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To Keep Trucking, Cleaner Diesel Will Require Natural Gas, Policy Change
Tuesday October 17, 4:53 pm ET

Hydrogen Used to Reduce Diesel's Sulfur Content Is Derived From Natural Gas, But Federal Policies Restrict Access

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- On October 15, 2006, ultra-low- sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) was introduced at retail fuel stations around the United States. Designed to reduce soot emissions from diesel engines by 97 percent, ULSD is consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Highway Diesel Rule ("the 2007 Highway Rule"), which begins going into effect this year. Commercial freight-hauling diesel trucks are reportedly among the first adopters of ULSD technology: beginning on January 1, 2007, those new trucks' engines will have advanced emissions filters that will only be able to run on ULSD. Analysts expect auto makers to introduce diesels for consumer trucks, SUVs and passenger cars in the coming years.

American Chemistry Council (ACC) President & CEO Jack N. Gerard issued the following statement:

"The debut of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is an exciting and forward- thinking development in the realm of energy, but once again it highlights the pressing need for Congress to change federal policies governing access to America's natural gas supplies. Today, most ULSD is produced by treating the fuel with hydrogen to remove sulfur and other impurities. Most of that hydrogen is produced directly from methane contained in natural gas. Yet federal policies continue to put most U.S. natural gas supplies off-limits. If the nation is to be successful in our pursuit of cleaner diesel fuel, then Congress needs to change energy policies to help bring about reliable, affordable access to natural gas. The same goes for cleaner electricity generation, ethanol production, and solar and wind power materials -- all of which require natural gas. When Congress returns following the mid-term elections, American energy supply legislation belongs at the top of its priority list.

"The benefits of access to natural gas extend beyond its role in creating clean and alternative energies. American jobs and national security likewise call for Congress to act immediately. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate each passed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy legislation this summer that can help make energy more affordable, retain American jobs, enhance security and strengthen the economy. Now we and millions of other Americans who rely on affordable and reliable natural gas are counting on Congress to keep its word, finish the job and enable OCS legislation to become law this year."

Source: American Chemistry Council

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