EPA Follows CEI Advice…7 Years Late

Washington, DC, March 20, 2000 – In January 1993, the Competitive Enterprise Institute warned the Environmental Protection Agency that the plan to increase the oxygen level in gasoline was foolish. In March 2000, the EPA appears to have finally heard CEI.

In a statement today, the EPA announced it will begin the phase-out of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) due to concerns of ground water pollution. CEI warned the EPA of this more than seven years ago.

“Oxygenated fuels, far from being ‘clean,’ merely substitute one form of pollution for another,” stated then policy analyst Jonathan Adler in an op-ed that appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on January 26, 1993.

“The oxy-fuels program represents much that is wrong with environmental policy today,” Adler continued in the piece. “Rather than identifying the polluters and forcing them to clean up, bureaucrats instead prefer to impose costs on all drivers.”

With the costs of fuel sky-rocketing due to lack of supply, it should be noted that the EPA-mandated oxy-fuel program adds as much as 10 cents a gallon on gas due to the extra refining required.

“As usual, the EPA acted too hastily without considering the science behind their claims,” stated CEI MTBE expert Ben Lieberman. “By essentially requiring MTBE in a third of all gasoline sold, the EPA created more problems than it solved.”

CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010, ext. 209.