January 24, 2004

Why’s MTBE in Gasoline? Because Mr. Kerry Voted for it
Posted by McQ

On Thursday night, John Kerry, when asked about MTBE said:

It needs to be banned, taken out. And the companies that have put it in need to be held responsible for it.

I visited with Lisa and Randy Denuccio. They live in Salem. They live right beside a lake in Salem. Their kids no longer use the water there to make lemonade. Their kids no longer shower using that water. They're scared of it. It's polluted with MTBE, as are one- sixth of the lakes of New Hampshire.

The first thing that struck me was why were Lisa and Randy letting their kids use lake water to make lemonade in the first place. But anyway ... moving on to MTBE, I wondered what the heck it was and why the heck John Kerry was so upset about it.

Well, according to the EPA:

MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether) is a chemical compound that is manufactured by the chemical reaction of methanol and isobutylene. MTBE is produced in very large quantities (over 200,000 barrels per day in the U.S. in 1999) and is almost exclusively used as a fuel additive in motor gasoline. It is one of a group of chemicals commonly known as "oxygenates" because they raise the oxygen content of gasoline. At room temperature, MTBE is a volatile, flammable and colorless liquid that dissolves rather easily in water.

Why is it used?

MTBE has been used in U.S. gasoline at low levels since 1979 to replace lead as an octane enhancer (helps prevent the engine from "knocking"). Since 1992, MTBE has been used at higher concentrations in some gasoline to fulfill the oxygenate requirements set by Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. (A few cities, such as Denver, used oxygenates (MTBE) at higher concentrations during the wintertime in the late 1980's.)

GASP! Clean Air Act? Requirements set by Congress?!

If I'm not mistaken John Kerry voted FOR the Clean Air Act and its Amendments. So what’s THIS all about?

Now, Tom DeLay and his friends in Congress have been busy protecting those companies from their responsibility, trying to give them liability immunity for what they've done.

This is the worst environmental administration that I've ever seen in all my time in public life.

Ah ... its’ Tom Delay and the nasty Republicans fault. They want to give immunity to an industry that only produced what Congress directed be put in fuel. Remind anyone of the Iraq War vote wiggle?

So let’s review the logic here. Kerry voted to put MTBE in fuel. He was fine with that for over 20 years. Now it’s all the Republicans fault for any MTBE pollution and its also just horrible that they believe that the industry which Kerry voted to direct use MTBE in gasoline shouldn’t be held liable for that pollution?

Frankly, Mr. Kerry, I hold YOU responsible.

Go figure!



I sent Mr Kerry this question. How come I did not find his name on any bill seeking MTBE to be pulled out off the marke? They never answered me on that.

I did get a request for funds after that, from his campaign office.

Posted by: Richard Rosenlof at March 27, 2004 10:06 PM