Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image Boxer Corrects Oil Industry's Inaccurate Statements for the Record

By: Boxer office
Published: Mar 31, 2006 at 07:54
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today sent a letter to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association correcting inaccuracies in the document they submitted to the Environment and Public Works Committee regarding the oil industry's use of MTBE.
Following is the text of Senator Boxer's letter to Bob Slaughter, President of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association:
Dear Mr. Slaughter:
I write regarding your March 28, 2006 letter to Chairman Inhofe expressing the views of your members with respect to the oversight hearing on the impact of the elimination of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This letter was entered into the hearing record by the Chairman.
I supported the Chairman in his efforts to make NPRA's views known to the Committee. However, I disagree strongly with several statements in the letter related to whether the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the use of MTBE. The letter is not supported by the facts.
The Clean Air Act never required the use of MTBE, and courts have upheld that view. Moreover, in response to direct questioning today, Robert Meyers, Associate Assistant Administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation at the United States Environmental Protection Agency again affirmed that MTBE use was not required by the Clean Air Act. He held this view in 1995 as Counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, when he wrote with respect to the legislative history of the 1990 Clean Air Act:
“A major aspect of the debate on the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments was the issue of 'fuel neutrality.” In essence, since various fuels and fuel constituents compete for the RFG and alternative fuels market, an effort was made to avoid dictating any particular fuel choice.”
In addition, a jury in the Tahoe case found Lyondell, Shell, Texaco, Equilon, and Tosco guilty of irresponsibly manufacturing and distributing a product they knew would contaminate water. The jury found by “clear and convincing evidence” that both Shell Oil Company and Lyondell Chemical Company acted with “malice” by failing to warn customers of the almost certain environmental dangers of MTBE water contamination.
The repeal of the oxygenate standard should not be used as justification for the resurrection of MTBE safe-harbor legislation. I oppose such legislation now, just as I did during the consideration of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and will be actively engaged in opposing its passage should it be reintroduced this session.
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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  1. John Robert says:

    HI everyone and hi martin.
    that was a good article indded. i too feel u r right. may be the sarcasm cud hv been reduced, anyways i can understand.
    it is such an issue.

    I would like to invite all Americans to blog at my site URL:

    Get there and discuss all on MTBE. REACT. STOP THE INJUSTICE


  2. Martin says:

    Barbara Boxer has no good information on the issue, I think. She is speaking with the meager information that she has acquired from some unreliable sources.
    “The Clean Air Act never required the use of MTBE”. Ok. So what did it require to use? The suggested oxygenates were just ethanol and MTBE. Look at the present scenario with ethanol replaced MTBE – price rise, supply shortage, reduced mileage……………Knowing of all this drawbacks would anyone prefer ethanol to MTBE?

    “Both Shell Oil Company and Lyondell Chemical Company acted with “malice” by failing to warn customers of the almost certain environmental dangers of MTBE water contamination.”
    Didn’t the government know about the effects of MTBE before making its use legal??????????? The government is supposed to research on it before legalizing it.
    Why should the oil companies be bothered when the government itself didn’t bother to warn the people??? Isn’t it the government who has to be responsible to the people????

    Boxer has to go find some good information on the MTBE and MTBE LITIGATION and may be could write a second letter.
    I would like to suggest this site I came across