Refiners sued by Vermont over MTBE

BP, Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) are among two dozen U.S. refiners sued by Vermont's AG and accused of polluting the state’s groundwater with the gasoline additive MTBE.

The suit is one of scores of claims filed by cities, states and individuals around the U.S. against oil refiners, retailers and distributors over MTBE; an XOM spokesperson says the basis of MTBE litigation is flawed because companies are being held liable for including oxygenates in gasoline that were required by Congress and approved by federal regulators.

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Comments (23)
  • Brian Bobbitt
    , contributor
    Comments (2084) | Send Message
    Isn't there a way to have a legal limit to lawyers. I mean the government is rife with them. Do you suppose it is the real seat of our troubles?


    I think soi.


    Capt. Brian
    The Lost Navigator
    5 Jun 2014, 05:08 PM Reply Like
  • Manitobatex
    , contributor
    Comments (1220) | Send Message
    Yes lawyers, those good olde boys. Certainly not loved here in Texas.
    I have been partners with and been close friends with others and been on a client only basis with others. Two were disbarred, 3 more should have been disbarred and only 2 were credible and of those two one was a fantastic tactical legal genius and the other dealt strictly with Lemmon related cases. They should be grouped with the Leech Family and I mean the blood sucking type.
    The big oil companies should have & could still form an alliance to fight back by hiring their own Law firm on a full time basis where they concentrate on one legal field and are WELL funded.
    5 Jun 2014, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • JDoe20
    , contributor
    Comments (1410) | Send Message
    In the words of the Eagles song Get Over It!:


    But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
    The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
    Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
    You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
    But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing


    Now if we could add the government jerks we might have a chance.
    5 Jun 2014, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • GeekOnTheHill
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
    "Loser pays" would be a good start.
    5 Jun 2014, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1736) | Send Message
    Time for the popcorn. Legal compliance is generally considered an exemption from these types of lawsuits. Vermont is going to have to choose between suing the federal government or ending their case. That the state AG did not consider such a basic legal principle shows that they are likely going to be too dumb to end this case ASAP.


    Of course, this guy graduated from Cornell, so this level of idiocy is to be expected.
    5 Jun 2014, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • watermark302
    , contributor
    Comments (415) | Send Message
    We are a nation of laws. By extension, we are a nation of lawyers. Lord have mercy!
    5 Jun 2014, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (6277) | Send Message
    It's beginning. The anti-fossil fuel crowd can't stand seeing what a success the new drilling methods are and how they could eventually make the U.S. energy self-sufficient and maybe even a net exporter.


    They want conventional sources of energy gone forever, replaced by windmills, solar and other pie in the sky schemes, and will throw up any roadblocks they can, legal or otherwise. Given the atmosphere in D.C. these days, they could very well ultimately prevail.


    Fitting that one of the prime sources of this nonsense is Vermont.
    5 Jun 2014, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • monkey see
    , contributor
    Comments (617) | Send Message
    Congress did not not mandate the use of MTBE. Ethanol or other substances could have been used.


    Congress may be bad but the oil companies need to take responsibility for their own bad decisions.


    If you don't like the legal system here would you prefer the one in Russia, China or Turkey? As a non- practicing lawyer I can tell you there is a lot wrong with our legal system but I don't know of a country with a better legal system.


    Tell me, which country's legal system you'd prefer.
    5 Jun 2014, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (6277) | Send Message
    It's a slam dunk that there would have some challenge to "ethanol or other substances". These people don't want fossil fuel in any way, shape or form, period.


    BTW, I spent a lot of time in VT skiing. Those latter day hippies didn't mind at all polluting the air with their wood stoves and fireplaces (some even burn coal), and you could smell it in coming in the ventilation system of aircraft a few thousand feet up.


    Oh yes, trial lawyers with their frivolous and crooked lawsuits are really beneficial to the country. Can you say Patton Boggs? How about Donzinger? John Edwards, maybe?
    5 Jun 2014, 06:21 PM Reply Like
  • GeekOnTheHill
    , contributor
    Comments (49) | Send Message
    I prefer England's, personally.
    5 Jun 2014, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message


    The capacity was not even in place for enough ethanol at the time, to satisfy the oxygen mandate.


