NMMA sees win for boaters, industry as E15 bill is defeated

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is touting a recent decision as a win for the recreational boating industry.

Last week, a bill that would have allowed for year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol was defeated and won’t get a vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee this year, the NMMA said in a news release.

According to the NMMA, this is good news for the industry and follows countless meetings and discussions it had with key Senate offices to ensure they knew of the damaging impacts of E15 on marine engines.

It was reported Thursday that Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), author of bill S. 517 (115), said it lacked the votes to get out of committee despite having five members as co-sponsors.

“The original sponsor said the votes aren’t there; I don’t expect to see it this year,” Barrasso said in a report on the decision. Fischer agreed that the bill would not come up for a vote this year.

According to reports, ethanol producers argue that allowing year-round sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15) would help increase the number of credits that refiners must use to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard — and ultimately drive down prices.

However, 15 percent ethanol fuel is prohibited from being blended in the summer months due to its high fuel volatility, or Reid Vapor Pressure, the reports say. And according to the NMMA, year-round sales of E15, especially during summer months when boaters around the country fill up their boats at gas stations, is a risk to consumers, given the negative effects E15 has on marine engines and many other small engines.

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