Good News: Gas in Allegheny County Will be Cheaper, For Now

The feds say we don't have to use a more environmentally friendly blend, but not for the reason you think!

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a temporary waiver that will allow service stations in Allegheny County to sell cheaper "regular" gasoline, instead of the more expensive "summer blend," at least for the next 2 1/2 weeks.

That's good news for drivers, and for station owners who were faced with the prospect of customers fleeing to neighboring counties which are allowed to sell the less expensive regular blend. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports , gas in those counties is already 4-cents a gallon cheaper, and the difference could jump to as high as 50-cents a gallon later in the summer without a waiver.

Without a waiver, gas stations in Allegheny County would be forced to charge higher prices for more expensive "summer blend" gasoline.

The EPA waiver for Allegheny County probably isn't for the reason you think.nThe EPA says they're granting it because -- very simply -- refiners can't get the more expensive gas to local stations because of a pipeline problem. The EPA is still considering the county's request for a permanent waiver, joining the rest of Pennsylvania and neighboring states which aren't required to sell the more environmentally-friendly blend.

"The whole thing is idiotic." Don Bowers,Pennsylvania Petroleum Association

In an interview with the P-G, Don Bowers, a vice-president with the Pennsylvania Petroleum Association didn't mince words, calling it "stupid" to continue to require Allegheny County to stay in the program when everyone else is opted out. "The whole thing is idiotic. I'm hoping the EPA is going to use this 2 weeks to review the comments and issue the final ruling," Mr. Bowers told the P-G.

The current EPA waiver only lasts until June 17, but leaders hope they'll make it permanent.

If you'd like to read more about how we got to this point, here are some other Sparkt stories to explain:

Sticker Shock Hits Gas Prices in Allegheny County

Gas Could Cost a Lot More in Allegheny County May 1st

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