Protect Your Boat and Let Your Voice be Heard on Ethanol Fuels

The current administration is pushing for the expansion of E15 blended fuels at gas stations around the nation. E15 is a blended fuel containing 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol. Currently, most filling stations only dispense E10 blended fuels which have been deemed safe for all engines. However, any boat owner or small engine operator (think lawnmower, motorcycle, etc) knows differently. Regular E10 pump gas that is not stabilized and left to sit for a few weeks can attract water, separate and severely damage sensitive fuel and engine components. Even good fuel stabilizers and treatment solutions don’t guarantee long shelf life for blended gasoline.

E15 pump placardFinding a gas station that pumps ethanol-free fuel isn’t always easy. Also, adding enough stabilizer to your boat’s large fuel tank isn’t always practical. But, these measures are necessary to help mitigate the damage that blended fuels can cause. Although there has been push-back from NMMA and other marine industry groups, Congress is still pushing higher blends of ethanol. Independent studies have been performed by laboratories and major engine manufacturers like Yamaha and Mercury proving that E15 is bad news. These studies have also lead to engine warranties stating that use of ethanol blended fuels can void the warranty.

Simple Choice Now to Avoid a Difficult Choice Later

Boating United and the ForShore team are urging all mariners and watersports enthusiasts to contact their representatives and ask them to oppose higher blended fuels. For our friends in Florida, you can contact President Donald Trump, Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio. You can find your local representative at the Gov Track website along with a handy contact button for each representative. After you engage the administration, be sure to share this on social media to spread the word.

Blended fuels pump
Photo: USA Today

While it may seem trivial to battle for an additional 5% blend, it is important to fight now and make our voices heard. If the E15 passes unopposed, higher concentrations up to E30 (which has already been piloted in certain areas) could follow. The biggest concern surrounding higher ethanol concentrations is potential confusion at the pump. If E15 mandates pass, stations will begin carrying E10 & E15 at different octane ratings. Aside from confusion for motorists and boaters quickly grabbing the fill nozzle, product mixing at the pump is another concern. There are better alternatives for blended fuels on the horizon – more on that later though.

Now is the time to act! Contact your senators and state representatives today and let them know you oppose the E15 mandate.