Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its blended fuel-volume levels for 2019. Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Renewable Volume Obligation requires 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be mixed into the national’s fuel supply in the coming year.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association strongly opposed the volume levels in public comments and in meetings with the EPA prior to the agency’s official announcement. The NMMA said it will continue to work to protect consumers against fuel with higher levels of ethanol.
“Friday’s announcement by the EPA reinforces what we already knew: Consumers are an afterthought under the current RFS,” Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, said in a statement. “The Trump Administrations’ 2019 RVO levels put Americans at risk and pump billions of gallons of ethanol into the U.S. fuel supply, compounding previous bad policy decisions — most notably, the recent proposal to expand sales of E15 year-round.”
The NMMA’s primary concern is that most consumers are not aware of the dangers posed by fuel blended with ethanol at a ratio that’s higher than 10 percent. “Federal regulation prohibits the use of E15 in small engines,” said Dammrich in the statement. “These engines — including those in boats, lawn mowers and motorcycles — suffer damage when fueled with blends exceeding 10 percent ethanol, while voiding their warrantees and saddling consumers with high repair and replacement costs.”