WASHINGTON — Two members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s legislative staff attended an April 13 hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works for “Oversight Hearing on Domestic Renewable Fuels: From Ethanol to Advanced Biofuels.”
Nicole Vasilaros, Manager of State Government Relations and Legislative Counsel, and Jim Currie, Legislative Director, were on hand for the meeting, which was presided over by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) as ranking member.
“NMMA staff members Jeff Gabriel, Legislative Counsel, and Jim Currie sent suggested questions to Sen. Inhofe’s staff prior to the hearing, and during the second panel of the hearing, Sen. Inhofe asked one of the key questions requested by NMMA to both the EPA official and the Energy Department official – whether either DOE or EPA had done any testing to determine whether E15 would harm engines,” the NMMA said in a release. “Specifically, the Senator emphasized that marine manufacturers had made it clear that this was at the top of their concerns about increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline. One of the panelists said that they had not done much testing at all. Asst. Administrator McCarthy stated that E15 was not supposed to be used in marine engines.
“When they reached the third panel, Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI), said that his state was known as the ‘Ocean State,’ and that he had concerns about marine use of E15. Another panelist responded to him by referring several times to NMMA by name as he addressed the Senator’s concerns, stating that marine engines were a great concern with respect to E15, and said that NMMA was very concerned about the effect that E15 might have on marine engines, especially as it might cause the engine to conk out thirty miles offshore.”