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Posted on  

August 17, 2001

BP says favors national U.S. oxygenate policy

BP's U.S. regional president John Manzoni said Tuesday that he favors a ``national solution'' rather than state-by-state policies for federal rules requiring controversial oxygen-enhancing additives for gasoline in the nation's smoggiest areas.

``I'd prefer a national solution rather than individual waivers, even though a California waiver might be good for us in the short-term,'' Manzoni told reporters in New York.

Manzoni's comments come on the heel of last Friday's news that California is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for denying the state's request to blend gasoline without oxygen-enhancing additives.

The problem is that while these ``oxygenates'' help make gasoline burn cleaner, they have been criticized by environmental groups as pollutants themselves.

MTBE or methyl tertiary butyl ether, the current oxygenate of choice in the Western and northeastern states, is considered a possible carcinogen. MTBE has contaminated groundwater in over a dozen states, which have called for its phaseout.

BP plans to phase out MTBE from the gasoline blended at its giant 265,000 barrel per day refinery in Carson, California, just south of Los Angeles by the end of this year, one year ahead of the ban.

Manzoni added that although a waiver for California may help BP in the short term, the company favors the installment of a national policy rather than state by state waivers.


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