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The gas war between Bill Orr and the government

Bill Orr.

Our September 4 feature, "Nobody’s Fuel," delves into inventor Bill Orr’s efforts to develop a cheap, octane-boosting gas additive that could save the nation hundreds of thousands of barrels of auto fuel a day, and the criminal investigation and conviction that resulted. The government says Orr’s a fraud; Orr and his supporters say he’s the victim of an EPA vendetta.

Who's right? There's more information about both arguments below.

To learn about the underlying case from Orr’s side, check out this summary of the National Alternative Fuels Association lawsuit charging bad science by the EPA, which was thrown out on a technicality. The EPA’s primer on alternative fuels offers a different perspective.

In the article, Orr’s lawyer claims that prosecutors engaged in underhanded tactics to win a conviction. The prosecution’s formal response to the court was filed too late to be included in the feature, but it makes interesting reading, not only for its recitation of the evidence against Orr but its minimizing of the fact that prosecutors mischaracterized the testimony of Orr’s former business associate, Scott Shires. -- Alan Prendergast

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts