Action Urged Against Ethanol Increase

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to make its decision regarding a proposed increase in gasoline ethanol levels later this month or in early October. Boating groups such as BoatUS and the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) are asking boat and marine-equipment dealers and the boating public to contact the White House to express their opposition to E15.

BoatUS says that tens of thousands of public comments have sent to EPA, with an estimated 35,000 comments coming from boaters and the marine industry. The predominant sentiment: the government needs to understand what higher blends will do to existing engines before they accept this new fuel blend.

As most boaters are now aware, ethanol increases the amount of water absorbed by gasoline, leading to potential engine failure and expensive repairs either through phase separation or vapor lock. It can also leave deposits in fuel tanks and fuel lines that can clog injectors, and can actually dissolve fiberglass fuel tanks in older vessels. Boating groups claim that not enough information exists on how the ethanol increase will affect marine engines and fuel systems. Further, raising the level of ethanol could pose a safety issue for boaters by increasing the risk of on-the-water breakdowns.

The ethanol increase is being promoted by an association comprising corn co-ops and farmers.


To petition the White House against approving the ethanol increase, go to FollowtheScience