A May 27 story on Page 5, ``Mobil to sell composites unit to managers,'' reported a series of unfounded allegations regarding testing of Mobil Chemical Co.'s Trex composite guardrail offset blocks. These same unfair and discredited charges have been made repeatedly by officers of Ad-vanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc., a company that manufactures products that unsuccessfully compete with Trex. AERT's motivation? In a 1994 case between Mobil and AERT, a federal court invalidated four AERT patents. The jury found AERT intentionally had made fraudulent misrepresentations to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deceive PTO into awarding AERT patent protection. After losing the case on its merits, AERT President Joe Brooks repeatedly has made rash and unfounded accusations against Mobil.
Mobil's composite guardrail offset blocks, made from recycled plastic grocery sacks and waste wood, impressively passed Federal Highway Administration crash tests, and have been approved for use by many state transportation departments. They have performed to the satisfaction of highway officials in states where they are used.
Contrary to AERT allegations, no FHWA crash test data were removed from an approval letter sent by a Mobil employee to the Florida Department of Transpor-tation. In fact, those test results clearly demonstrated the superior quality of Trex offset blocks.
The recipient was told in advance the letter would be shortened to include only information directly related to the application for approval to use the offset blocks in wood guardrail systems. Florida officials wrote that ``none of the pertinent information on FDOT's review of Mobil's request for offset block approval was withheld from the FDOT.''
None of the other state highway departments that may have received the abbreviated letter have ever suggested they were misled. They had access to the abridged letter through the regional office of the FHWA. In fact, they based their purchase on FHWA crash test results and product approval reports supplied by the FHWA, not on letters from vendors.
Trex is a durable, high-quality product that has passed every crash test ever conducted on it. The allegations made by a competitor with an axe to grind have been reviewed and repeatedly rejected by state and federal highway officials.
Robert G. Matheny
Mobil Chemical Co.
Yes, indeed, that ignorance is a killer
The June 3 Viewpoint, ``Igno-rance is the enemy,'' states in the third paragraph, ``Less than half knew that the Earth rotates around the sun yearly ...'' I would like to enlighten the writer that the Earth orbits the sun and rotates on its axis. Even the cartoonist seemed to catch the faux pas. Thanks for the laugh.
Readers in R&D
Willamette Valley Co.