueling emissions controls in vehicles became widespread. Since 2000, all passenger cars and light trucks have been required to be manufactured to include onboard refueling emissions controls. These controls work by stopping gasoline vapors from coming back out the fill pipe by circulating the vapors back into the fuel tank. The combination of onboard refueling controls and Stage II systems on fuel pumps are less effective than either system alone.
Mike Rader 717-787-3076