New EPA regs would slash benzene emissions from cars by 2030

The Bush administration delighted enviros yesterday (yes, we just wrote that) by unveiling long-awaited proposals to cut toxic tailpipe emissions. Of course, it took a lawsuit to get the plan released, but why look a gift regulation in the mouth? According to the U.S. EPA, the proposed rules would cut benzene emissions from passenger cars almost in half by 2030, as well as reduce tailpipe emissions of formaldehyde. A national trading system would be established to let refiners making gasoline with higher benzene levels buy pollution credits from cleaner producers. And automakers would be required to outfit new vehicles with benzene-reducing technology. The EPA estimates that the new standards would cost about $205 million a year, but with a return of as much as $6 billion in health benefits annually by 2030. The public will soon have 60 days to comment on the plan, and if it’s adopted, the new rules will go into effect in 2011. Yay for the Bushies! There, we said it.