The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally approved a rule allowing the year-round sale of fuel with 15 percent ethanol (E15) one day before the start of summer blend rules that would have blocked the fuel from most vehicles until September. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and its coalition partners repeatedly voiced opposition to the EPA’s proposal leading up to the announcement, calling the rule legally dubious and a direct threat to consumer safety.
NMMA president Thom Dammrich expressed his disappointment. “For over a year, the recreational boating industry and countless other stakeholders have been working hard to convey the harmful effects of E15 and dissuade the administration from moving forward with this now official rule.”
Dammrich says E15 destroys engines in a wide-range of everyday consumer products, contains less energy content than gasoline and other biofuel alternatives, and damages the environment. “Moreover, the absence of better consumer education and protection efforts in the new rule further jeopardize the safety of boaters and others who use small gas-powered engines,” he says. “More than 60 percent of Americans mistakenly assume that any gas sold at their local gas station is safe for all their products, and nearly nine in 10 say the government should do more to protect consumers from misfuelling with E15.”
Dammrich called on Congress to take immediate action and pass the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act. The bipartisan legislation forces the EPA to revise labeling and education requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15.