Last week, Congressman Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) reintroduced Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act (H.R. 1315). The RFS Reform Act eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels, and decreases the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline sold or introduced into commerce for years 2017-2022. NMMA applauds these efforts at ensuring a safe and reliable fuel supply remains in place for boaters and is optimistic that Congress will tackle RFS Reform to better protect consumer choice.
Efforts by the EPA to increase the amount of ethanol in the fuel supply, up to 15 percent ethanol by volume (E15) is dangerous for boaters. Boaters are prohibited from using amounts above E10, but the EPA has done nothing to ensure the required fuel source for millions of boats and off-road equipment remains available. In 2016, renewable volume obligations numbers set levels of ethanol that will decimate the availability of ethanol free gas, a fuel type heavily demanded by many consumers.