In one of the first major environmental challenges for the Bush administration, the oil refining industry yesterday announced plans to sue the U.S. EPA over its rule to require cleaner diesel fuel, which was finalized in the last days of the Clinton administration. Bob Slaughter, general counsel for the National Petrochemical Refiners Association, said, “We would hope that the new administration would be more interested in balancing energy supply and environmental concerns.” The industry in the past has said it would accept requirements to reduce the sulfur content of diesel fuel by as much as 90 percent, but the EPA measure requires a 98 percent reduction. The Bush administration could change the diesel rule only by restarting the time-consuming process that led to it, but Congress could vote to overturn the measure if it acts by 17 March.

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