NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
E-15 Gasoline for All?
July 20 Deadline to Comment
ALEXANDRIA, Va. May 12, 2009 – The nation’s largest recreational boat owners group, BoatUS, is joining a chorus of boat, car and engine manufacturers including the National Marine Manufacturers Association and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club in saying “Not so fast” to a petition brought by the ethanol lobby to the EPA that would allow the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline to be increased from 10% to 15%. BoatUS is asking recreational boaters to speak out on the issue before the petition comment period ends July 20 (deadline extended from May 21).
The trade group Growth Energy, which represents the ethanol producers, investors, and corn growers, wants to increase the use of ethanol in the nation’s fuels. If successful, the petition would grant the ethanol industry a waiver to allow a 15% ethanol concentration in gasoline. However, BoatUS is concerned because boat engines were not designed for use with gasoline containing more than 10% ethanol, and using any greater concentration above that level may void engine warranties, damage motors and fuel systems and potentially lead to significant safety issues.
“We support renewable energy,” said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich. “However, our recent experience with a nationwide roll-out of E10, or a 10% ethanol concentration, leads us to believe there has to be a lot more science and unbiased testing before we can universally accept E15.” Podlich is referring to the widely known problems with ethanol’s ability to attract water into gasoline, degrade fiberglass gas tank walls to the point of failure, and its solvent-like quality which has led to catastrophic boat engine failures and major repair or replacement costs.
“A few years ago, no one thought there would be any problems with E10, and there were. Boaters got stuck with the tab for repairs. Independent authorities have not tested higher levels of ethanol in marine engine systems, and its use may void a warranty. If this petition for a waiver is approved for E15 now — without testing it first for use with marine engines — boaters might be on the hook for these repair costs. All we are saying is let’s first take a look at all the facts before we increase the use of ethanol by 50%,” she added.
BoatUS urges boaters to go to http://www.BoatUS.com/gov before the federally-mandated comment period ends on July 20 (extended from May 21) to send the EPA an email asking them to deny the waiver for E15 fuel until more testing is done. BoatUS is part of a broad coalition of over 50 consumer, industry and environmental organizations working to ensure science is part of the federal decision.
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 600,000 members with government representation, programs and money saving services. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.