Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Domestic Fuels Protection Act Will Protect Industry, not Consumers

Energy
Domestic Fuels Protection Act Will Protect Industry, not Consumers

Environmental Working Group

The Domestic Fuels Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 4345) and its companion bill, the Domestic Fuels Act of 2012 (S.2264) would create a broad exemption from liability for a number of favored interests—fuel producers, engine manufacturers and retailers of virtually all transportation fuels and fuel additives such as gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.

“The ethanol industry’s push for these bills is a glaring admission that E15 is a faulty product,” said Sheila Karpf, a legislative and policy analyst at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “Rather than creating a better fuel, the ethanol industry wants consumers and taxpayers to foot the bill for any harms caused by E15.”

These bills, the subject of today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, would undermine state consumer protection laws, immunize makers of defective fuel products and shield owners and operators of leaking underground storage tanks from legal action.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed last year to increase gasoline’s ethanol content by 50 percent. That decision will result in numerous problems that jeopardize public health and the environment, including damage to older vehicles and engines, leaks from underground storage tanks, and drinking water contamination.

As a cautionary tale, consider the U.S. experience with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE), a fuel additive that caused leaks in underground storage tanks across the country, resulting in serious water pollution. After this hazard was exposed, 25 states banned MTBE as a fuel additive.

As drafted, the bills to be discussed today would extend liability protection for damages caused not only by ethanol, but also by other transportation fuels and fuel additives such as MTBE.

EWG, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Our Children’s Earth Foundation and Natural Resources Defense Council have sent a letter to congressional lawmakers opposing this legislation.

For more information, click here.

Colette Pichon Battle, attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. Colette Pichon Battle

By Karen L. Smith-Janssen

Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A palm tree plantation in Malaysia. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images Plus

Between 2000 and 2013, Earth lost an area of undisturbed ecosystems roughly the size of Mexico.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A home burns during the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, California on September 18, 2020. Kyle Grillot / AFP/ Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

"These are not just wildfires, they are climate fires," Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said as he stood amid the charred remains of the town of Malden west of Seattle earlier this month. "This is not an act of God," he added. "This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways."

Read More Show Less
A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world. PickPik

A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world, The Guardian reported. The study examined 25 years of carbon dioxide emissions and wealth inequality from 1990 to 2015.

Read More Show Less
The label of one of the recalled thyroid medications. FDA

If you are taking medication for an underactive thyroid, check your prescription.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch