BoatUS urges opposition to Chicago ethanol proposal

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BoatUS is asking boaters to speak out against ethanol during a hearing that will be held to debate legislation supported by the Chicago City Council Aldermen that would require self-serve gas stations in the city to sell gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.

It is against the federal law to use E15 in boats since using the blend could cause significant engine damage, BoatUS said.

BoatUS believes the legislation would have the unintended consequence of making boat-engine-approved E10 fuel harder to find for consumers because stations would be required to add expensive new fuel pumps to offer an additional consumer choice.

“Instead, the legislation may force stations with limited gas pump selections to replace their current E10 dispensing selection with E15 to meet the mandate,” BoatUS said in a statement. “While BoatUS appreciates the need to diversify our country’s fuel and energy sources, passage of this legislation would also greatly increase the chance of misfueling boats on trailers, which are often filled up at the same time as the tow vehicle.”

The hearing will take place at 1 p.m. today at Chicago City Hall.

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