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Time to push back, hard!

Ethanol manufacturers (54 of them) have formed a lobbying organization called Growth Energy that has filed a petition with EPA to permit an increase in the ethanol content of gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent (E10 to E15). It’s now time for the marine industry and all boat owners to push EPA to deny Growth Energy’s petition!

On April 9, I wrote here in Dealer Outlook about this blatantly self-serving move by the ethanol producers to get EPA to go along with increasing allowable ethanol to E15. No, it’s not for any justifiable reason whatsoever, but only because the market for ethanol has hit the skids and the producers that were raking in big dough a year ago are now losing it!

Unfortunately, as is required by law, EPA on April 21 had to publish a Notice for Comment in the Federal Register, thus beginning a 30-day public comment period that closes on May 21, 2009. The fact is there’s enormous political pressure being brought by Growth Energy to allow the higher level. In fact, Growth Energy is expecting to generate some 20,000 emails and letters of support to pressure EPA into granting their E15 petition. We must push back, now.

Just as he did last year when we won the battle for the Clean Boating Act, NMMA’s legislative director Matthew Dunn has developed another excellent Take-Action website to make it easy for everyone in boating to urge EPA to deny the petition. You will find it at: http://capwiz.com/nmma/home/ Click on the “Take Action” button.

So, here’s my request to every manufacturer, distributor, dealer, service firm, marine trade association, boating organization and individual boat owner who reads this blog: PLEASE TAKE TIME to go to the website and use this grassroots advocacy toolkit to weigh in and ask EPA to deny the E15 petition.
In addition, for more impact, please allow time for all your employees to use a computer to do the same. And, don’t forget to urge your family members and friends to do it, too. This is another battle we in the industry and our customers can’t afford to lose!

As we all know, marine engines are designed and certified to run on not more than E10, the current legal allowable blend limit. We must insist EPA follow a science-first approach and, to date, there has been no testing by any federal agency of the impacts of higher ethanol blends on marine products. Until independent, comprehensive scientific testing is completed on a full range of marine engines and similar products, EPA should deny the application for E15. Today, start the ball rolling at: http://capwiz.com/nmma/home/

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