END THE BLEND!
DON'T BUST MY BOAT! Just say NO to E15!
BY RYCK LYDECKER, A SPECIAL REPORT FROM BOATU.S., THE BOATER'S ADVOCATE
Ethanol mandate frustrates boaters
When federal regulators asked the public's opinion about putting more ethanol
in the U.S. gasoline supply, boaters responded with “Don’t do it” based on experience
Last June, as part of its normal rule-making process under fed- eral law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked
the public to weigh in on the agency’s
plans to increase the amount of ethanol
to be blended into gasoline next year.
For 2017, the EPA set the number at
18. 8 billion gallons, up from this year’s
18. 11 billion gallons. Upon learning
this, the BoatU.S. Government Affairs
department sent an email alert to Boat
U.S. members, who responded to the
EPA with thousands of comments, over-
whelmingly telling the feds, loud and
clear, “No! No more ethanol in our gas.”
Why? Because over the last decade
boaters have seen and experienced –
often dangerously firsthand – significant
and expensive engine breakdowns and
fuel-system failures attributable to the
10-percent ethanol blend (E10) now
found in more than 97 percent of the
nation’s motor-fuel supply. If the EPA’s
proposal for next year stands, it will
force even more water-absorbing etha-
nol into boaters’ fuel tanks, not to men-
tion those of motorcyclists, car collec-
tors, and millions of small-engine (lawn
mower, chain saw, emergency generator,
garden tractor, weed-trimmer) owners.
Under a 2005 law that created the
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – in an
effort to increase the amount of renew-
able fuels we use in our day-to-day lives
and decrease the amount of fossil fuels
– the EPA set an increasing number of
gallons of ethanol that must be blended
into the nation’s fuel supply every year.
The law sets hard numbers of gallons,
not percentages, to be used by cer-
tain target dates. At the time, Congress
thought adding renewable fuels like eth-
anol – most of it distilled from corn – to
gasoline would have air-quality benefits
and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign
oil. Also at the time, experts assumed
gasoline use would steadily increase
when, in fact, the opposite has happened.
“Since 2005, gasoline usage has dropped
steadily,” notes David Kennedy, BoatU.S.
Program Manager for Government
Affairs. “Today there’s less gasoline to
mix with the increasing amounts of ethanol called for in the law. We’ve hit what’s