Certified mechanics, engine performance experts, and professional fishermen briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the importance of ethanol in protecting the environment, preserving America's energy security, and providing a high-octane boost to marine engines.
The briefing, hosted by Fuels America, provided an important opportunity for experts to dispel myths about ethanol and make the case for full implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The National Corn Growers Association is a member of Fuels America.
"I want to take my grandkids fishing someday. That means having clean water and clean air. Mixing ethanol into our fuel is the best way to reduce the pollutants that fossil fuels leave behind, so our lakes and rivers stay clean and marine life can flourish," said Brian Sowers, Co-Host of Crappie Masters TV, covering the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail.
The Clinton, Missouri-based Crappie Masters tournament trail is sponsored in part by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. A major initiative of this partnership is to educate boaters and consumers on ethanol production, its performance in boat motors, and its impact on the economy. Most of the 12 million recreational boats in the United States are approved to operate on fuel blended with 10 percent ethanol (E10).
Sowers notes that 100 percent of Crappie Masters tournament winners use an ethanol blend in their tanks. That comes as no surprise to Keith Holmes, President and Owner of CK Motorsports in Nunica, Michigan and a Certified Mercury Marine Racing Technician.
"We work on a wide variety of racing engines for watercraft, and they run at their absolute best on a high-octane ethanol blend," said Holmes. "Ethanol burns cleaner and cooler. Since the introduction of E10, we find that many engine parts have a 25 to 50 percent longer lifespan. The National Boat Racing Association exclusively uses E10 for all their races."
"Decades of experience with modern engines shows that E10 is the best fuel for marine applications," said Marc Rauch, Executive Vice President and Co-Publisher at the Auto Channel, based in Louisville, Kentucky. "As an oxygen booster, ethanol replaces toxins like MTBE, which are notorious for contaminating water supplies. And it reduces CO2 emissions by 34 to 100 percent or more compared to gasoline."
Joel Hennen, president and owner of Hennen's Auto Service in Shakopee, Minnesota, which serves communities on the Minnesota River and Prior Lake, said his customers expect to have choices at the pump, including E10. "Companies like Kawasaki, Mercury Marine, OMC, Pleasurecraft, Tigershark, Tracker, Honda, and Yamaha all approve the use of E10 in their engines," said Hennen. "The labels are clear, and whether customers have a flex fuel vehicle or a race boat, we make it easy to pick the most affordable option with the lowest emissions."
"Whether you farm, fish, swim, or ride a boat, everyone who spends time on the water cares about clean water and clean air. Ethanol is the best way to preserve these resources today and for future generations," said Beth Elliott, NCGA Director of Public Policy. "Today's briefing was an opportunity for us to educate lawmakers on ethanol and its performance in maritime engines, while continuing to highlight that it's a renewable, clean energy source for both boats and cars."
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed blending requirements for ethanol and advanced biofuels in 2017.