Mercury Marine has joined the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and others voicing disappointment with the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement to delay until 2015 the final rule that will tell fuel refiners how much ethanol must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.
The EPA said it will not finalize 2014 applicable percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program this year. The decision creates growing uncertainty in the marketplace and fails to provide a consistent standard that boaters can follow. Ethanol has been shown to damage gaskets, valves and seals in engines, possibly voiding warranties for boat engines if gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol is used.
“While were encouraged that the EPA is not blindly implementing flawed standards, we support the NMMA’s position that high-ethanol fuel blends have been proven to cause damage to marine engines, and now is the time for decisive refinement of the strategy rather than additional study,” said, Mercury Marine Vice President of Sales and Marketing Randy Caruana
The NMMA agreed.
“By punting its decision, the EPA has done nothing to alleviate concerns regarding the continued availability of low-ethanol fuel blends relied upon by the boating industry,” said Nicole Vasilaros, the NMMA’s director of federal and legal affairs. “Consumers remain at high risk. We have serious, well-documented and data-driven concerns with the safety of high ethanol fuel blends which have been proven to cause damage to marine engines. This damage hurts manufacturers during a time of important economic recovery. The RFS is a broken law which sets unrealistic fuel mandates and requires a long term fix from Congress.”