The National Marine Manufacturers Association has issued a Boating United alert to rally the industry to take action against the possible sale of E15 year-round.
President Trump is currently evaluating changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard, the law that mandates biofuel like ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.
The ethanol industry is lobbying hard to allow for the expanded year-round sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.
“Last summer we had heard there would be a push for year-round sales of E15,” NMMA legal and federal affairs vice president Nicole Vasilaros told Trade Only Today. “We were able to galvanize our grassroots effort and through a lot of pushback efforts, they backed off because they didn’t have enough votes to push the bill through.”
“We’re starting to hear from the rumor mill there could be new action on E15 and the Renewable Fuel Standard and are concerned that lot of the negotiation process president taking with the corn and oil industries could mean year-round sales of E15,” Vasilaros said. “It’s just a rumor and a watch right now but that would be concerning to our industry. There’s already too much E15 out there, and before we put more out, we need to address current problems, and provide more consumer education.”
The boating industry has opposed gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol because studies have shown it causes damage to marine engines, as well as other small engines such as lawnmowers.
A coalition of industries affected by E15 issued a statement in late February asking the Trump administration to participate in the negotiation process over RFS reform; to date, negotiations have included the corn and oil industries, but excluded others.
NMMA, as part of the National Taxpayers Union, says the discussions should be more inclusive. The coalition, which opposes the RFS in its current form, includes a variety of stakeholders, from the Sierra Club to those representing the marine industry and chain restaurants.
“It’s one of those things that’s behind closed doors and unfortunately, we haven’t been part of the process as have others interested parties,” Vasilaros said.
NMMA is urging anyone who works in recreational boating and other industry stakeholders to take action now and tell President Trump and his administration to protect boaters.