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Entries in anglers (2)


Ethanol Nightmare Gets Worse for Anglers, Boaters

Clogged carburetors, crumbling components, ruptured fuel lines. Boats stalled at sea, lives put at risk, and thousands spent on repairs.

 For anglers and boaters, that’s the legacy of gasoline with 10 percent ethanol (E10).

 And the nightmare just got worse --- again.

 As reported by the Wall Street Journal in an excellent article about this big-government boondoggle that is costing us millions, ruining countless marine engines, sacrificing fuel efficiency, and polluting our waters, the Obama Administration has just greatly expanded the number of cars approved to use the 15 percent ethanol blend.

 This follows quickly on the heels of a decision late last year to increase the blend from 10 to 15 percent because consumers weren’t buying enough gas to meet previous ethanol mandates. Additionally, Congressmen whose constituents benefit from this rip-off of consumers tucked into a tax bill an extension of the $5 billion tax credit for blending ethanol into gasoline.

 Here’s what I wrote for ESPN Outdoors about the concerns of anglers, boaters, and many others just before federal approval of 15 percent ethanol:



Why anglers aren't environmentalists





I’m for a stronger Clean Water Act. I want to preserve old-growth forests. I think that it’s a disgrace that our federal government hasn’t acted more decisively to keep invasive species out of the Great Lakes. I believe that we need stiffer regulations to protect our streams from strip mining, our groundwater from herbicides, and our estuaries from the runoff pollution of urban sprawl and farm fields.

But, alas, I’m also an angler, and anglers aren’t environmentalists. It’s not that anglers don’t want to protect the environment. They do. It’s that they don’t want to be called “environmentalists.” They associate that term with agenda-driven campaigns for preservation policies that often are not backed by scientific evidence.

For anglers, “conservationist” is the term of choice. Conservationists believe in both protection and sustainable use of our lands, waters, and other natural resources. They follow an ethical code of behavior and embrace a stewardship philosophy in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt.

So we have two factions, conservationists and environmentalists, sharing many of the same values, but more often viewing each other as enemies than allies.

Perhaps the most climactic moment of that divide now is occurring as environmentalists embrace a strategy to use Marine Protected Areas and other designations by governments at all levels to deny recreational anglers access to public waters. In doing so, they are shamefully insulting and dismissing a constituency that does more to protect those waters than any other.