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BP Begins Limited Marketing of "Bassoline"
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LINTHICUM, Maryland - With U.S. gas prices inching toward the $3 a gallon mark, petroleum producers are looking to cash in on alternative fuel sources. "Our research here is generally geared toward exploring solar power," explained BP Solar Research Director Cassidy Montgomery, "But we have a few pet projects that lie outside that. This is the big one." Montgomery is referring to BP's latest alternative fuel offering, Bassoline. "The name is misleading," admitted Montgomery, "Since we don't actually use any species of bass. Due to its ready availability and low cost, we have been distilling Broad Whitefish carcasses. And unlike crude oil, we turn about 28% of the input materials into fuel. It's a lower input cost, and a higher return. We couldn't be happier, and the consumers can't help but like it." In test markets, the fish-based fuel is selling for $1.20 a gallon, nearly half the cost of an equivalent gallon of gasoline.

"Nobody's going to want their Camry smelling like a cannery."
-- anonymous Bassoline tester
"The car seems to run OK," said one tester that asked to remain anonymous, "But there is a distinct fishy odor that they need to work out of it. People put up with diesel, but this is over the top. Nobody's going to want their Camry smelling like a cannery."

The smell is the only complaint reported among those interviewed, but it was a determinative factor. Said Joy Hatfield, "There's no way I'd buy this stuff, no matter what they price it at. My kids all complain that the back of the car smells like tuna fish. I haven't used it in three weeks and I can still smell it."

Testers, however, aren't the only ones with complaints. Filip Phrye, of the Wildlife Conservation Foundation, explained, "BP's research into the 'availability' of broad whitefish is woefully flawed. We don't know enough about that species to say anything definitive about it, much less that there are enough in the wild to make them into a fuel source. We are in negotiations with BP to release their environmental impact studies. The fact that they have not yet released them says volumes."

"Our studies have been thorough and accurate," responded Montgomery, "British Petroleum has the finest environmental record of any petroleum distilling company on the planet, and you can be sure that we will do everything necessary both to preserve this planet, and provide the economical energy options that today's consumers demand."

Bassoline will be available nationwide in the fall of 2005. For more information about Bassoline, visit BP's alternative fuels site.
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