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NMMA applauds AAA’s stance against E15

AAA has come out against the use of E15 at gas stations.

“With little consumer knowledge about E15 and less than 5 percent of cars on the road approved by automakers to use that fuel, AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected,” the federation of motor clubs said in a statement issued Friday.

“They are probably the biggest single consumer group that cares about people out there on the highways, and they have concluded that it’s just a really bad product,” National Marine Manufacturers Association legislative director Jim Currie told Soundings Trade Only.

After the statement, the Smarter Fuel Future coalition of industries that are opposed to E15 held a meeting. The NMMA is among those industries because of similar testing that shows E15 is bad for marine engines.

“In smaller quantities, ethanol is really good. It’s an oxygenator,” Currie told Trade Only. “The NMMA is not anti-ethanol. We can live with it in lower levels. It’s just when they increase it above 10 percent that it hurts engines.”

“Alcohol burns hotter than gasoline and causes engine damage,” he added. “It’s all a matter of heat.”

The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a misfueling mitigation plan in response to the question of using the same hose to dispense both E15 and E10.

Whenever a person uses a gasoline pump, about half to three-quarters of a gallon is left in the hose, Currie said. So the EPA said it would mandate that a minimum of 4 gallons be dispensed at a time to dilute the concentration of fuel left behind.

“If you’re filling up a little tank to fill your lawnmower or weed whacker, what do you do? Do you pour the rest on the ground? They don’t say,” Currie said.

A news report regarding the issue quoted a gas station operator in Kansas who said he was getting better gas mileage with E15, an assertion that Currie disputed.

Ethanol has fewer Btu per gallon than gasoline, so the more ethanol the worse the gas mileage, Currie said.

— Reagan Haynes

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