Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



Energy bill passes, sans MTBE shield

As expected, the Senate today easily passed a comprehensive energy bill, as long sought by the Bush administration. Also as one would expect, the Congress added significant giveaways into the already hefty pricetag of the legislation, which now comes to a total of $12.3 billion.

And, disappointingly but unsurprisingly, the approved bill stripped out provisions to deal with the growing problem of litigation over alleged harms caused by the federally mandated fuel additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). Why is this issue so important? Well, in a Bloomberg story Monday on New Hampshire's similar failure to deal with MTBE claims, the U.S. Chamber's Bruce Josten laid out the case: "Defective-product lawsuits tend to treble damages. You're looking here at a legal exposure, if you go that way, that would equal or exceed the $375 billion asbestos legal exposure." A sum that makes the price of the energy bill itself pale in comparison...



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.