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Amazing Ethanol Lawsuit Against Oil Companies

I did a double-take when I saw this headline:

Ethanol Lawsuit Proceeds against Oil Companies

It turns out that oil companies – forced to use ethanol in gasoline despite many protests – are now being sued because ethanol blends can corrode fiberglass tanks in boats.

NAPLES, Fla. — A Florida lawsuit against six oil companies that alleges negligence for failing to warn boat owners of potential harm from ethanol-blended gasoline, survived a motion to dismiss from the defendants, NaplesNews.com reported.

Plaintiff attorney Jeffrey Ostrow of Fort Lauderdale said the next step is pursuing certification to become a class-action lawsuit. The intent is to represent all Florida boat owners who have used ethanol-blended fuel and whose boats have been damaged by the fuel, Ostrow said. He filed the lawsuit in August 2008 on behalf of three plaintiffs.

The defendants include Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell Oil, ConocoPhillips and Tower Energy Corp., a California-based independent petroleum wholesaler, the report stated.

Our judicial system never ceases to amaze me. Why not instead go after the lawmakers who thought it would be a good idea to rapidly increase the amount of ethanol in the fuel system without thoughtfully considering the impacts?

At issue is a state law adopted in spring 2008, which states all gasoline sold in Florida must contain 10 percent ethanol, called E10, by the end of 2010 as part of conservation measures. Two exemptions were included allowing ethanol-free gas to be sold for airplanes and boats. About half a dozen other states require ethanol additives in gasoline.

I guess it’s like Willie Sutton’s alleged answer about why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is.” So, why sue oil companies for complying with this mandate that was forced on them? Because that’s where the money is.

January 23, 2009 Posted by | boats, ethanol mandate, litigation | 46 Comments