Persistence will pay off in ethanol fight

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I’m tired of writing about ethanol and I’ll bet you’re tired of reading it. But winning the battle to halt ethanol’s march has never been more likely than it is now in the current Congress and it’s critical that all marine dealers take time to weigh in now.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas have put out the call for an all-out industry effort to support a bill just introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Their legislation would reform the ethanol mandate and stop E15 from spreading across the country. The bill number is S.577 and its companion on the House side is HR.704 introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.. Together they show real momentum in the fight against the ethanol mandate.

The marine industry isn’t going it alone. Both bills have strong support from a diverse coalition of stakeholder groups. However, both need the support of more members of Congress and that’s where we can all step up today.

Contact your two senators and your representative. Ask them to co-sponsor either S.577 or HR.704, respectively. And it’s easy. Through the Boating United website, it takes just minutes to make your voice heard: Click here and get in the fight.

Background S. 577: In addition to Sens. Toomey and Feinstein, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is a cosponsor of the measure. But many more are needed. Therefore, it’s important you urge your two senators to sign on. To do it, use the pre-written letter on the Boating United site that asks for co-sponsoring S.577.

Background HR.704: It currently has 43 bipartisan co-sponsors. If your eepresentative is on this list, use the “thank you for sponsoring HR.577” email on the Boating United site. More importantly, however, if your representative isn’t on the list below, use the “Please Co-Sponsor HR.704” email on the site. Here’s the list of current co-sponsors:

Reps. Brian Bilbray (Calif.); Mo Brooks (Ala.); John Carter (Texas); Jason Chaffetz (Utah); Mike Coffman (Colo.); Michael K. Conaway (Texas); Peter A DeFazio (Ore.); Jeff Duncan (S.C.); Bill Flores (Texas); Randy J. Forbes (Va.); Elton Gallegly (Calif.); Andy Harris (Md.); Vicky Hartzler (Mo.); Nan A.S. Hayworth (N.Y.); Wally Herger (Calif.); Robert Hurt (Va.); Lynn Jenkins (Kans.); Sam Johnson (Texas); Walter B. Jones (N.C.); Steve King (Iowa); John Kline (Minn.); Doug Lamborn (Colo.).

Also, Reps. Kenny Marchant (Texas); Thaddeus G. McCotter (Mich.); David B. McKinley (W.Va.); Gary G. Miller (Calif.); Mick Mulvaney (S.C.); Sue Wilkins Myrick (N.C.); Richard B. Nugent (Miss.); Alan Nunnelee (Miss.); Steven M. Palazzo (Miss.); Ted Poe (Texas); Bill Posey (Fla.); Thomas J. Rooney (Fla.); Dennis A. Ross (Fla.); Edward R. Royce (Calif.); Brad Sherman (Calif.); Heath Shuler (N.C.); Lamar Smith (Texas); John Sullivan (Okla.); Allen B. West (Fla.); Robert Wittman (Va.); Frank R. Wolf (Va.).

Make no mistake — ethanol continues to expand. E15 is now in use in 16 states. The Sheetz convenience store chain announced it will begin offering E15 fuel at 60 of their North Carolina locations early this year.

As a result of the federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard, ethanol is a top concern for boating today. The fuel standard mandates steadily increasing amounts of ethanol in our gasoline supplies but the standard is a broken law that sets unrealistic fuel mandates. Only a long-term fix by Congress will end the problem.

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