For any real progress to occur on fixing the Renewable Fuel Standard, Congress needs to act.
That’s according to a diverse coalition of businesses and trade associations including representatives from the marine industry. Members of the coalition testified at hearing Thursday, urging Congress to reform the RFS.
Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was cutting the amount of ethanol that is federally required to be fuel.
In comments in advance of the hearing, Nicole Vasilaros, director of regulatory and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association called that a “limited fix, not a permanent solution.”
“We remain sure that this is just a temporary stopgap,” she said.
While EPA has some leeway make revisions to the requirements set forth by the RFS, the law itself needs to be revised or revoked to make any long-term impact.
“Congress has to also do its part,” Vasilaros said. “The RFS is a broken law that sets unrealistic fuel standards.”
Nicole Wood, government affairs representative from BoatU.S., said her group commends the EPA for taking a “giant step” toward addressing the problems in the RFS, but that there are still several potential problems with ethanol, particularly E15 blends being seen in more gas stations across the country.
According to BoatU.S., more than 63 percent of its members report fueling their boats at roadside gas stations. So while E15 is not approved for use in marine engines, there is increasing potential for misfueling and engine failure, Wood said.
Beyond the marine industry, others that spoke to the need to revise the RFS included representatives from the fuel industry, the restaurant industry, farmers and more.