The boating industry,
including boat manufacturers, dealers, marina operators, and boat yards, has
been voicing strong concerns in Washington for the past couple of years that
ethanol blends in gasoline used in recreational boating have caused
considerable damage to engines and fuel systems. The damage is significant in that it can severely
impact boating safety when families are left stranded on the water due to
Other groups in DC have
also joined the struggle, including small power equipment manufacturers,
restaurants, fuel manufacturers, trucking companies, and farm animal
associations. A newly formed coalition,
called the Smarter Fuel Future Coalition, has brought these groups together. Visit their Web site at www.smarterfuelfuture.org for more information and to join.
At a coalition meeting on
Dec. 10, the members agreed on a tentative action plan to begin in 2013
that will culminate in the introduction of bills in the House and Senate and
Congressional hearings. The coalition
wants to continue to build membership to support its outreach plans with the
press, but the real action will come with advocacy events in D.C. beginning as
early as the first quarter with Hill issue briefings in the House and Senate
where the problems of ethanol blends will be presented to staff and members.
Plans also include working with
key Congressional committees to schedule hearings to document the effects of
ethanol on key segments of the economy. All the action plans will
be focused on support for the introduction and movement of bills on ethanol
reform. It is anticipated that several members will introduce bills, but the key ones will totally repeal ethanol
blends in gasoline and limit ethanol production to current levels of E10.
next coalition meeting will be held in January to further plan for the Hill
Issue Briefing. Ethanol reform is one of
MRAA’s highest legislative priorities for 2013.