The news that President Trump vowed last week to make E15 available year-round causes me to pause here for a forehead slap. What the #$%&#@ is he thinking?
I must admit I had a genuine belief that the president, along with Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, would see the need to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard and, in particular, stop any increases in ethanol in our fuel supply. Do I feel let down? Damn straight.
Could I have missed the president’s and Pruitt’s apparent farm lobby boot-licking tour? I hate to say it, but that’s all this decision appears to be. It’s void of sound reasoning. It puts millions of boaters, not to mention millions more motorcyclists and mega-millions of other American small-engine users, in harm’s way by ignoring what is obvious to even the likes of Larry, Curly and Moe — the RFS is broken and must be revised.
If there is anyone who I thought would stand up for changing an obviously bad law and resulting policies, I was confidant it was Donald Trump.
Now, adding to my distress, apparently Pruitt has also decided to roll over like a Shih Tzu begging for a treat! After all, this is the EPA czar who appeared to be the champion for correcting regulatory overreach wherever he found it. My eyes are now rolling!
Sadly, this is all happening in spite of the American Petroleum Institute’s recent introduction of broadcast TV, cable outlets and print ads in the Washington, D.C. market urging Congress to repeal the RFS including its disastrous ethanol mandate. API has produced other videos that present the truth that the RFS is broken public policy. This information is worth taking a few minutes to view at: www.filluponfacts.com.
In addition, two members of Congress testified on Friday before the House Energy and Commerce’s Environment Subcommittee about the threat that increasing ethanol blends in the fuel supply would pose to boaters. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., said that as a boat owner, he worried others would unwittingly misfuel their boats with fuel containing 15 percent ethanol, or E15. He also said he wished a member of the marine industry were present to weigh in.
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., used his entire allotted time to talk about the issue’s impact on the marine industry, discussing the importance of helping to ensure boaters aren’t confused by “misleading marketing tactics on E15,” the National Marine Manufacturers Association said.
As NMMA president Thom Dammrich says: “We’ve been fighting this from the start and we’ll continue the fight because not to do so will mean E-10 will disappear just as E-0 has essentially disappeared. That outlook is unacceptable to our industry because it’s disastrous for millions of our customers.”
I am an optimist. I don’t accept that the president and Pruitt don’t give a rat’s patootie about millions of our boating customers. It just looks that way right now. But I believe this president has clearly shown he can change his mind and push compromise given enough input, and actually has gone back and forth on this issue despite more typically favoring a push for more ethanol.
Moreover, because it’s reported that negotiations over any RFS reform have been behind closed doors and, so far, have included the corn and oil industries but not others like us, it’s time we go straight to the president.
TODAY, all marine dealers, and all their employees for that matter, can reach out to the administration and Pruitt. Thanks to Boating United, you can send a message to both. It’s as easy as clicking on this: alert. It takes less than five minutes to send them the message already drafted, which you can edit or just simply forward as is. BUT IT’S IMPORTANT TO DO IT TODAY.