PHOENIX – A joint committee of the Arizona Legislature hearing On Monday, officials will discuss Maricopa County’s high gas prices and how to lower them, but experts testified that lowering prices could take years.
The Republican chairman of the Joint Legislative Task Force on Air Quality and Energy says Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ administration is not doing enough to alleviate the shortage of clean-burning gasoline. After insisting that there was no such thing, a public hearing was convened. Mandated in Maricopa County to reduce emissions.
Cleaner Burning Gasoline (CBG) is required to comply with National Air Quality Standards and the Clean Air Act under the State Implementation Plan since 1997. Available only in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal and Yavapai Counties.
Michelle Wilson, Regulatory Compliance Manager for the Arizona Department of Agriculture, gave a presentation to the committee about CBG and the challenges of obtaining it.
“This is a proprietary gasoline blend and is not sold anywhere else in the United States,” Wilson said during the hearing. She said the Environmental Protection Agency “has already moved on from what we adopted and has new requirements that are different.”
Arizona’s requirements could cause gas prices in the Valley to rise if refineries face shortages. This occurred earlier this year after gasoline prices exceeded $5 in May due to supply shortages at two refineries in New Mexico and Texas.
States can request exemptions for the use of alternative gasoline blends, but exemptions must be approved by the EPA. In response to a Republican question about whether the Hobbs administration had sought a waiver, Wilson said a waiver was not requested because the EPA indicated in March that it would not approve a waiver.
When asked about the possibility of switching to a different, less polluting boutique gasoline, Wilson said it might be possible, but would require changes in legislation, the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s rulemaking process, and EPA approval. Stated. Wilson said the state has already been waiting for years for EPA approval of a revised state implementation plan for air quality, and a new revision is currently going through the rulemaking process.
Republican lawmakers asked experts whether changing the gasoline blend used in Maricopa County would stabilize prices.
Gordon Schrempp, an energy policy consultant who also testified before the committee, said there are several different options to prevent a shortage, and pursuing any of them would be a lengthy process.
“Unfortunately, this is a long process, whether or not we do additional modeling, testing, and modifications…it’s going to take some time,” Schrempp said.
In addition, Schrempp said lawmakers are willing to supply a different blend of gasoline based on the improvements that current gasoline suppliers (all located outside of Arizona) need to produce that type of gas. He said it is necessary to consider whether or not.
in statement Sen. Frank Carroll, R-Sun City West, announced after the hearing that House and Senate Republicans are seeking to withdraw from the CBG due to perceived inaction by the Hobbs administration, which sought exemptions for alternative gasoline types earlier this year. He said he is considering the bill.
“We will analyze potential policy changes to protect Arizonans from irresponsible actions by the executive branch and reckless overreach of our government,” Carroll said in a statement.
The governor’s office, the Arizona House Democratic Caucus, and the Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus did not respond to requests for comment.