On Monday, several NMMA member engine manufacturers sent a letter to President Donald Trump expressing support for replacing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) with a new national octane standard. NMMA has worked closely with the Administration and Congress regarding the recreational boating industry’s problems with the current RFS and higher ethanol additives in gasoline.
The letter states, “We are pleased that Members of Congress and your Administration are considering replacing the broken RFS with a new fuel neutral program. However, our industry and America’s recreational boaters have a number of priorities that need to be considered and addressed in order to ensure a new octane standard is not detrimental for our industry."
The letter continues, “Marine engines do not have any performance or safety problems running on high octane fuels, such as a 95-98 RON. However, if the higher octane is achieved via higher ethanol additives into gasoline (above 10 percent) then the recreational boating industry would face the same problems with the new program as we do today with the RFS. Congress and your Administration would simply be replacing one broken program with another. However, if some additional considerations can be taken into account we believe that a new national octane standard could be better than the current RFS program and beneficial for all stakeholders.
“The recreational boating community remains open to the concept of a new national octane standard. However, in order for it to be successful for all stakeholders your Administration and Congress need to ensure that misfueling mitigation efforts are stronger than under the current RFS program, E15 sales aren’t expanded into the summer boating season, costs to the consumer are phased-in and minimized, availability of E10 and E0 is guaranteed, and regulatory barriers to bio-isobutanol are removed.
“Additionally, while our letter specifically addresses the concept of a new high octane standard as it impacts the recreational boating industry, many other groups likely have similar concerns, including manufacturers and users of: small engines such a lawn mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and classic cars.”
The full letter is available here: http://nmma.net/assets/cabinets/Cabinet515/Marine%20Engine%20Letter%20RE%20High%20Octane%20Proposal_06.25.2018_FINAL.pdf
NMMA is continuing to be loud on this issue and is addressing our industry's concerns head on. For more information, please contact NMMA Senior Vice President of Government and Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at email@example.com or NMMA Director of Federal Affairs, Michael Pasko at firstname.lastname@example.org.