This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 15, 2003

ChevronTexaco to Use Ethanol in Southern California by May

ChevronTexaco announced on January 8th that it will discontinue its use of MTBE in gasoline blends sold in southern California by May, switching instead to ethanol. In northern California, the company relies primarily on a non-oxygenated blend of gasoline, but plans to completely phase out its use of MTBE by the state-mandated deadline of December 2003. With that announcement, ChevronTexaco became the last major refiner in California to commit to phasing out its use of MTBE. According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), ChevronTexaco controls 18 percent of the retail gasoline market in the state, which means that the producers of more than 80 percent of the gasoline in the state have committed to phasing out MTBE. See the press releases from ChevronTexaco and the RFA.

The U.S. ethanol fuel industry continues to grow. A new farmer-owned plant capable of producing 45 million gallons of ethanol per year started up in late November, and construction began in December on a plant that will be capable of producing 40 million gallons of ethanol per year. In November, the industry set another production record, averaging 166,000 barrels per day.