The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is looking to waive the seasonal minimum vapor pressure requirement for "summer" gasoline sold in the state until Oct. 31st. This move would follow those made by several other states in recent days. The damage caused by Katrina could reduce California's gas supplies by up to 10%, which has the potential to cause severe pricing shocks if such a waiver is not granted. The increase in allowable vapor pressure is said to potentially result in increased hydrocarbon emissions of 6-7%, but with the modern vapor controls fitted to everything from automobiles to gas cans, I've got a hard time believing this number (feel free to prove me wrong - politely! - in the comments). The Sierra Club hopped right on this topic with an objection to the proposal. Hey, we'd all be disappointed if it was any other way.
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