Arco Committed to Cleaning Up the Air

While I appreciate the need for journalists to remain objective and skeptical about claims made by others, I think you overstepped that boundary in last month's article ("Arco Keeping Cap on New Unleaded Fuel," Dec. 27) by implying that the company's decision to market EC-1 Regular as a replacement for leaded gasoline only was based on ulterior motives.

To me, the implication of the article was that Atlantic Richfield Co. could have and should have made the fuel available to the largest market segment--unleaded gasoline users--instead of the relatively small segment represented by leaded regular users.

At this time we have limited EC-1 production capabilities, so we decided to use EC-1 where it will do the most good--in the pre-1975 cars without catalytic converters.

Fortunately, a great number of regulators, legislators and consumers believe that Arco's marketing of EC-1 is sincere and straightforward. They appreciate the expense Arco has undertaken and the company's effort to bring reformulated, low-emission gasoline to the marketplace.

Because of the high stakes involved in alternative fuels and the environmental significance of reformulated gasolines, we are extremely sensitive to this issue. Arco will continue to contribute to the improvement of air quality in Southern California. We believe that EC-1 Regular and its successors will benefit all of us.

GEORGE BABIKIAN

Los Angeles

The writer is president of Arco Products Co.

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