Sunday, February 15, 2004

if i start growing tumors . . .

Well, here's outrage number eleventy quadrillion.

The Bush administration quietly shelved a proposal to ban a gasoline additive that contaminates drinking water in many communities, helping an industry that has donated more than $1 million to Republicans.

The Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites)'s decision had its origin in the early days of President Bush (news - web sites)'s tenure when his administration decided not to move ahead with a Clinton-era regulatory effort to ban the clean-air additive MTBE.

The proposed regulation said the environmental harm of the additive leaching into ground water overshadowed its beneficial effects to the air.

The Bush administration decided to leave the issue to Congress, where it has bogged down over a proposal to shield the industry from some lawsuits. That initiative is being led by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

The Associated Press obtained a draft of the proposed regulation that former President Clinton (news - web sites)'s EPA sent to the White House on its last full day in office in January 2001.

It said: "The use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline presents an unreasonable risk to the environment."

The EPA document went on to say that "low levels of MTBE can render drinking water supplies unpotable due to its offensive taste and odor," and the additive should be phased out over four years.

"Unlike other components of gasoline, MTBE dissolves and spreads readily in the ground water ... resists biodegradation and is more difficult and costly to remove."

People say MTBE-contaminated water tastes like turpentine.
In Santa Monica, Calif., the oil industry will pay hundreds of millions of dollars because the additive contaminated the city's water supply.

Compassionate Conservatism...yeah, no comment.

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