Conifer Energy issues White Paper on MTBE

Conifer Energy, a provider of insurance and risk management programs for the energy industry, has issued a white paper concerning the significant environmental impact relating to the gasoline additive MTBE. The white paper is titled: "MTBE... The Environmental Crisis of the Next Decade?"...

Sep 19th, 2004

PEABODY, MA, Sept. 16, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Conifer Energy, a provider of insurance and risk management programs for the energy industry, has issued a white paper concerning the significant environmental impact relating to the gasoline additive MTBE. The white paper is titled: "MTBE... The Environmental Crisis of the Next Decade?"

The United States is faced with sharply increasing numbers of groundwater contamination discoveries relating to MTBE. Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is a chemical compound used almost exclusively as a fuel additive in motor gasoline. Since 1992, MTBE has been used in some gasoline to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act passed by Congress. It is currently added to approximately 87% of the gasoline consumed by the United States. Environmental problems with the compound led the EPA to provide an advance notice of its intent to eliminate or limit its use as a fuel additive. While the use of MTBE has helped to reduce harmful air emissions, it also has caused widespread and serious contamination of the nation's drinking water supplies.

The potential cost to remediate the US water supplies is estimated at $29 billion. A number of major insurance carriers, until recently, did not include MTBE exclusions in their property or liability policies. While some insurance carriers have established additional reserves in recognition of the growing MTBE exposures, others have not. Therefore, Conifer believes that the potential for a financial disaster similar to that provided by asbestos still exists.

This entire white paper document can be requested from the Conifer Energy website homepage: www.coniferenergy.com

About Conifer
Conifer Energy is a division of Conifer Insurance Agency, Inc. Conifer is among the leading providers of risk management, insurance, employee benefits and investment services in the United States. The Company is a leader in providing comprehensive insurance programs to fuel oil dealers and has been instrumental in the development of insurance provider programs, from coverage forms to effective loss prevention programs. Conifer has developed strategic relationships with many insurance companies to provide Property and Excess Liability coverage for the Energy Industry. In addition, the Company has developed proprietary safety and loss prevention programs that are provided through Conifer's Safety and Loss Prevention unit.

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