Let's Make This Gas Ex
The controversial gasoline additive MTBE can cause headaches, fatigue, and eye irritation in some people, according to a study released Friday by Rutgers University researchers. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) cited the study in calling for a three-year phaseout of MTBE, which is added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly but has been blamed for health problems and groundwater pollution. Two bills pending in the Senate would curtail or ban the use of MTBE, and bills in the House would do away with the federal requirement that oxygenates like MTBE be used in gasoline in many smog-stricken states to help clean the air. Rep. Bob Franks (R-N.J.) is pushing EPA Administrator Carol Browner to act unilaterally to ban the additive. Last week, Franks released a 1987 EPA memo indicating the agency knew MTBE had a tendency to contaminate groundwater.