Utah refinery launches clean fuel project as feds rollback standards

Local Politics

Salt Lake City, Utah- (News4Utah) – A new project is underway in Utah that is expected to drive cleaner fuel into the future.

Tier 3 fuel means cleaner air, and a major milestone has been hit in getting that product to the market.

Governor Gary Herbert, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, state legislators and officials from Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) are digging up a new standard for clean fuel.

The groundbreaking launches the Tier 3 Gasoline Project at the company’s Salt Lake City refinery.

“We’re just more than happy to see that this refinery, and at least two others are taking this huge step for air quality,” said Ashley Miller with Breathe Utah.

Andeavor didn’t have to take this route to meet EPA standards, but a few years ago the CEO made the commitment to Governor Gary Herbert.

“At the end of the day I just say one thing. It’s just the right thing to do for the community and for our company,” said CEO Greg Goff.

Tier 3 gasoline will offer Utah drivers a cleaner, low sulfur option.

The company says it will lower emissions up to 81% for newer vehicles, and up to 13% for older ones.

“That’s like taking four out of every five cars off the road. This is a significant step forward for us to help clean up the air quality here, particularly along the Wasatch Front and throughout the state of Utah,” said Governor Herbert, (R) Utah.

Ironically, this celebration comes as the EPA moves to relax Obama-era fuel efficiency and emissions standards.

The head of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Alan Matheson says they are analyzing what impact that could have on our state’s efforts.

Local advocates aren’t optimistic to say the least.

“That’s really disappointing and we really hope that whatever the new standard is going to be is not as bad as we anticipate, but it’s not looking good,” said Miller.

Construction on the project will begin immediately, and Tier 3 fuels are expected to be available to consumers in by the end of summer, 2019.

The state approved a tax credit to help companies with the cost of developing the fuel.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...