US MTBE restrictions seem likely

California's decision to ban methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) as of Jan. 1, 2002, appears to be proceeding as planned.A number of other states and the EPA have announced their intentions to restrict or eliminate the future use of MTBE, increasing the uncertainty regarding the continued use of MTBE in US gasoline.Although the rest of the world looks upon US decisions regarding MTBE with interest, it has not moved against MTBE in the same degree as the US because MTBE is a valuable gasoline component.These are observations by energy consultants Purvin & Gertz Inc. and petrochemical consultants Chemical Market Associates Inc. (CMAI), both in Houston, in their joint-study analysis on po...

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