NMMA opposes EPA’s 2019 ethanol volume requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released its final blended fuel volume levels for 2019 – known as the Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) – under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply next year.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has conveyed its strong opposition to EPA’s proposal in public comments and meetings prior to the official announcement and have pledged to continue working with stakeholders to protect consumers from fuels with higher levels of ethanol.

“Friday’s announcement by the EPA reinforces what we already knew: Consumers are an afterthought under the current RFS,” said NMMA President Thomas Dammrich. “The Trump Administration’s 2019 RVO levels put Americans at risk and pump billions of gallons of ethanol into the U.S. fuel supply, compounding previous bad policy decisions – most notably, the recent proposal to expand the sale of E15 year-round.”

Dammrich said most consumers are unaware of the dangers posed by high-ethanol fuel blends like E15. Sixty-five percent of Americans assume that any gas sold at the pump is safe for all their fuel-powered products, when in fact federal regulation prohibits the use of E15 in small engines.

These engines – including those in boats, lawn mowers, and motorcycles – suffer damage when fueled with blends exceeding 10 percent ethanol, while voiding their warrantees and saddling consumers with high repair and replacement costs. The finalized RVOs not only put more E15 into the fuel supply, but increase the risk of misfuelling and restrict consumer access to lower ethanol blend and ethanol free fuels.

“What’s absent from the EPA’s 2019 RVO requirements – and the larger RFS reform debate – is a commitment to protect middle-class consumers from higher-ethanol blended fuels,” Dammrich said. “They deserve greater choice at their local gas station, awareness of proper fuel blends, and better safeguards and warning labels at the pump. Without these additional steps, expanding the volume of ethanol in the fuel supply is both irresponsible and dangerous. We urge the administration to protect the American consumer from misfuelling.”

For more information, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Legal AffairsNicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org.

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