The team at Houseboat has breaking news from our friends at BoatUS, who are urging us to get politically involved with a new bill designed to establish safer boating fuel standards.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) says that new bipartisan legislation introduced yesterday would help assure people won’t fuel up their recreational boats with unsafe fuel.
Of the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015, BoatUS Government Affairs Program Manager Nicole Palya Wood says, “The new bill would recognize the failure of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its out of date ethanol-mandate, and make the necessary changes so there is a safe fuel for all gasoline powered engines.”
Wood explains that BoatUS is in favor of this bill due to the fact that, “The RFS Reform Act acknowledges the reality of America’s declining fuel consumption, allows for the investment in other more compatible biofuels, and erases the twisted math that forces more ethanol onto a marketplace that neither demands it, nor can physically absorb it at safe levels.”
A survey conducted by AAA of auto manufacturers found that only about 12 million of the over 240 million light-duty automobiles driven today are approved to use E15 gas. Furthermore, any damage from this use of higher ethanol fuels (E15 or greater) will void the manufacturers’ warranties of many cars and trucks.
Sobering results, especially considering that there are no marine engines in the states that are warrantied to run on any gas blend exceeding 10% ethanol (E10).
The RFS written in 2005 assumed that our gasoline use would continue to increase and thus mandated rising amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel; unfortunately, quite the opposite has happened as gas usage from 2005 steadily dropped. Now the unintended affect is the enforcement of more ethanol being added into our nation’s gas supply, resulting in the EPA permitting fuel containing up to 15% ethanol (E15) into the market in 2010—a fuel many gasoline engines are not intended to use.
While it’s illegal to pump E15 into boat engines, motorcycles, snowmobiles, small engines like lawnmowers, and vehicles made before 2001, E15 is now found in over 100 gas stations in 16 states, at the same pumps where E10 and ethanol-free gasoline are found.
You can see why the potential for misfueling is so prevalent. Nine out of every ten boaters in our country own a trailerable boat that is most frequently topped off at roadside gas stations, where the higher blend ethanol fuels are often the least expensive option at the pump.
The Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015 will bring down the ethanol requirements to E10 (10% ethanol), prohibit the use of corn-based ethanol in the RFS, mandate more advanced biofuels and consider actual real-world production of biofuels when establishing requirements.
Already supported by 30 co-sponsors, BoatUS is reaching out to boaters everywhere to contact their US Representative in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act of 2015.
We boaters can ask our Congressman to lend their support by co-sponsoring the bill by visiting http://goo.gl/2H8vI9. After all, the safe and protected use of our boats is something worth standing up for.