Step on the Gas
The California Air Resources Board yesterday unanimously approved a new formula for the state’s gasoline that will eliminate the clean-fuel additive MTBE while maintaining strict air quality improvements. The board set 2003 as a deadline to have MTBE removed; most oil companies in the state plan to substitute it with ethanol, a more expensive octane booster that will raise gasoline prices in the state. The board ruling pleased neither enviros, who said the new formula won’t do enough to reduce emissions, nor industry reps, who complained about the added costs. In a separate action, the board voted to halve the amount of sulfur allowed in gas in the state by 2003.