THE ISSUE: The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 federal law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When it was written, it assumed that America's use of gasoline would continue to rise and mandated escalating amounts of biofuels to be blended with our fuel. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined steadily, which today forces more ethanol into less gasoline.
To keep up with this RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol) into the marketplace. Even though E15 is prohibited from being used in marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, small engines like lawnmowers and leaf blowers, as well as any vehicle made before 2001, this fuel can now be found at more than 100 stations in 16 states at the very same pumps as E10 and ethanol-free gasoline.
More than 60 percent of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) half million members as well as millions of recreational boaters fill their boat's fuel tanks at roadside gas stations where the higher blend ethanol fuels are often the cheapest fuel at the pump. This creates a huge potential for misfueling and puts boaters at risk.
ACTION NEEDED NOW: For years, BoatUS has been battling in Washington to make sure recreational boat owners can buy gasoline that works with their recreational boat engines. Senators Diane Feinstein and Pat Toomey have now introduced S. 577, the "Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015" in the US Senate.
This bill, which has both Democrat and Republican support, will effectively remove the government mandate for higher blends of corn-based ethanol fuels (more than 10 percent) and allow for investment in other more compatible biofuels. BoatUS believes it is a critical step to solving the ethanol issue and urges America's boat owners to contact their Senators now to become co-sponsors and supporters of S. 577. Boaters can do this here. For more on the Renewable Fuel Standard go here.