Bipartisan congressional letter aims to prevent E15-related engine damage
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On June 8, U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.) sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to “…express concern about the lack of consumer awareness surrounding the inappropriate use of E15 gasoline and… how it [the EPA] plans to mitigate consumer misfuelings… .”

With your help, 45 representatives have agreed to support motorcyclists in their effort to ensure that safe fuels remain available and the risk of misfueling with E15 is reduced.

See if your representative signed the letter!

The bipartisan letter comes in response to the EPA’s Renewable Volume Obligations rule for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The EPA proposal would increase the amount of ethanol from all sources in the nation’s fuel supply to 17.4 billion gallons in 2016, up from 15.93 billion gallons in 2014.

Those increases come despite the EPA’s acknowledgement that the current market cannot absorb these higher ethanol production rates without substantially increasing the amount of ethanol in our nation’s gasoline supply. The practical effect of the EPA’s action is more unsafe E15 (15 percent ethanol by volume), less E10 and virtually no E0 for older and vintage machines.

As the American Motorcyclist Association has repeatedly warned, more E15 will inevitably lead to inadvertent misfueling, which can damage motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle fuel systems and engines not designed for its use. Moreover, the use of E15 may void the manufacturer’s warranty.

With a high probability of inadvertent misfueling, the letter urges the EPA to “…act to raise consumer awareness of the consequences of misfueling with E15.” Currently, the effort to bring awareness is left up to the AMA and other consumer-oriented and industry groups.

The urgency of EPA action to address misfueling is supported by a recent study from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. The study indicates only 5 percent of consumers are aware that E15 is prohibited for use in certain engines and that 60 percent of consumers assume that any gas sold at a pump must be safe for all of their engines.

This letter will help protect the 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use and the riders who depend on their safe operation.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail, racetrack, and in the halls of government. If you are a motorcycle rider, join the AMA at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
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