Groups renew call for revised ethanol laws

A coalition of recreational boating and sportfishing advocates urged the Trump administration and Congress to amend the ethanol laws.
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A coalition of recreational boating and sportfishing advocates urged the Trump administration and Congress to amend the ethanol laws.

The American Sportfishing Association, BoatUS, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas expressed concern in a letter to President Donald Trump and lawmakers about the Renewable Fuel Standard, the law that requires increasing amounts of ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

The RFS is the 2005 law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into gasoline. When the law was written, it was assumed that U.S. gasoline use would continue to rise. However, use has dropped steadily since 2005 and the law now forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gas.

The letter said the RFS “has discriminatorily affected the boating public — groups of boaters and anglers who purchase fuel for their boats,” according to BoatUS. “We write to ask that you to set a new course for the RFS — one that takes into account the objective concerns expressed by the boating community.”

Because of its ability to damage boat engines, federal law prohibits the use of gas blends greater than E10, or gasoline that is 10 percent ethanol, in recreational boats. However, as the RFS forces E15 (15 percent ethanol) and higher blends into the market, the chance of misfueling increases.

A 2016 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers were not sure about or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used.

The ASA, BoatUS, and the NMMA and MRAA believe that increased volumes of E15 and other higher ethanol-blend fuels also reduce the availability of E10 and ethanol-free gas.

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