Pop your knuckles and get to work, because BoatU.S. is redoubling their call to action regarding protecting the integrity of the nation’s fuel supply. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments now on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply for 2015 and 2016. If this proposal is adopted, we will be facing the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level fuel blends (including E15 or 15% ethanol) into more gas stations. This is a problem for houseboaters everywhere because marine engines are built to only work with up to 10% ethanol and it is prohibited to use gas containing more than 10% ethanol in all marine engines.
Please take a moment now to send a message here urging the EPA to lower the ethanol mandates to ensure an adequate supply of fuel that will work in all of our boats.
Here’s a little background info in case you need to jog your memory—the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 law that requires the blending of biofuels (such as corn-ethanol) into our gasoline. BoatU.S. points out that this law was written under the assumption that America’s use of gasoline would keep rising, requiring escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. However, since 2005, the nation’s gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily and now this law forces more ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline. In multiple studies, E15 has been proven to damage boat engines, and it is also prohibited from use in snowmobile, motorcycle, and lawnmower engines, as well as in cars manufactured before 2001. E15 and higher blends are currently in 24 states, often at the same pumps as E10 gas, with only a sticker among the other warning labels to warn you of its ethanol content. As you can see, this is a huge potential for mis-fueling and could put your houseboat or runabout at risk of engine damage if E15 fuel is accidentally used.
Boaters, let’s help each other out and take action to let the EPA know we all care about the ethanol level in the fuel for our boats. Forward this call to action to your family and friends and let’s take a stand.