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NPRA Urges Maryland to Fully Consider MTBE Ban.

The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) recently announced that its director of technical advocacy Charles Drevna stressed last week during testimony before the Maryland House of Delegates' Environmental Matters Committee briefing on transportation fuels policy "the importance of balancing a supply-oriented fuels policy with continued environmental progress."

"Failure to fully consider the overall implications of a [methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)] ban could transform the Maryland gasoline market and its infrastructure into an island, with little or no access to the supply and distribution chain of regional or neighboring states or importers," said Drevna.

According to NPRA, any ban or restriction on the use of MTBE by the state of Maryland "will leave no other option than that of a de facto mandate to use ethanol to meet the two-percent reformulated gasoline requirement of the Federal Clean Air Act."

"Maryland could very well be creating a non-fungible, single-state, ethanol-based RFG program while at the same time severely limiting options for state-wide gasoline supply and distribution," said NPRA. "Unfortunately, this will create a marketplace with little or no margin for production and/or distribution error, given the lack of readily available replacement fuels."

NPRA said Drevna also went on to cite in his testimony several documented consequences of California's decision to ban MTBE and adopt an ethanol-based program.

"According to the California Energy Commission, the state substantially overestimated the cost of addressing the perceived MTBE water problem ($1.5 billion versus $200 million), while they substantially underestimated the costs of replacing MTBE with ethanol in the gasoline ($400 million versus $1.6 billion)," said Drevna.

NPRA said Drevna ultimately recommended that the Northeast and New England adopt "consistent fuel specifications."

"NPRA believes that the best way to achieve this objective, maintain adequate fuel supplies and continue environmental progress is through the repeal of the two-percent oxygenation requirement with no accompanying mandate or ban," said Drevna.

Contact: Sharon Dey, NPRA, phone 202-457-0480, website http://www.npra.org.

(EIN STAFF: 11/17)
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Title Annotation:The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association; methyl tertiary butyl ether
Publication:Mobile Emissions Today
Geographic Code:1U5MD
Date:Nov 23, 2004
Words:330
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