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For immediate release: February 15, 2002
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler - 916 654-4989

Workshop Looks at the Impact of MTBE's Phase-Out on Gasoline Supplies

The California Energy Commission's Fuels and Transportation Committee will conduct a one-day workshop to discuss the possible impacts of the phase-out of methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) as an additive to California's gasoline supplies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
9:30 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Audio from the workshop will be broadcast on the Energy Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov

Interested participants can also listen to the workshop by telephone by calling, toll-free, 888-823-5065. The telephone operator will ask for the passcode - "Business Meeting" - and the session leader - "Jerome Lee". During the workshop, questions and comments can be e-mailed to publicaccess@energy.state.ca.us

Background:

In response to evidence that MTBE is contaminating California's groundwater and surface water, in 1999 Governor Gray Davis ordered the phase-out of MTBE by December 31, 2002.

The Governor also directed the Energy Commission to monitor the transition to MTBE-free gasoline. Consultants retained by the California Energy Commission have been developing extensive fuel supply and demand balances for California and believe that there may be supply shortfalls of gasoline and gasoline-blending components if the phase-out of MTBE proceeds as scheduled.

Because of the importance of this issue, the Fuels and Transportation Committee has asked the consultants to present their findings at a public workshop. Industry experts, government representatives and others are being asked to critique the contractors' assessment and identify actions that could be taken to avoid supply shortfalls.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The ability of the petroleum industry to phase-out MTBE by the end of the year without causing supply problems.
  • The availability of petroleum products from other U.S. and foreign sources to help meet California's growing demand.
  • Any logistical bottlenecks that exist for transporting, receiving, storing and blending petroleum fuels, ethanol and other blending components.
  • Market impact scenarios, including impacts on market participants.
  • Options for addressing potential supply shortfalls.

The notice of this meeting is available on line from the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/mtbe/notices/2002-02-05_workshop_notice.html

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