Phase Out of Leaded Gasoline
The Clean Air Act of 1970 gave the government the power to better regulate gasoline. In 1973, the EPA mandated the production of unleaded gasoline as a means of protecting catalytic converters, devices used to limit the pollutant emissions of automobiles. (Leaded gasoline proved completely incompatible with the devices.) The phase out of leaded gasoline didn’t begin until 1976, with further reductions in 1985 and 1986. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act required the complete elimination of lead from gasoline by 1996.
Cry Wolf Quotes
The restrictions make us waste oil every time we make gasoline [thus forcing costs up].
It would cost us more to produce high octane, unleaded fuel; it would cost the consumer more to buy it; and it would cost the country more in terms of its overall consumption of crude oil.
There is no evidence that lead in the atmosphere, from autos or any other source, poses a health hazard.
[Removing lead from gasoline] threatens the jobs of the 14 million Americans directly dependent and the 29 million Americans indirectly dependent on the petrochemical industry for employment.
Backgrounders & Briefs
This immense article is an intricately detailed history of leaded gasoline, from the industry's early cover-ups to their attempts to defeat EPA regulations.
First-person historical analysis of the leaded gasoline fight.