Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Source: By Urban Air Initiative • Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2018

After years of research, the Urban Air Initiative is proud to announce the release of the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt series.

The issue at hand is simple: There is a war going on over what you put in your vehicle’s gas tank.

Many of us don’t think much about what goes into our gasoline. Most of us just figure someone, somewhere, has decided that what we purchase at the pump isn’t going to harm us. The problem is this: Gasoline is made up of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent various petroleum products. There’s no such thing as pure gasoline. A large portion of those petroleum products are classified as highly toxic carcinogens that can lead to real health issues and negative effects on the environment. Those carcinogens are called aromatics, and they include benzene, toluene and xylene (BTEX).

Though you may not know the technical terms for the chemicals in your gas tank or what comes out of your tailpipe, they are not healthy. In light of this, Congress added amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990 in an effort to minimize a specific aromatic pollution called mobile source air toxics (MSATs). Congress directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control these hazardous air pollutants to the greatest degree of emission reduction achievable.

What does that mean? In the simplest terms, it means that the EPA was charged with getting rid of as much of the bad stuff in gasoline as possible. That’s a very clear directive. A directive that is not being followed.

In this series, we dig into the history, the science and the public policy to understand the full scope of why ethanol is being limited from protecting public health. You can read the series at Click here for Biofuels Digest coverage of our research. It’s going to take all of demanding cleaner fuels to prompt change.