STATEMENT FROM THE CENTER FOR JUSTICE & DEMOCRACY
ON OIL INDUSTRY IMMUNITY LEGISLATION
New York, NY - Today, the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School joined several other national consumer groups in sending a letter to the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, strongly opposing the “Domestic Fuels Protection Act of 2012.” The Subcommittee is holding a hearing today on this bill.
As the letter notes, this bill would “provide broad liability exemptions to fuel producers, engine manufacturers and retailers of virtually all transportation fuels and fuel additives such as methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and 15 percent ethanol (E15) blend.… [This bill] gives immunity to makers of defective fuel products, and shields owners and operators of leaking underground storage tanks from legal action. The bill passes associated risks onto consumers, who are left exposed to billions of dollars in potential damages with no means of recourse. Additionally, these exemptions will likely endanger public health and consumer safety.”
Joanne Doroshow, Executive Director of the Center for Justice & Democracy, noted, “Thousands of types of fuels and fuel additives are covered by the immunity provisions in this legislation. One such fuel additive, MTBE, is a highly toxic chemical that has been added to gasoline since the late 1970s and has contaminated water supplies in every state in the nation. By providing immunity, this legislation would not only endanger public health and safety, but would shift MTBE remediation costs for this damage onto taxpayers.”