press release

Unocal 76 urges drivers to help clear the air; new fuel just one way to reduce smog, pollution

COSTA MESA, Calif., May 31 -- While Saturday's official introduction of cleaner-burning gasoline will immediately reduce smog and pollution throughout California, there are many other ways drivers can help clear the air.

Unocal 76, which made the new state-mandated fuel available to consumers well ahead of the June 1 deadline, urges Californians to take additional steps toward a cleaner, healthier environment. These steps include:

  • RIDESHARE. You can cut down on the pollution coming from motor vehicles by sharing a ride -- even one day a week helps.
  • CONSERVE ENERGY. A year's worth of electricity in the average home sends 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide, and other pollutants, into the air, adding to global warming and day-to-day smog.
  • RECYCLE. Recycled materials give the air a break because they don't have to be burned or buried.
  • BUY PRODUCTS IN THEIR NON-AEROSOL FORMS. The propellants used in aerosol cans of hair spray, deodorants and household products can contribute to smog.
  • PLANT TREES AND CONSIDER LOW-MAINTENANCE LANDSCAPING. Trees add oxygen to the atmosphere, break down some pollutants and reduce dust.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is requiring cleaner- burning gasoline to be sold at all service stations statewide beginning June 1. Unocal 76 is marking the arrival of cleaner-burning gasoline with signs and information at its service stations; some of the trademark Unocal 76 ball signs will be transformed into earth globes.

According to CARB, cleaner-burning gasoline will result in the largest emissions reduction in California in ten years -- about 15 percent less smog-forming emissions than conventional fuel. The new gasoline will help remove 3 million pounds of pollution from California skies, or the equivalent of taking 3.5 million vehicles off California roads every day. By the end of the first year, more than one billion fewer pounds of pollution will have been emitted.

"This is one of the most sweeping and effective efforts to combat smog since the catalytic converter was introduced 20 years ago," said Lawrence M. Higby, president of Unocal's 76 Products Company.

Extensive testing by CARB found that, in general, vehicles perform as well on the new cleaner-burning gasoline as they do on conventional fuel. In addition, the new gasoline was tested in utility, lawn and garden equipment, agricultural equipment, motorcycles and marine engines, and was found to work just as well as current gasoline products.

CARB estimates that consumers will see a one to three percent overall reduction in gas mileage, which translates to less than one-half mile per gallon. For example, a vehicle that travels 22 miles per gallon today will get about 21.8 miles per gallon using the new cleaner- burning gasoline. Of course, there are plenty of other factors that can positively affect gasoline mileage, such as avoiding sudden starts and stops or driving at high speeds, keeping the engine properly tuned and maintaining the correct tire pressure.

Orange County-based 76 Products Company, the marketing, refining, product supply and transportation unit of Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL), offers gasoline plus a variety of convenience products and services to customers through a network of approximately 1,200 branded Unocal 76 retail sites in the West and Hawaii. The company operates three California refineries with a crude oil processing capacity of 250,000 barrels per day.

76 Products Company is rapidly transforming a number of its sites into retail convenience centers, which are custom-designed to provide speedy service and quality products. These centers, some operated by franchisees of the company itself, offer a variety of services including brand-name fast food such as Carl's Jr., Burger King and Subway; 76 FastBreak convenience stores; 76 AutoPulse Service Centers; 76 ProWash car washes; and Bank of America Versateller (ATM) machines. The company is actively pursuing alliances with quality brand partners to build a leadership position in gasoline sales and convenience retailing.

Tips for reducing smog were provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). For more information on how to help clear the air, call the AQMD at 800-242-4666.

Updated: May 1996