WASHINGTON - The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Legislative Director Tiernan Sittenfeld today released the following statement on the Barton-Bass proposal to bail out the makers of MTBE as part of the final Energy bill:
"We are appalled by Congressmen Barton (R-TX) and Bass' (R-NH) proposal to bail out the makers of the gasoline additive, MTBE, which has contaminated drinking water supplies across the country. This proposal, which was the product of secret backroom negotiations, would burden taxpayers with billions of dollars in cleanup costs while letting the makers and refiners of MTBE off the hook for the vast majority of the pollution they created.
It is particularly outrageous that this attempt to bail out the polluting industries, who have knowingly produced and sold this harmful product for years, comes on the heels of an Environmental Protection Agency draft report that called MTBE a likely human carcinogen.
The Barton-Bass proposal would benefit big oil, an industry already awash in record profits, at the expense of taxpayers and public health. We urge the energy bill conferees to reject this special interest bailout and to instead hold the oil and gas industry fully liable for cleaning up the drinking water they polluted."