NMMA: Latest EPA renewable fuel standard a 'step backwards'

The following is the text of a press release issued by the National Marine Manufacturers Association:

(WASHINGTON) — The EPA yesterday announced the 2017 proposed Renewable Fuel Standard rule increasing the blend requirement to 14.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol with gasoline. The proposal increases the need for higher blends of ethanol to record levels, pushing further past the E10 blend wall, forcing an increase of 700 million gallons and endangering more consumers including recreational boaters. To read the rule in full, click here. NMMA responded to the rule by noting the following:

The 2017 RFS proposed ethanol volumes released by the EPA this week once again fail to meet basic marketplace realities and represent another step backwards with regard to this unworkable mandate. By increasing the required amount of ethanol to record-levels in 2017, the EPA is  not only denying consumers choice at the pump, but also putting the public at risk of misfueling. This week's announcement will only cause headaches for consumers who will no longer be able to obtain the low-ethanol and ethanol-free fuel blends they seek for their boats. The mandate further promotes the expansion of E15—a known harmful fuel to marine and off road engines, and still does not include any plans for the widespread public outreach efforts needed to educate consumers on the problems they may face including engine damage, voided warranties and costly repairs. As we’ve said before, the RFS is a broken law which sets unrealistic fuel mandates. And as we have done in the past, we again urge Congress to act swiftly by reforming the RFS in order to protect our industry and the others negatively affected by this decision. NMMA will be involved in the final rule making process, and looks forward to working with the EPA, our members and other stakeholders to deliver a common-sense rule that keeps the 88 million boaters safe on the water.

By Professional Mariner Staff