Davis Delays Ban of MTBE
Davis said that the state's gasoline will be MTBE-free by January 2004. He also said the delay will allow a more orderly transition and protect California drivers from paying as much as $3 a gallon at the pump.
The announcement has been met with criticism from municipal water officials and environmentalist who noted that a study directed by the state continues to find MTBE, a possible carcinogen, leaking into ground water. The Association of California Water Agencies said MTBE has caused the contamination and closure of dozens of drinking water wells throughout the state, affecting the water supply for thousands of Californians.