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Don’t be fooled: The E15 fight ain’t over!

Creators of music like the Meow Mix jingle and the Barney theme song have filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine if their songs were used during interrogations at Guantanamo. The way I see it, given the choice between hearing the Barney theme and waterboarding, the terrorists would pick the latter every time!However, if the CIA wants a less controversial but more torturous technique, I’ve got it — make the terrorists read the latest decision from EPA regarding the E15 debacle. EPA has decided . . . not to decide! Instead of making the obvious correct decision to just say “no” to a petition to increase ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15), they’ve announced a “delay.” Worse, they’re indicating they might decide by next summer to approve a scheme that would allow E15 for newer cars! In other words, a split system.

Good grief! I can see it now. . . arguments at the gas station over which vehicle should go to which pump . . . suspicion at the marina over whether the gas supplier has brought straight gas, E10, E15 or who-knows-what. The EPA seems to acknowledge such potential confusion but says it’s working on labelling ideas. Oh, joy — the popping sound you’re now hearing is my eyes rolling back in my head!

 But what really makes this torture is the fact that we shouldn’t be talking about it at all. Enter retired general Wesley Clark, the lobbyist for the ethanol producers. He claims approving E15 “will create 136,000 new U.S. jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and lessen America’s dependence on imported oil.” What Clark should be saying is he wants EPA to simply boost the money being made by the ethanol producers. That’s what this is really all about. In fact, Clark is even calling on his industry to invest in more ethanol plants in anticipation of an increase to E15.

As to the claim of reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil, I say let’s do it. Not by increasing ethanol, but by accessing more of our own oil. We’ve got it. Those who claim it’s becoming scarce – environmentalists who love the sound of “scarcity” – are like the Bureau of Mines who said U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by 1924!  Or, like former President Jimmy Carter who, in 1977, dazzled us with his claim that we “could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade!” Since then, the world has consumed three times more oil than was in those proven reserves.

Today, our reserves in ANWR and the recently discovered reserves by BP in the Gulf of Mexico can keep up with our demand for decades to come. Our Canadian neighbors may well have more oil (in oil sands) than Saudi Arabia. And, technologies today allow us to find and extract oil and gas reserves in deeper water than ever before.

What’s needed today is more smarts when it comes to energy policies and investments. Ethanol is clearly not a smart play and never has been for a host of reasons. But, in the absence of smarts, we’ll have to continue the battle at EPA over E15 with the ethanol producers. NMMA’s lobbyist Mat Dunn, MRAA’s lobbyist Larry Innis and many of you who responded to this issue by emailing or calling EPA and/or your Congressional representatives, have succeeded is getting EPA to hold off on the decision for the moment. But the fight’s not over, it’s just heating up.


17 comments on “Don’t be fooled: The E15 fight ain’t over!

  1. John D

    I loved your 1st paragraph. It encouraged me to read MORE about E15. And yes, now I will tell you anything you want to know. Except the torture won’t stop will it?

  2. Jesse

    Why does the Marine Industry care about higher ethanol blends being available to consumers? Just use regular gas in your boats! DING DING DING. I am having trouble understanding why you have anything to do with this, except being paid by BIG OIL. If consumers aren’t smart enough to know which fuel they are pumping then they have much bigger issues to deal with. E 15 would replace 900,000 barrels of oil per day. The use of E 15 would remove emissions equivilent to more than 4 million vehicles from the road each year. As EPA itself indicated, the scientific data to date has demonstrated no ill-effects of increased ethanol use in any vehicle currently on the road. The increase in ethanol in conventional fuel will help create a market for future generation biofuels.

  3. steve s

    Norm, two weeks ago you were praising EPA regulation. Now you flip flop. What gives? The bottom line will ALWAYS be, the EPA is bad for the marine industry! They’re a bunch of over paid, under worked, know it alls, that don’t have a clue about the boat business. But they’re all smarter than us because their Ivy League degrees prove they are. Right?

  4. Peter O. Allen, Sr.

    It it my understanding that, on the road, mileage with E10 gasoline had decreased. If that’s true, then boat owners are in big trouble, especially if they are cruisers. The driver of a car or truck just has to keep an eye on the gas gauge and pull into a service station when running low. Cruisers out on open water may have limited options for refueling. Crossing big open water they will have no options and would have to carry extra containers of gasoline on deck. This is dangerous and unnecessary.

    Then of course is the issue of how well the engine(s) will respond to such diluted gasoline, and what maintenance issues arise. I hope that the EPA and Congress will exempt marine users from the burden of E-15 diluted gasoline.

  5. Jesse

    Fill me in Tom. In Marine areas, is there not regular gas available? I assume there is. If you don’t want to use ethanol then don’t use it. E 15 goes much further beyond the Marine Industry.

  6. Byrd Gossett

    Jesse; you gotta be a plant (no pun intended..or maybe it is) for ADM..nobody is THAT immune to the ethanol scam! Right now the Gov’t subsidizes huge amounts of ethanol production. there’s a few reasons for that, and it has nothing to do with reducing fossil fuel usage. Can you say ‘cigarette’?? or: Al Gore’s income from his so-called ‘green corporation’?? Or, ADM Stockholder?? Come on…nobody’s that naive… Here in Georgia, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. And since the ethanol is mixed locally, there is no control over the actual percentage going into the fuel… it might SAY 10%…but who knows. Oh yeah…the EPA…riiight…run by the same people who give you the Post Office!!! Gimmie a freakin’ break!!! Oh yeah, I hope you’ve been following the ‘Global Warming’ scam. If all of this scientific “stuff” was so correct, why implement a campaign to discredit the opposition?? Hey it don’t matter…you guys are goin’ down in Novemebr 2010, and will be gone by 2012… yippie!

