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Entries in biofuel (3)


Ethanol-Related Repairs Increasing, According to Survey

A new survey by Boating Industry magazine says those in the boating industry that manufacture, sell, repair and store recreational vessels are seeing a growing number of problems caused by ethanol-related fuels. Said one Minnesota boat dealer in the survey, “Ethanol fuels are great for our service department but bad for our customers!”

The reader survey results, which appear in the magazine’s July 2017 issue, report that 92 percent of survey respondents said “they have seen damage…caused by ethanol…and more business for the service department.” The most recent results are up from 87 percent from a similar survey last year.

The July feature “Ethanol Still a Significant Challenge, Survey Says,” also reported that “more than 15 percent of readers said that based on what they are seeing in their business, more than half of the necessary repairs are being caused by ethanol-related issues.” Eighty-five percent of survey takers were “very concerned” about the use of E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol).

Signed into law in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires an increasing amount of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, to be blended into the gasoline supply. When it was written, the RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually declined, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas.

To keep up with the RFS mandate, in 2010 the EPA granted a waiver to allow E15 into the marketplace. However, only fuels containing up to 10 percent ethanol (E10) are permitted for use in recreational boats.

For the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the survey’s results add to urgency to fix the RFS. Said Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy, “For the people who know boats best, the readers of Boating Industry magazine who work on boats and keep them running so we can all enjoy a great day on the water, ethanol continues be concern. It will remain this way until we fix America’s broken ethanol policy.”

Go to for more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard. BoatUS is a member of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition.


Bill Introduced to Protect Boat Owners From E15


Renewed effort is underway to protect boater owners from putting unsafe ethanol-based fuel in their boats.

“The new bill would recognize the failure of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its out-of-date ethanol-mandate, and make the necessary changes so there is a safe fuel for all gasoline-powered engines,” said Nicole Palya Wood, Government Affairs program manager for BoatUS.

Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, with 30 co-sponsors, the Renewable Fuel Standard Reform Act would cap the ethanol requirements at E10 (10 percent ethanol), would prohibit the use of corn-based ethanol in the RFS, require more advanced biofuels, and take into account actual, real-world production of biofuels when setting requirements.


Go here to ask your representative to support the reform act


When the RFS was written in 2005, politicians assumed that gasoline use would continue to rise and mandated escalating amounts of biofuels  be blended in. Since 2005, however, gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily. But under current law, E15 (15 percent ethanol) is being forced into the marketplace to maintain the mandate.

 E15, however, is a fuel that many gasoline engines cannot use. In fact, it can cause catastrophic damage, especially to outboard motors.

According to BoatUS, no marine engines in the US are warrantied to run on a gasoline blend greater than 10 percent ethanol. And AAA reports only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved to use E15 gasoline. Also, damage from use of higher ethanol fuels (E15 or greater) in cars and trucks will void many manufacturers' warranties.

Use of E15 in boat engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and small engines, as well as any vehicle made before 2001, is illegal, according to BoatUS.  But it now can be found at more than 100 gas stations in 16 states at the same pumps as E10 and ethanol-free gasoline.

“The potential for misfueling is significant,” the organization said. “In the US, nine out of every ten boaters own a trailerable boat that is most often filled up at a roadside gas station. Additionally, these higher blend ethanol fuels are often the cheapest fuels at the pump.”

According to Wood, BoatUS supports the bill because, "The RFS Reform Act acknowledges the reality of America's declining fuel consumption, allows for the investment in other more compatible biofuels, and erases the twisted math that forces more ethanol onto a marketplace that neither demands it, nor can physically absorb it at safe levels."


Court Rules EPA Acted Illegally in Pushing Ethanol

Finally, the courts are starting to rule against illegal --- and unconstitutional --- behavior by the Obama Administration and one of those judgments should have anglers and boaters cheering.

First, a federal appeals court ruled that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority when he made three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Also, the court decided on the same day that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency abused the law with “an unreasonable exercise of agency discretion” in pushing an ethanol agenda that is costing citizens millions of dollars annually, as the inefficient biofuel damages or destroys boat, car, and other internal combustion engines.

Or, as the Wall Street Journal put it:

“Ethanol is one of the only products in history that Congress subsidizes and mandates at the same time. That sounds pretty generous. Yet now a federal court has ruled the Environmental Protection Agency is illegally giving the lobby extra benefits that Congress never intended. That takes some work.”

Read more here.