In 2005, Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard, mandating that transportation fuel sold in the United States contain a minimum amount of renewable fuels, with most of the requirements being met with corn-based ethanol. The RFS was presented as a solution to make the United States more energy independent, to reduce carbon emissions and bring an economic boost to America’s agriculture industry. Instead, it’s had severe consequences for the areas it tried to help.
Now, Congress wants to put a band-aid on that failed policy with S.517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act. The bill would waive Clean Air Act Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) rules for E15 fuel—gasoline blended to contain 15 percent ethanol—allowing it to be sold during the summer months. Here are 5 reasons why S.517 fails consumers and is another distraction from the real work of fixing the RFS:
- The EPA hasn’t sufficiently addressed the real and serious concerns of consumer misfueling and engine damage threats related to E15 fuel use. This includes risks of possible metal corrosion, rubber swelling, and even full engine break-down.
- The summer recreation season is when the greatest numbers of boats, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles and ATVs are in use, and none of their engines can use E15 fuel.
- The RVP waiver has nothing to do with consumer demand or consumer choice. It advances a long-standing tradition of legislators trying to fix big problems with little solutions.
- Taxpayers will foot the bill for infrastructure upgrades required by fuel retailers to distribute new fuel.
- E15 offers less “go” per gallon, forcing consumers to make more trips to the gas station. 1 gallon of ethanol yields 33% less energy than 1 gallon of gasoline.
If you are worried about your engine safety, increased consumer costs or government overreach, contact your legislator today and tell them to vote NO on S.517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.