The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally approved a rule allowing the year-round sale of fuel with 15% ethanol (E15). NMMA and its coalition partners repeatedly voiced opposition to EPA’s proposal leading up to the announcement, calling the rule legally dubious and a direct threat to consumer safety.
In response, NMMA president, Thom Dammrich stated, “While deeply disappointing, today’s announcement comes as no surprise. For over a year, the recreational boating industry and countless other stakeholders have been working hard to convey the harmful effects of E15 and dissuade the administration from moving forward with this now official rule.
“Our industry remains steadfastly opposed to this policy given a simple set of facts: E15 destroys engines in a wide-range of everyday consumer products, contains less energy content than gasoline and other biofuel alternatives, and is terrible for the environment – all of which are reasons the summer sale ban on E15 was implemented in the first place.
“Moreover, the absence of better consumer education and protection efforts in the new rule further jeopardize the safety of boaters and others who use small gas-powered engines. More than 60% of Americans mistakenly assume that any gas sold at their local gas station is safe for all their products, and nearly nine in 10 say the government should do more to protect consumers from misfuelling with E15. And with hard-to-read, often hidden warning labels serving as the only real misfuelling prevention measure currently in place, it’s hard to fathom why EPA rebuffed even modest reforms to at the pump safeguards.
“The administration has chosen to ignore widely accepted truths about the dangers of E15 in order to benefit a few politically connected constituencies. In the interest of boaters, manufacturers, and consumers, we are forced to explore other avenues to stop and reverse this harmful policy. Additionally, we urge Congress to take immediate action and pass the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act – bipartisan legislation that will force EPA to revise labeling and education requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15.”