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Posted on  

September 26, 2001


Legislation Would Increase Oil Imports by up to One Million Barrels Per Day

WASHINGTON, DC - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today approved S. 950, the Federal Reformulated Fuels Act of 2001, introduced by Senator Bob Smith (R-NH). This legislation would eliminate the Clean Air Act oxygen standard and phases out the use of MTBE but fails to address several other issues including a renewable fuels standard.

Bob Dinneen, president of the RFA, made the following statement:

"The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today took a giant step backward, approving legislation that sounds retreat on air quality, consumer protection and energy security. This is a bill that has no chance of ever becoming law.

"While the committee's objective of eliminating the use of MTBE in gasoline to protect precious drinking water supplies is laudable, S. 950 deliberately ignores the impact such action will have on gasoline supplies, consumer prices, air quality and the continued development of domestic renewable energy resources such as ethanol.

"According to the Department of Energy, S. 950 would reduce gasoline supplies by 500,000 to one million barrels per day. The bill would lead to additional "boutique fuels," driving up gasoline prices across the country. And it fails to adequately preserve the air quality gains from the federal reformulated gasoline (RFG) program, allowing increased toxic, exhaust hydrocarbon, particulate, and carbon monoxide emissions. Finally, unlike a similar effort last year, S. 950 ignores the recommendation of EPA's Blue
Ribbon Panel on MTBE to replace the RFG oxygen standard with a mechanism to assure the continued growth of renewable fuels like ethanol.

"The Committee today abdicated its responsibility to report comprehensive and thoughtful legislation. Thankfully, this is the beginning of the process, not the end."


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