This past November, the U.S. Senate failed to pass the much-discussed Energy Bill, shelving it for further consideration in 2004. The sticking point was a provision in the bill that would shield manufacturers of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from costly defective product lawsuits. MTBE has created considerable debate with regard to its use as an oxygenation agent in the production of gasoline and diesel. The use of MTBE came about as an efficient way to meet increasingly stringent motor vehicle emission norms. MTBE aids in reducing air pollution; however, its easy absorbtion in groundwater, usually through a leaking underground gasoline storage tank, has led to 150,000 identified instances of water contamination in at least 28 states. Having reconvened on...
Companies mentioned in this report are:
- Hess Corp.
- Sunoco Inc.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
- Koch Industries Inc.
- Premcor USA Inc.
- United Refining Co.
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