According to the Boston Globe, a rich Saudi company called SABIC — which happens to be the leading maker of the cancer-causing gasoline additive MTBE — paid lobbyists more than $1.5 million in an attempt to gain protection from lawsuits stemming from the damage caused by the dangerous chemical.
They got what they paid for — the House of Representatives recently passed an energy bill which shielded the company from all lawsuits stemming from MTBE contamination of drinking water. (Surprise, surprise — the measure had strong support from House leader Tom DeLay.)
In low doses, MTBE makes water undrinkable; in higher doses, it causes cancer. The toxin has been detected “in 1,861 water systems in 29 states, serving 45 million Americans. This is up from about 1,500 systems in 19 states in November 2003.”
It’s a sad, sad day when Congress acts to protect Saudi wallets over the health of American citizens.