Dealers and their staff are taking time today to let U.S. senators know that adding more ethanol to America’s gas supply is unsupportable for the 12 million boats and millions of other off-road engines in use today.
What’s triggered the need for this aggressive move right now? Bluntly, it’s to head off a backroom deal by pro-corn senators that would overturn methane emissions regulations in exchange for the ability to push more E15 into our gas pumps nationwide.
We know there is no doubt that E15 is destructive to our customers’ engines. We also must recognize that an estimated 97 percent of our boating customers fill up at gas stations, not at gas docks offering ethanol-free fuel. And we know more E15 in the marketplace will lead to (1) more misfueling and (2) the production and availability of ethanol-free gas will be greatly reduced or could disappear altogether.
Two actions today
- Click on this link: tell Congress and let your senators know that the nation’s 12 million boating families, and the industry, cannot stand for more E15 and want the broken Renewable Fuels Standard fixed now.
- Ask each of your employees to “take 5” today and do the same: tell Congress
Are we right?
Damage to millions of small engines notwithstanding, are we right in calling on Congress to take action on a broken fuel standard? Absolutely. When the standard was created in 2007, there were several assumptions that have proven dead wrong.
First, a report published in 1999 by the Clinton administration entitled “Biofuels: A Solution to Climate Change” was cited as a major reason for the RFS. But it was wrong. Scientists know now that machines running on ethanol emit vast amounts of acetaldehyde that reacts with sunlight to form ozone. The end product is smog. It will nearly double greenhouse emissions.
Second, it was claimed that the fuel standard would make America less dependent on foreign oil. We are less dependent today. But ethanol is not the reason. More fuel-efficient cars use less gas and fracking and increased domestic oil production are making us far less dependent.
Third, legislators in 2007 assumed that American gasoline consumption would rise as it had done steadily for decades. However, fuel consumption has dropped since 2007. Despite that decrease in consumption, the amount of biofuel mandatory in the overall supply is set to increase each year, instead of accounting for a percentage of fuel consumed.
Bottom line: The demand by Congress 10 years ago to put ethanol in gasoline, while well-intentioned, created a huge new industry and profit center for corn ethanol producers. And they are anxious to cash in more. If increased ethanol in gas is allowed to expand beyond its current level, it will be on the backs of boaters, millions of small-engine owners and antique-car enthusiasts. With no environmental benefit — and no national security benefit — it’s a no brainer that Congress must act to revise the Renewable Fuels Standard.