Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Christie Whitman is considering the unprecedented step of reducing the number of gasoline blends used around the country to lower air pollution, according to USA Today
.Such a move could help prevent price spikes and gas shortages like the one that hit the Midwestlast summer. In an interview with USA Today
, Whitman said the EPA is considering limiting states to three or four formulas, often called "boutique blends," of gasoline, instead of the dozen or so currently inuse.She emphasized, however, that this approach has problems. "It is very much a states' rights issue," Whitman said. "Boutique fuels are aresult of states making independent decisions about (meeting) their clean-air requirements ... That's not to say we wouldn't eventually cut the number of fuels."