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MRAA Opposes E-15

Wednesday, April 9, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Larry Innis
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Increasing ethanol content in gasoline is bad for boats and the boating business. The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) opposes attempts to increase the Renewable Fuel Standard, which would enable the level of ethanol in gasoline to reach 15 percent (E-15) or higher, and asks Congress to support legislation reducing the ethanol content in gasoline to just 10 percent (E-10) by co-sponsoring S. 334 and H.R. 1462.

S. 334, introduced by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and David Vitter (R-LA), along with five co-sponsors, prohibits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from approving gasoline containing ethanol levels greater than 10 percent (E-10). MRAA likewise supports H.R. 1462, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and 59 co-sponsors, which requires a comprehensive assessment by the National Academy of Sciences of the effects mid-level ethanol blends have on engines of all kinds and suspends the current EPA waiver that permits the sale of E-15.

Serious and well-documented safety problems, technology breakdowns and environmental issues result when gasoline is blended with more than 10 percent ethanol in recreational marine engines, outboard motors and marine fuel systems. Tests conducted by marine engine manufacturers under guidance of the U.S. Department of Energy have demonstrated that for marine engines designed to run on gasoline at E-10 by volume, higher concentrations of ethanol (such as E-15) will pose serious problems, including damage to valves, push rods and bearings; performance issues, such as problems with starting and stalling; increased water absorption and phase separation in the fuel tank; fuel tank corrosion, resulting in leaks; increased emission of Nitrogen Oxide, causing smog; and passenger safety issues when breakdowns occur underway and out of port.