April 25, 2024

NEW: EPA Grants Waiver to Lower Gas Prices at Gallego’s Urging

After Gallego pushed the EPA to lower Arizona gas prices, the agency granted his request. Gallego has repeatedly pushed the EPA and refineries to lower Arizona gas prices

PHOENIX – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) applauded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for granting a fuel waiver for Maricopa County, as well as portions of Pinal and Yavapai Counties, to lower gas prices in Arizona.

“Arizonans should not be forced to pay unreasonably high gas prices due to a delay in gasoline delivery,” Rep. Gallego said. “That’s why I pushed the EPA to do what was right and waive the requirements that would’ve led to skyrocketing prices. If these delays continue, I’ll push for an even longer extension. I will never stop fighting to cut costs for Arizonans.”

Parts of Arizona – including Maricopa County – use Cleaner Burning Gas (CBG) to mitigate air pollution and protect the health of residents. Arizonans in the Maricopa County area use CBG year-round but with different formulas in the summer and winter.

According to the waiver granted by the EPA, retail outlets and wholesale purchaser-consumers in parts of Arizona may continue to sell and dispense winter-blend CBG gasoline in the CBG-covered area until June 14.

EPA granted the waiver following Rep. Gallego's letter to the agency on Wednesday, April 24.

Rep. Gallego states in the letter to the agency that, “without a waiver, retailers will need to draw down their gasoline supplies to comply with summer CBG [Cleaner Burning Gas] rules. The resulting very low levels of gasoline storage could leave Maricopa County stranded without gas if any other pipeline and supply disruptions were to occur.”

“In one of the fastest-growing economic hubs in the country, we cannot risk having residents waiting in long lines or paying unaffordable prices for gasoline,” he continues.

One of the pipelines that brings gas to Arizona was damaged and experienced reduced capacity in mid-April. These delays could cause a shortage of summer CBG supplies, thus raising prices.

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

In March, Rep. Gallego warned the EPA about this possibility and called on the Agency to work with the state to prevent high gas prices. Earlier this month, he wrote to the 11 oil refineries from which Arizona sources its unique blend of CBG, pushing the refineries to explain their supply chain issues and why prices keep going up.

In October last year, he held a call with representatives from Kinder Morgan, the operator of the Santa Fe Petroleum Pipeline system, which includes the two lines that provide gas to Maricopa County. And in April 2023, he urged President Biden and his administration to do everything in his authority to address the rising gas prices affecting Arizona families, businesses, and communities.