Issue 1 is definitely legit. I only wish issue 2 could be as easily answered.
In 1999 Governor Davis announced that MBTE would be phased out of California
Gasoline over a period of years; the one thing he did right. We were
immediately notified by the Canadian company producing it that they would sue
California if they stopped using the product MTBE. Ya gotta love that.
>From the Net:
Brief background note: California switched a few years ago to a new,
reformulated gas. A few other states (Wisconsin and Texas) had had the new gas
several years before California switched. The new gas is NOT the same as the
oxygenated (ethanol-added) gas which we've had to use in the winters for many
years. It's billed as being cleaner-burning, but it's not clear whether that
takes into account the reduced fuel economy (the official reports predict
anything from a 1% to 3% drop, but most real people seem to be seeing anywhere
a 4% to 30% drop. The new gas is considerably more expensive, and that's
before you take the reduced fuel economy into account.
Another aspect which disturbed me was the casual way in which all the
official propaganda mentions that "some older or high mileage vehicles" might
problems involving fuel lines damaged from the new gas. You'd think that
heightened likelihood of engine fires might be enough to get people to take
but no one seemed to care. I've taken to carrying a fire extinguisher in my
car, just in case.