EPA extends comment period on ethanol

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As the Environmental Protection Agency announced it’s extending the comment period on E15, the ethanol industry is scrambling to protect its investment and remain relevant.

Last year, a spike in energy and corn prices caused havoc in the market. With the subsequent collapse of commodity prices, many producers found themselves unable to pay their bills, according to a report on MarketWatch.com.

It is now pushing a rule that, if approved by the EPA, would raise the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.

The boating industry, among other stakeholders, is against this measure, saying it harms marine engines and that no tests on the impact of E15 have been conducted. So far, more than 25,000 industry stakeholders have sent comments to the EPA against its use, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The EPA last Friday announced it was extending the comment period to July 20. The agency says it is required to make a decision by Dec. 1.

Click here for an article on the ethanol industry’s woes and why it is pushing for the increase to E15.

Click here to submit a comment to the EPA.

Comments

6 comments on “EPA extends comment period on ethanol

  1. Paul J. Lash

    After thousands of dollars in repairs after phase separation in the tank, plus paying $10.00 per gallon for a fuel recovery service, I’m less than enthused with the prospect of going to E15.  Boats typically do not have the same fuel turnover a car/truck engine would have; therefore, the longer it sits in the tank the worse the problem becomes.  It’s not uncommon for fuel to be in the tank for 6 months or more.  E15 would increase this likelyhood by 50%.  Further degradation of the fuel hoses, filters, and carbuerator problems would occur.  Perhaps the ethanol industry could shoulder the responsibility of repair – someone should!!

  2. Louis H Webb III

    Hi we have a marine repair business. We have a small pressure washer with a Honda engine this unit is less then 3 years old,and never out side in the rain, but the fuel tank failed. We found a large amount of water in the fuel. The tank rusted out. This may have started a fire if there was a spark anywhere in this room where we store the pressure washer.Thank you  Louis H Webb III  Westbrook Marine 

  3. Catherine Hughes

    We all have many tales to tell about the problems associated with ethanol fuel.  Ethanol fuel is a classic example of government interfearance gone amuck.  The US government should be pressing full on for tapping into the resources naturally found in our own borders instead of keeping us dependant on oil from the Middle East.  The current policy is to try and switch America’s industrial base to wind and solar powered energy options, which will never be able to supply the current demand or increasing demands in the future.  If the oil and gas supplies available in our own country were tapped, the resulting jobs would be ten fold what jobs would open up from wind and solar power.  There are no plans to build any refineries.  Huge taxes are on the horizon under the phrase “cap and trade” for emissions.  How long before our own government deems boat motors to be a luxury to be highly taxed because their emmissions are nonessential?  Glad to see Soundings Trade beginning to address the ethanol debacle. 

  4. Barbara Rench

    There have been verified reports of ethanol damaging (disolving)fiberglass fuel tanks on boats in California. This is an INCREDIBLE safety hazard!!!  While you have a chance to at least see there is a leak in a car, in a boat the leak is unseen, contained and therefore deadly and insidious. (Bang!)
    Our boat is older: a restoration. It is in SE Wisconsin, and spent its early life in Northern waters where there was no ethanol in the gas. Not long after we bought it and moved it south where ethanol was “required,” mysterious, frightening things began to happen on board. The boat would suddenly choke, lurch and stop while traveling across the water. (An overboard jolt into Lake Michigan is a bit hazardous too!)
    After much investigation, many repeated expensive repairs and finally lab tests and experiments, it was found that the ethanol was causing a  breakdown of the shellac that forms in tanks holding gasoline. The byproduct, yukky flaky gas, was clogging and damaging our gasoline hoses and engine parts as well as their function. This happens in older large and small engines as well: older lawnmowers, trimmers, tractors, construction equipment and older cars too. The “dirty gas” causes damage to carburators and engines on top of everything else.
    The first mechanics trying to help with our boat asked, “WHERE did you get this GAS???!!” Sorry to say – it was the result of ethanol in our gas manufacturing “junk” in our tanks!
    NEW engines and hoses are made to resist ethanol – which just goes to say: the nature of this destructive substance is no secret to the gasoline industry. Long PERSONAL story short – the cost to replace our fuel tanks and repair the attendant damage to the boat was more than $30,000.00. Initial engine repairs, tank draining and investigation charges are not included in that figure!
    WE know in OUR home – no question! E15 is not the answer! E-10 should be phased out as well. Aside from and because of damage to tanks, ultimately, lives will be lost due to ethanol in our gas. All it takes in one contained leak from a damaged hose or tank and one explosion on the water. (nevermind the messy, expensive cleanup and resultant damage to the environment!)
    Thanks for hearing me out!!
    Barbie Rench, Racine, WI

