Most boaters unconsciously approach a gas station off the highway to refuel their boat and assume that their fuel choice is perfectly safe for his or her boat. In fact, a 2017 Harris Poll commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute found that 63 percent of consumers assume any gas sold at a retail gas station must be safe for their small engine product, and that 95 percent of boats are fueled at retail gas stations. Boat owners need to have a safe, reliable choice of fuel wherever they find themselves on the water. However, those safe choices are presently at risk.
In 2005, Congress established the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to promote the use of alternative biofuels in conjunction with traditional gasoline. Ethanol soon became the biofuel of choice. Then, in 2007, Congress expanded the RFS, mandating that fuel suppliers blend higher concentrations of ethanol into the nation's gasoline and diesel supplies. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets the RFS, has expanded the availability and sale of E15 in the marketplace. Bass Anglers For Saltwater Conservation strongly opposes increased availability of higher ethanol blends, as it puts millions of boaters and anglers at risk.
More E15 in the boating and recreational fishing industry would have a devastating impact on the 12 million Americans who own boats, 70 percent of whom use their boats to fish, and would significantly harm the nearly 35,000 recreational marine businesses in the nation. Studies have proven that mid-level blends of ethanol, like E15, pose a significant threat to marine engines. This damage puts consumers at risk, and destroys the property of boaters and anglers. Marine engines are only certified to run on fuel blends E10 or lower; anything higher can pose serious problems, including performance issues like stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets.
Rather than allow year-round sale of E15, the EPA must reform the RFS, better educate consumers on proper fuel choices at the pump, and ensure market demand is better reflected in fuel policies. To make this change happen, congress must hear your voice on this issue. Click the link below to send a pre-written letter saying no to E15.