Running on empty

Dear Editor:

The American is entitled to its own opinion, but not its own facts [“Ethanol blends cause ‘tremendous’ damage to small engines,” May 10].

For starters, President Trump’s recent comments supported year-round consumer access — not mandated usage — of 15 percent ethanol and higher ethanol blends. This would simply enable E15 to be sold year-round throughout the country, giving consumers more choice at the pump. There is no mandate to use higher ethanol blends and in fact, E0 (gasoline with no ethanol) availability is on the rise, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

For more than 30 years, ethanol blends up to 10 percent (E10) have been used in all types of marine engines, providing a lower-cost fuel that helps keep our air and water cleaner. Additionally, with ethanol’s higher octane rating, it can give boaters an extra power boost, and at a lower price point. Boat manufacturers from Honda to Mercury Marine specifically approve the use of E10 in their watercraft right in the owner’s manual.

The American also neglects to mention that while E10 is approved for use in all marine engines, E15 is not. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of E15 in all 2001 and later model year vehicles, but only for on-road vehicles. But because the EPA requires E15 and higher ethanol blends to be clearly labeled at the pump, boaters need not be concerned. Over six years of E15 sales, there has not been a single reported case of E15 misfueling in any engine, but especially a marine engine.

To help combat ethanol misinformation, the Renewable Fuels Association, which represents U.S. ethanol producers, is a co-title sponsor of the Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail this year. What makes this tournament trail unique is that every winning team’s boat for the past three-plus years has been powered by homegrown, 10 percent ethanol and no issues have been reported.

The American’s report is a disservice to boat owners and the public, who aren’t hearing the full story on ethanol. Consumers have more choices than ever at the pump. That should be applauded, not criticized.

Rachel Gantz

Renewable Fuels Association

Washington, D.C.

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