Comment Deadline July 27
THE ISSUE: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 federal law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When it was written, it assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise and mandated escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined steadily, which today forces more ethanol into less gasoline.
To keep up with this RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15% ethanol) into the marketplace. Even though E15 is prohibited from being used in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawnmowers and leaf blowers, as well as any vehicle made before 2001, this fuel can now be found in 24 states at the very same pumps as E10 (10% ethanol).
Millions of recreational boaters fill their boat’s fuel tanks at roadside gas stations where the higher blend ethanol fuels are often the cheapest fuel at the pump. The only warning you may have is one sticker mixed in with all the other warning labels on the pump. This creates a huge potential for misfueling and puts boaters at risk of using fuel that will damage their engines.
ACTION NEEDED NOW: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply for 2015 and 2016. If adopted, these proposed levels will require the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level fuel blends (including E15) into more gas stations.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges recreational boaters to send a message to the EPA now by going to http://goo.gl/CkfOtK and demand that the agency lower the ethanol mandate to ensure an adequate supply of safe fuel.
Comment deadline is July 27.
BoatUS has additional information on the RFS at www.BoatUS.com/gov/RFS.asp.