Boating/Fishing Groups Call on White House for Ethanol Policy Changes
WASHINGTON, DC, – In a letter sent today to the Trump administration and Congress, a coalition of recreational boating and sportfishing interests urged action to fix America’s broken ethanol policy. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) on behalf of the nation’s 12 million recreational boat owners, 46 million recreational anglers and 35,000 recreational boating businesses respectively expressed concern with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).The RFS is the 2005 law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, US gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the law forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline.
Boaters and anglers need access to safe and approved fuels. The letter said the RFS “…has discriminatorily affected the boating public – groups of boaters and anglers who purchase fuel for their boats… We write to ask that you to set a new course for the RFS – one that takes into account the objective concerns expressed by the boating community.”
Because of its ability to damage boat engines, federal law prohibits the use of gas blends greater than E10 (10 percent ethanol) in recreational boats. However, as the RFS forces E15 (15 percent ethanol) and higher blends into the market, the chance of misfueling increases. A 2016 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers were not sure or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used. ASA, BoatUS, NMMA and MRAA believe that the increased volumes of E15 and other higher ethanol-blend fuels also reduce the availability of E10 and ethanol-free gas.
The letter asks for common sense reforms, such as ensuring that any future ethanol volumes do not exceed 9.7 percent of the nation’s total fuel supply; protecting true consumer choice at the pump by not artificially decreasing the supply of ethanol-free gasoline, and implementing new and more effective misfueling mitigation protections that will educate and protect all consumers.
Additionally, an appeal by the coalition of the four groups to the boating public and their members to petition for RFS reform with their local congressional representative and President Trump received over 26,000 responses from across the country.
To view the letter, go to BoatUS.com/gov.
About American Sportfishing Association:
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.
About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating over 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.
About Marine Retailers Association of the Americas:
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is the leading trade association of North American small businesses that sell and service new and pre-owned recreational boats and operate marinas, boat yards, and accessory stores. MRAA represent more than 1,300 individual retail locations, and conduct advocacy efforts on their behalf.
About National Marine Manufacturers Association:
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at www.nmma.org and get engaged with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.