WASHINGTON-- ``Boutique" gasoline blends to help states meet clean air rules are not a factor in higher prices as President Bush has suggested, says a draft of a study ordered by the White House.
Although often cited as a reason for volatile gasoline prices, so-called ``boutique fuels" have not caused unusual distribution problems or contributed to price increases, the report concludes.
The review was conducted by a task force headed by the Environmental Protection Agency and involving representatives from the 50 states as well as the Energy and Agriculture departments.
Facing growing public outrage over soaring gasoline prices, Bush ordered the study on April 25 in a speech in which he attributed high gas prices in part to the growth of special fuels.
``We . . . need to confront the larger problem of too many localized fuel blends, which are called boutique fuels," the president told a renewable fuels conference, adding that this has produced ``an uncoordinated, overly complex set of fuel rules" that ``tends to cause the price to go up."
But the task force found otherwise, according to its report to be released possibly today.