N.H. case vs. 2 big oil firms begins

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CONCORD, N.H. — A lawyer says research done by one of two major oil companies on trial in New Hampshire concludes the additive MTBE should not be added to gasoline.


The state launched its case against ExxonMobil and Citgo on Monday.


The state says the companies should pay $700 million to monitor and clean up groundwater contamination caused by MTBE — now banned in New Hampshire.


Lawyers for the companies say they have cleaned up their own sites and that contamination elsewhere was caused by third parties not named in the suit.


Jessica Grant, who represents the state, showed a 1984 ExxonMobil memo in her opening statement saying MTBE is not to be added to gasoline.


The companies’ lawyers hadn’t addressed jurors yet.


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