1954 American Petroleum Institute Smoke and Fumes Committee Article “The Petroleum Industry Sponsors Air Pollution Research”

This document is a 1954 article written by Vance Jenkins on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute’s Smoke and Fumes Committee, titled “The Petroleum Industry Sponsors Air Pollution Research.”  The article reveals that oil industry executives were aware that air pollution could become a “very serious problem” as early as the 1920’s. Jenkins argues that government regulation cannot solve the air pollution problem, stating “the worst thing that can happen, in many instances, is the hasty passage of a law or laws for the control of a given air pollution situation.” Jenkins goes further, discounting a scientific theory of the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District that L.A. smog was attributable to the evaporation of cracked gasoline from oil refineries. Jenkins acknowledges that the theory, widely accepted by the public, could be dangerous to the oil industry.  In response, Jenkins argues that further Smoke and Fumes Committee research is necessary before government regulation can be effective.

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