  7. Paul H

    Jesse I do a lot of boating in the Northeast and I have never been in a marina where I could choose a fuel that doesn’t have ethanol in it. In some cases you can choose a premium fuel with a higher octane rating because some four stroke motors won’t perform without it. And by the way, I have personally experienced the damage that E10 can do to a marine system. I didn’t need “big oil” to influence my opinion on the matter. Who influenced yours?

  8. bill gardella jr

    Going to E15 most thoughtful folks know is very bad for so many reasons. And I have no idea where Jesse , above, is from, but in CT we can ONLY buy E10 gasoline- hard ot believe some states give you a choice? Even if they do, get ready for the Obama EPA to make E10 or E15 the law of the land, for all 50 states. My service dept will make money short run on this, but E15 will be another nail in the industry’s coffin…..lots of boaters will be so aggraveted, “makes a new swimming pool look so much a beTter use of their discretionary income- so sell the boat!”

  9. dave boso

    What fight? all I hear is a bunch of guys talking and typing, when youall want to start a fight let me know. “I’m as good once as I ever was” We need to get in these EPA slugs faces, as well as the congress.

  10. gordy mckelvey

    I’m all for something better to burn in my boats and automobiles. Ethanol ain’t it. Jesse, try this my friend. Run your car down to as close to empty as possible, fill it with regular grade 100% gasoline. Check your mileage. Fill your car with an ethanol blended fuel. Check your milage again, I’ll bet you $50.00 and a box of donuts that the ethanol blended fuel mileage will be less than the pure gas.

    If that doesn’t convince you, go dig up your 9th grade chemistry book. Check the BTU out put for pure gasoline and then check the ethanol BTU out put. Gas will put out more BTUs.

    If that still isn’t enough “real science” to give you some insight, try cleaning up a carburator that has had ethanol run through it. Pretty gunky job, especially in the middle of a hot July day.

    Ethanol is a band aid at best for our fuel problems. We all just can’t fast forward our existing rolling stock away and go green next week. I’m like a lot of other people that have equipment that was designed to run on 100% gasoline. Most of my equipment ( boats, cars, mowers, etc) are all in great shape and I hope to continue to use them for the forseeable future. I have a substanial investment in this equipment and I can’t afford to make wholesale change. I would like to have a choice and not have a quick fix jammed down my throat by special interest groups that have an agenda to promote and use bad science to get what they want.

  11. Pete

    You don’t get it at all Jesse.
    Ethanol is in all fuels NOW at the roadside gas pumps. whether regular or high test.
    The ethanol is destroying fuels systems in Boats. Anything rubber or plastic is being eaten up
    Aluminum parts are corroding as a result of Ethanol and dissimilar metals in carbs.
    Fuel injection systems are locking up. Injectors and electric pumps.
    Fuel tanks are dissolving.
    This is a result of Ethanol at 10 percent. Wait until it hits 15 percent.
    Don’t let EPA kid you, E15 will be all there is to buy.
    We also see more vehicles with bad fuel pumps an injectors, at $500-$600.00 to replace. It’s happening now.

  12. dave boso

    Man made Global Warming is a hoax, a fraud ,and it has been proved by the hacked emails in England, if you don’t know about them look it up. cause the media is not reporting it for political reasons, of course being the great thinker I am I knew it all along. Therefore there is no need to have any thing that these freaks call Green. It dosen’t help it hurts everybody for no reason.
    Jesse, the Comet is on its way.

  13. Larry Rutter

    The Syntek Global Xtreme Fuel Treatment will already improve your consumption by 15%, allow you to buy regular and get the performance of premium, AND reduce emissions by 30 – 50%. Gas OR Diesel. This is a product that has been time tested by industrial companies for over 20 years and is now being made available to the general public. Enough already with the gripes. Use what’s already on the market.

    If you want to try it, you can buy it at

  14. JohnR

    Syntek looks like a snake oil marketing scam, I doubt it will help anything. E15 is going to be a disaster. Corn ethanol is not a solution for our problems, but neither is drilling in ANWR. There is simply not enough there to make a difference. Oil sands are a disaster as well and a very expensive way to get oil. There are other biofuels that might make a difference but probably not on a large enough scale without some major technical breakthroughs. I predict tough times ahead in the next decade.


    i am still in disbelief that this e15 product is even being considered. i am a 33 year marine industry employee and have over 150 marine mechanic accounts that will all testify that the 2009 boating season saw more carburetor rebuilds than ever before. ethanol can be used in cars because the fuel is normally used within a week or so and a new tank of fuel is then added giving no time for phase separation to occur. boats on the other hand can sit for long periods without being used letting the ethanol separate from the gas and gather water. the public has to wake up to this “watering of the gas” program the oil companies have successfully jammed down our throats and look ahead to the real problems we will be experiencing if this crap is allowed to be marketed. that water burning through the engine turns to steam and what do suppose that extra heat can do to valves? come on public make some noise about this now.

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