Senate committee considers broader E15 use

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A U.S. Senate hearing was held this week on a bill that would expand the sale of fuel blends with 15 percent ethanol through the summer months, making them available year-round.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held the hearing Wednesday on Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer’s Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act. Testimony was heard from a diverse panel of experts.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and partners that include the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and BoatUS submitted a letter for the record outlining the industry’s concerns about the bill.

“While the title of S. 517 contains the word ‘choice,’ passage of this legislation would effectively deny consumers choice at the pump, while also endangering their safety on the water,” an excerpt from the letter said. “There are 12 million recreational vessels registered in the United States. Ninety-five percent of these vessels are fueled at retail automotive service stations and are dependent on a safe and legal fuel supply to operate. Ensuring all consumers have access to approved fuels is absolutely critical to recreational boaters and anglers.”

Committee chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., referred in his initial questions to the NMMA’s letter directly and the issues it cited as a serious cause for alarm about expanding E15 sales at gas pumps.

Todd Teske, of Briggs & Stratton, whose company has conducted research about the impact of E15 on small engines, similar to studies done by NMMA member companies, echoed many of the recreational boating industry’s concerns.

Teske listed the damage E15 causes to small engines and the risk of misfueling that consumers face at the pump as top reasons for opposing the bill.


3 comments on “Senate committee considers broader E15 use

  1. Jay Dayton

    Why our country continues to go down this environmental & consumer nightmare path, despite considerable opposition and facts that prove that ethanol produces a larger carbon footprint than standard gasoline or diesel fuel, is beyond comprehension! The only winners in this non-sensical approach, are corn farmers, their lobbyists and the corrupt policticians who support this.

    If any other additive is needed, isobutanol is a much better choice.

    This is another shining example of how broken Washington has become!

  2. Curtis

    Just goes to show how deep the corruption runs. The politicians do not care about the people, their only concern is how much the corn farmers and lobbyist will donate to their bank account.
    The impact on the consumer will astronomical with repairs to equipment or entire industries shutting down. So dissapointing

  3. henry matheus

    Politicians NOTE:
    The entire small engine and MARINE / Recreational boating market says NO NO NO.
    We do NOT want safety problems and engine destruction via E-15.
    How much more clearly and emphatically do you need the message to be. You are costing us MONEY through engine destruction. You are HURTING the environment through the environmental costs of building NEW ENGINES from the destructive forces of E15.
    Lastly–you are REDUCING fuel mileage & efficiency using this low energy “FILLER” junk alcohol that has very little energy content. Keep it in the FOOD SUPPLY.

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