Boaters, E15, and Biobutanol Brought Up During House Hearing

On Friday, April 13, the House Energy and Commerce’s Environment Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “High Octane Fuels and High Efficiency Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities”.  The hearing was a way for Members of Congress to discuss the concept of having a new national octane standard for gasoline.  A new higher octane standard has the potential to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline. This is very concerning to marine manufacturers and the recreational boating community.

During the hearing, two Members of Congress brought up the fact that this would have an impact on boaters: Rep. Tim Walberg (MI) and Rep. Buddy Carter (GA). 

Rep. Walberg mentioned that he is a boat owner and asked questions regarding the potential for boaters to misfuel their engines with E15. Congressman Walberg also said that he wished a representative from the marine industry was present to testify at the hearing. 

Rep. Carter used all of his allotted time to talk about the issue’s impact on the marine industry. Congressman Carter talked about the benefits of biobutanol and referenced studies carried out NMMA.  He also talked about the importance of helping to ensure boaters aren’t confused by misleading marketing tactics on E15.

The recorded hearing can be viewed HERE. Note that Rep. Walberg's remarks start at 2:03:40 and Rep. Carter’s remarks start at 2:18:32

NMMA would like to thank Congressmen Walberg and Carter for their leadership in ensuring boaters’ needs are addressed.  NMMA’s Federal Government Affairs team looks forward to continuing to work with them and their staff, as well as the entire Environment Subcommittee, to make certain that any efforts to overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) protects the interest of boaters and marine manufacturers. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact NMMA’s Senior Vice President of Government & Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org, or NMMA’s Director of Federal Government Affairs, Mike Pasko at mpasko@nmma.org.