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Saudis lobby to limit liability on additive (In US MTBE-DeLay Connection) [View All]

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-05 05:59 PM
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Saudis lobby to limit liability on additive (In US MTBE-DeLay Connection)
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http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2... /

A company largely owned by the Saudi government has spent more than $1.5 million since 1998 lobbying Congress to shield the chemical industry from liability for damages caused by MTBE, a potentially cancer-causing gasoline additive that has seeped into water supplies across New England, according to federal documents.


The chemical additive is widely used, particularly in the Northeast, to help gasoline burn more efficiently and meet standards set by the Clean Air Act. But when it gets into drinking water, MTBE is suspected of causing cancer, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Many state and local governments -- including New Hampshire and 60 communities in Massachusetts -- have sued oil and chemical companies, claiming that they should have known the risks of using methyl tertiary butyl ether. The communities say the companies must pay to clean up groundwater that became contaminated when MTBE-treated gasoline seeped into the soil from leaking tanks.

But the industry -- helped by the House majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas -- has maintained that it should not be obliged to pay for damages caused by a product used to meet a federal requirement for cleaner-burning gasoline.

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