At the helm: Best E15 offense is a good defense

“The best defense is a good offense” is an adage that has been applied to many fields of endeavor. 

Generally, the idea is that proactivity instead of a passive attitude will preoccupy the opposition and ultimately hinder its ability to mount an opposing counterattack.

Some martial arts emphasize attack over defense. Wing Chun, for example, is a style of kung fu which uses the maxim, “The hand which strikes also blocks.”

In early March, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment Subcommittee held a hearing regarding the future of transportation fuels.

A number of panelists testified before the Subcommittee, including representatives from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Fuels Institute.

During the hearing, Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) used his allotted time to discuss the needs of boaters, the negative impact that E15 has on marine engines, and the positive aspects of biobutanol.

Congressman Carter asked witnesses if the needs of boaters were being kept in mind as fuel policy decisions were being formulated.

He also asked witnesses what additional government efforts can be implemented to help promote biobutanol and ensure its availability. 

The Congressman also brought up misleading marketing tactics by the ethanol industry to promote E15 as “Unleaded 88.” 

Carter’s leadership during the hearing and the willingness to hold firm with a blocking hand is a classic and effective example of the “best defense is a good offense” adage at work in reverse inside the Beltway.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association federal affairs team needs additional support in working with lawmakers on reforming the broken Renewable Fuel Standard that mandates E15. Next month’s American Boating Congress will provide the industry a unique opportunity to come together and meet with elected officials, hear from a host of influential speakers, take part in a series of new workshops and seminars, and attend Hill visits to meet with key policy makers on critical issues.

The May 9-11 event will provide an outstanding opportunity to build and strengthen relationships that lead to a brighter future for the recreational boating industry in the months leading up to mid-term elections. 

Turn to Page 26 for an advance look at this year’s American Boating Congress agenda and our annual spring government update, and Page 31 for a special Market Intelligence Survey that addresses the Modern Fish Act, aluminum sheet tariffs and other regulatory issues affecting the industry.   


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