The National Marine Manufacturers Association is encouraging marine industry stakeholders to comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal for increasing the amount of ethanol in the overall fuel supply.
In late May, the EPA proposed increasing the amount of ethanol required in the fuel supply, although it lowered the amounts required by the Clean Air Act, angering both critics and supporters of ethanol.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would inject $100 million in funding to get more ethanol at the gas pump.
The public comment period regarding the elevated blends lasts until July 27.
The increase proposed for 2014, 2015 and 2016 will “push the total ethanol volumes to record highs and industry projections estimate that as soon as next year, the so-called blend wall will break,” the NMMA said in its newsletter.
The blend wall is the term used for the maximum amount of ethanol in fuel that can be tolerated by all engines — which is E10, or 10 percent ethanol.
The EPA said the total amount of renewable fuel blending would be 15.93 billion gallons in 2014, 16.30 billion gallons in 2015 and 17.40 billion gallons in 2016 — more than 4 billion gallons a year lower than the amount Congress called for in the 2007 legislation. The statutory requirement for 2016 is 22.25 billion gallons.
The NMMA says it is “critical” for boaters to weigh in on the proposal.