LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Kentucky state lawmaker plans to file a bill that would do away with reformulated gas in Louisville in order to decrease the price at the pump.
Louisville gas stations have been required to sell the more expensive blend of gasoline since the mid-1990s in order to comply with federal standards for ozone pollution.
But Republican Rep. Kevin Bratcher believes, with more hybrid and electric cars on the road, the time for RFG has passed.
“It seems like Louisville is always the last one to get rid of some archaic practices, and I think it's time to get rid of this,” Bratcher said. “These cars are running a whole lot cleaner than they were in 1975.”
But Keith Talley, the director of the Air Pollution Control District, said Louisville already struggles to comply with federal ozone standards.
“We're not currently meeting the standards, so we have work to do in order to do that,” Talley said.
Talley said his agency is currently conducting an ozone study, including an analysis of the impact of RFG, “making sure it still provides the benefits that are necessary to help us meet and attain the new ozone standards.”
Talley said RFG does drive up the price at the pump in Louisville, but the exact amount is uncertain, with estimates ranging from 3-5 cents to 18-20 cents a gallon.
He said cars and trucks contribute 40% of the air pollutants in Louisville. So, while he is open to the idea, Talley is concerned that getting rid of RFG would make it that much harder to comply with tightening federal standards.
“I would hope that the community would put meeting that standard and protecting the health of folks in our community, above the cost of gasoline,” he said.
Bratcher said his bill is still a work in progress, but he believes lawmakers should have some say in whether RFG stays or goes.
“The people that are being affected by reformulated gas are not having a voice,” he said.
Bratcher points to northern Kentucky as proof that it can be done. State and local officials there worked with the EPA to end RFG in 2018.
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