Royal Dutch Shell Group .com US: Oil Firms Responsible for Selling Product with 'Malice'


A News item from Business Respect, Issue Number 29, dated 4 May 2002


A federal jury has found two major oil companies acted with "malice" when marketing methy tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) despite knowing that the product posed a severe threat to the environment and human health.


The California jury found that Shell and Lyondell knew that MTBE was a defective product, but pushed its sale nevertheless.


California regulators estimate that 6,700 gasoline storage tanks are now leaking MTBE into the state's groundwater within a half-mile of active wells providing the public with drinking water.


"It was proven that the companies' own scientists for almost a decade were saying, 'Don't put MTBE on the market, or you're going to create a big environmental disaster,'" Communities for a Better Environment lawyer Richard Drury told the San Francisco Chronicle. "The companies put it out anyway. It wasn't an innocent mistake."


Article source: Reuters 


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