24.9.09

U.S. Senators pushing back on ethanol

This is good news for the boating enthusiasts!

The National Marine Manufacturers' Association reports that several U.S. senators have increased pressure on the ethanol lobby by introducing strong legislation to curtail higher ethanol/gas blends than the currently marketed E10 (10 percent ethanol). The Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Act of 2009 (S. 1666) would keep new fuels off the market unless they're compatible with on-road and non-road gas engines.

The proposed legislation, if quickly passed, could block the ethanol lobby from gaining an Environmental Protection Agency waiver to sell E15. The marine industry believes E15 would adversely affect vessel engines and fuel systems. The NMMA submitted more than 30,000 comments to the EPA in July - all from boating community members opposing the waiver. The EPA has until December 1 to make a decision.

Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) introduced the ethanol bill on September 14. S. 1666 would require the EPA's Science Advisory Board to study fuel compatibility before granting waivers. (The Clean Air Act prohibits the sale of mid-level ethanol blends without such a waiver.)

"During these difficult economic times, equipment damage due to ethanol-gasoline fuel blends only adds to the many challenges facing our nation's farmers, fishermen, independent woodsmen, and recreational industry," Sen. Collins said in an NMMA press release. "As we pursue strategies to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, we must also take action to ensure that ethanol fuel blends are safe and efficient for small engines."

The NMMA says mid-level ethanol blends may increase air emissions and create performance, durability and warranty issues for marine engines. Currently, no recreational marine products have been designed to run on fuels containing greater than 10 percent ethanol.

Read the bill here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the science behind this. Ethanol combustion has far less emissions than regular gasonline (octane), so why would the emissions go up from a higher percentage Efuel?
Great article, it'll be very interesting to hear more on the topic. Also, your website is great man, keep up the good work. Love that State record Atlantic. I'm in Nova Scotia and our fall-run (sea-run) is just starting to pour in from the the bays and harbors now. Good luck this season. Tight lines!