Thirty-six environmental and industry groups signed a letter that went to the majority and minority leaders of the Senate Monday urging opposition to any amendment to the upcoming energy bill that would authorize the sale of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol.
Some in the ethanol industry are seeking approval in Congress for proposals to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline by 50 percent - from the current 10 percent to 15 percent.
Marine industry groups signing the letter included the National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Sportfishing Association, American Watercraft Association, Association of Marina Industries, Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society/ESPN Outdoors, BoatU.S., National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, National Boating Federation and Personal Watercraft Industry Association.
The text of the letter reads as follows:
"The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose any amendment to the upcoming Senate energy bill that would authorize legislatively the introduction into commerce of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent (so-called mid-level ethanol blends) for use in conventional gasoline-powered engines. Such an amendment would short-circuit existing two-year joint Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy and industry research projects designed to insure that mid-level ethanol blends do not harm gasoline-powered engines, defeat emissions control devices, pose safety risks to consumers, or increase emissions from these engines.
"Sound science, environmental protection and consumer safety - not politics - must guide this important decision. Section 211(f) of the Clean Air Act mandates a detailed scientific review before new fuels, additives, or fuel blends are introduced into commerce. EPA is in the midst of carrying out this review, including soliciting public comment from all stakeholders on the introduction of mid-level ethanol blends. This review must be allowed to continue and must not be pre-empted by Congress.
"We collectively urge you to reject any attempt to attach a mid-level ethanol authorization amendment during the Senate's consideration of energy legislation in the coming weeks and months. Such an amendment would be bad for consumers, bad for safety, bad for the environment and, by placing politics over sound science, bad public policy."