  5. ricky coleman

    i am a gas and diesel mechanic, and have been repairing both types of engines for 20 + years. i can tell you from my own experience with my personal pleasure vehicles, as well as with customers vehicles, that ethanol is trouble waiting to happen. i have an 01 honda xr650r that i bought with a clogged up carb in april of 2008. In summer of 2008, i disassembled, cleaned, and rejetted the carb. the bike ran great, better than new in fact, since i uncorked it, which means i opened up the intake passage, opened up the exhaust, and rejetted the carb for a 20% increase in power over the detuned stock configuration. bike was rode all day in early june this year, gas valve was turned off after riding, and it sat in garage until september 1rst. Upon getting bike out of garage, and trying to kickstart it, it finally started but would only run at very low rpm, with choke fully closed. After warm up, it still wont run unless choke is fully closed.The carb is clogged up again, after sitting for just 2 months. My street bike, an 05 yamaha fz1, was ridden about 250 miles in late may or early june and ran flawlessly. I got it out of garage on september 3rd, changed oil and filter, installed fresh battery, new plugs,and new rear tire, in preparation for a road trip/vacation on september 5th. bike only had 11,000 miles on it. I started it and it ran fine with choke closed, but after warmup, i opened choke and had a miss on cylinder #4. Carb had clogged up on #4 cylinder.I took the bike to my yamaha dealer as it still was under warranty until may 2010. the service man agreed that carb was plugged from sitting for 2 months and said the other 3 carbs were probably partially clogged and would most likely also need cleaning. he also informed me that warranty would not cover this type of problem due to it not being a defective part or manufacturing defect. I  had to trade in the bike for new bike to make the trip, since no one had carb gaskets to allow cleaning the clogged carb. I had done made reservations and arrangements for this trip with friends. if  i had  headed out on the 300 mile journey one way on the interstate runnung 70+ mph, the #4 cylinder would’ve leaned out and ruined the piston and rings, which wouldnt have been warranteed due to the carb being clogged up. Also, i have a weed eater thats only 3 months old, now only runs with choke half closed-clogged carb no doubt! my brother had to replace carb on stilh chainsaw back in may 2009, due to clogging ethanol gas. He got his limb trimmer/pole saw out this past weekend, also made by stilh, and it wouldnt run under a load. He took it and a stihl weed eater that quit running last month to a stihl dealer, and was informed that both had clogged up carbs, and would need to be replaced with new carbs. the dealer said to never run gas containing ethanol in anything that wasnt used really often-meaning pleasure vehicles like boats, bikes, 4 wheelers, etc. or outdoor seasonal power equipment such as mowers, chain saws, and weed eaters. if you do have to use ethanol based gas, he suggested draining any fuel left in tank, then draing carb or running engine to empty carb, with the later being very hard on 2 stroke engines, since the gas also contains the vital lubricating oil that is mixed with the gas. Run your 2 stroke out of gas, and you also just ran your 2 stroke out of lube oil!! I suggest using fuel stabilzer in any engine that isnt used or ran at least every 2 weeks, since you cant find gas that doesnt contain ethanol. Also, ethanol draws moisture out of the humid air i am told. it’s a shame the government punishes  taxpayers by passing foolish laws that cost us hard earned money in unnecesary repairs. Ethanol based gasoline is costing taxpayers money on fuel system repairs, just like the government mandated reduction of sulpher in diesel fuel has cost truck drivers and farmers many dollars in fuel system  repairs. maybe the newer vehicles are adapted to operate on ethanol gas or low sulpher diesel fuel, but what about the average person who pays taxes, and votes, that cant afford new vehicles or equipment every time the epa decides to make a silly law on how fuel or gas is to be made. I’m all for cleaner air, but this is ridiculous. i agree with paul lash’s comment above about the ethynol industry shouldering the responsibility for repairs. oil companies seem to be profiting heavily at our expense by making cheaper fuel and selling it at ever increasing prices. when i want corn, i will grow it, or buy it at the grocery store. i shouldnt be forced to eat corn or burn it in vehicles that arent designed to operate on corn. maintaing an engine being operated on ethynol that wasnt designed to operate on it is very expensive and totally unnecesary. fuel and gas prices are high enough without having to buy additives or stabilizers that add to the expense. maybe the epa,  government, or oil companies should supply these additives free of charge when we purchase our gas or fuel.

  6. GEO parts

    the GEO brand of vehicles is hardly recognized. This comes from the short lived division of a corporation and the GEO brand last for a short time for a vehicle. The home of the GEO brand was the General Motor Corporation that started production in 1989. The line was intended to provide some competition to the Japanese vehicles that were being imported into the American market.ThanksGEO partshttp://www.iautobodyparts.com/geo/

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