Our industry’s efforts to convince the Environmental Protection Agency to reject the Trump Administration’s call for the year around sale of E15, and thereby threaten the safety of the nation’s boaters, has failed. Now we must act to diminish the damages.
EPA’s decision has been pending for months and it’s no surprise that the agency has chosen to endanger millions of American boating families so President Trump can pander to the corn farm lobby. That said, there is still work to be done and action you and your customers can take to deal with a bad situation.
Perhaps now more than ever, we need to speak out. Specifically, if this dangerous fuel is going to be sold year-round, at a minimum, consumers need to know what they are putting in their tanks. To that end, new bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress (in the House) to reduce the dangers from E15 through proactive education at the pump and beyond.
It’s called “The Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act” (H.R. 1024). If passed, it would require the EPA to institute straightforward labeling at all fuel pumps dispensing E15 explaining the danger. It would also mandate an educational campaign be undertaken to broadly inform consumers on what fuels are right for their products and vehicles.
The front line of defense now becomes the gas pump. By demanding better labeling be placed there, boaters and other small engine users will have more chances to safely fuel and understand fully the dangers of E15 to themselves and their property.
Dealers should take the initiative in two ways beginning now. First, plan to inform customers of these simple facts: E15 can destroy small engines; it can void their warranties; it puts them in harm’s way; therefore, they must guard against putting such fuel in their boat. It’s a fact that most people are unaware of the problems that fuels with high levels of ethanol, like E15, pose. And even fewer people know it’s actually against federal laws to use E15 in these engines.
Second, marine industry lobbyists, including those from the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the National Marine Manufacturers Association do not plan to give up the fight in Washington against year-round sales of E15. However, it is now more important than ever that policymakers hear directly from you.
There is no question all the efforts to end EPA’s unjustifiable policy decision altogether must and will continue. But the E15 decision now dictates we must actively urge our members of Congress (both the House and Senate sides) to support legislation that will better protect consumers at the pump. Passing “The Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act” (H.R. 1024) will help do that.
Today, take time to tell your Congressperson that you are opposed to E15 and ask them to support the “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act” by signing on as a cosponsor of this important bill.
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National Boating & Fishing Week
It’s officially National Fishing and Boating Week. So, while you’re urging your Congress person to become a co-sponsor of the “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act,” why not ask them to join the Congressional Boating Caucus?
The Caucus is a bipartisan group of lawmakers who actively support issues important to the boating industry – issues like fuel policy, fishing, conservation, infrastructure, and trade.
During this week’s fishing and boating recognition, it incumbent on us to point out the $170 billion our recreational boating industry generates for the economy each year. So urge your Representative to join the Congressional Boating Caucus.