    Even had they done so, The customers of cars would be suing instead, since most of the cars would have has a hard time handling it back then.


    Lawsuits for warranty expenses from automakers, would likely resulted as



    Oxygenation to reduce CO emissions in the winter months, only works on carburetors, not modern closed loop fuel injection systems.


    Ethanol causes, extreme corrosion in many fuel system components, especially carburetors.


    You guys that want to punish "Greedy Big Oil" for providing the needs of society, make me laugh.
    6 Jun 2014, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • Eric E Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
    Ethanol is available and the maker of that product should be sued also for damaging the ground water with their nitrogen fertilizer used to grow the corn which is used to make the ethanol.
    6 Jun 2014, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Ford289HiPo
    , contributor
    Comments (1049) | Send Message
    ""Congress did not not mandate the use of MTBE.""


    But they sure fell in line with mandating ethanol as soon as ADM saw profits in it.


    Tell me, since you say Con-gress didn't mandate MTBE, who's wise idea was it to put additives like MTBE in gasoline?
    9 Jun 2014, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
    The EPA mandated fuel oxygenation to reduce CO emissions in certain areas during the winter months. They did not mandate how it should have been accomplished


    MTBE or ethanol were the only viable ingredients, for oxygenation.


    Due to the problems with automakers and corrosion with ethanol, MTBE was mostly chosen.


    Once almost all cars were equipped with Closed loop fuel injection, the oxygenation benefit became null & void.


    The Farm lobby now addicted to the money then used "energy independence" as the justification, to continue mandating it's (ethanol's)use. It is under that guise it is still being promoted and mandated to this day.
    9 Jun 2014, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • nikkor
    , contributor
    Comments (118) | Send Message
    One thing people haven't considered here is just how inept BP's lawyers are. Didn't they make some pretty bad tactical errors right after the gulf oil spill? The guys from Vermont May have a shot!
    5 Jun 2014, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • daphnex2
    , contributor
    Comments (127) | Send Message
    Vermont just wants cash.........they don't care who they ruin in the process.
    5 Jun 2014, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • Ble6750
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Why is it not possible to express a negative opinion about something and within this expression discover the desire for something BETTER ? Why is the only alternative to our legal system one which is WORSE? Is there not room for improvement in a different direction ? Not a direction which involves another ( nation's ) system which is not operating as well-----functionally or morally. To compare a half-rotten piece of fruit with one which is completely decayed is hardly a workable or productive method of progression.
    5 Jun 2014, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (991) | Send Message
    Congressional idiots mandate another bad law that hurts the environment (while claiming it helps) and then allow those forced to comply with the law to be sued for compliance. Absurd liberal logic!
    5 Jun 2014, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • NUNAY the KING
    , contributor
    Comments (307) | Send Message
    These catch-22 situations of Congress making poor law, so that later, lawyers can sue companies, has got to stop. I think a great deal of this madness would end if - once each year - Congress was forced to vote on the WORST LAW OF THE YEAR, and the winning recipient received the death penalty. Maybe then, we could get some decent legislation.
    6 Jun 2014, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • Charlie Peters
    , contributor
    Comments (58) | Send Message
    The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) collects $billions$ using “Wallet Flushing” car tax. Is it time for CA AG Kamala Harris EPA GMO ethanol fuel waiver conversation?


    Dr. Stan’s California water supply opinion

    6 Jun 2014, 02:34 AM Reply Like
  • johnch789
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
    maybe this will stimulate a dialogue about all the above comments related to over regulation causing nightmares, under regulation ... hmmmmmm ok maybe that would be a bit screwed too
    6 Jun 2014, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (6277) | Send Message
    Serves any company right for doing business in the People's Republic of Vermont.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
    Yes, they should not sell gasoline there. Let them use Whale oil or coal to power their cars.
    10 Jun 2014, 03:20 PM Reply Like
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