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Key parts from the article.

The Obama administration is at least briefly delaying a plan to require refiners to pare more sulfur from gasoline.

The Environmental Protection Agency had said it was on track to finalize the proposed sulfur emissions standards by the end of the year, after unveiling a draft in March.

But the timeline for a final rule now has slipped to February.

The agency attributed the delay to a flood of public comments.

“EPA received more than 200,000 public comments on the May proposal,” the agency said. “Due to the extensive input we received and the need for thorough analysis of available data, EPA currently intends to issue the final rule in February 2014.”

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The so-called Tier 3 standards proposed by the EPA would require refiners beginning in 2017 to slash sulfur emissions from gasoline to an average of 10 parts per million, down from a current threshold of 30 parts per million. The low-sulfur standard would boost the effectiveness of emission control systems in existing and new vehicles.

... and ...

But oil companies say the public health benefits of the low-sulfur mandate are unproven, especially following much bigger reductions from a previous standard of 300 parts per million. The Tier 3 standards will cause gasoline prices to rise at least 9 cents per gallon according to industry-commissioned calculations and require the installation of energy-hungry hydrotreaters at refineries that could increase the plants’ carbon footprints

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