Ahead of a scheduled visit to Iowa on Tuesday, President Donald Trump granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to lift restrictions on higher blend of ethanol E-15 year-round. By lifting the restriction, the EPA will begin the arduous task of creating and seeking public comment on the new regulations going forward. The EPA anticipates the new rule making process will be completed by early June 2019 and would allow the sale of E-15 during summer of 2019. Currently, the sale of E-15 during the summer month’s is prohibited in some states due to the Clean Air Act.
“We want to get more fuel into the system,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One to travel to a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “This is great for our farmers, and it's a promise I made during the campaign, and as you know I keep my promises.”
The expansion of the Renewable Fuel Standard has resulted in higher content of ethanol-blended gasoline at gas stations across America. These higher blends, like E-15 and E-85, have not been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in small engines like those in motorcycles. This is due to concerns for potential damage to fuel lines, injectors, seals, gaskets, and valve seats, as well as to carburetors. As a result, many motorcycle manufacturers now include statements in the manual that any warranty would be voided if E-15 or higher is used.
What does this mean for our motorcycles? Well, we already know that EPA guidance on E-15 fuel prohibits the use in your motorcycle along with a host of other small engines. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes that, until higher blends of ethanol can be approved for use by both the EPA and motorcycle manufactures, the federal government must guarantee the availability of fuel blends containing no more than 10 percent ethanol (E-10) at gas stations around the country. The MRF fully intends to submit comment when it becomes available in the new rule making process in the coming months.
So, what can we do right now? You may remember over the summer the MRF teamed up with representatives from the marine, motorcycling and outdoor power equipment on Capitol Hill in conjunction with Congressional Motorcycle and Boating Caucuses to discuss concerns over higher ethanol blends and lack of consumer education about the associated risks with ethanol. In conjunction with this event, we kicked off our support for H.R. 5855, the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018. Authored by Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), the legislation would require EPA to revise the labeling requirements at fuel pumps that dispense E-15 and conduct a consumer education about the risks of using it in vehicles and equipment that are prohibited from using E-15 (i.e. YOUR MOTORCYCLE).
You can follow the link below and ask your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 5855 and help protect consumers unknowingly using a fuel blend that will not only damage your motorcycle, and void your warranty but the EPA has decided is illegal to put in your motorcycle.
Support HR 5855 - My Motorcycle, My Choice