803.123.4567 contact@abatecwc.com

June 8, 2018 – RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

  • Jun 8 at 2:25 PM



NEWS FROM THE HILL – Embattled on Ethanol

It was a roller coaster of announcements this week on ethanol…on Monday, the White House signaled that they would officially propose changes to the ethanol/biofuels policy. You’ll recall that they had been negotiating for months…and it appeared that they were close to making something official. But then Tuesday happened…and Iowa Senators reportedly “laid into” the EPA’s Scott Pruitt about the proposal. Shortly after, the White House back pedaled saying there would no announcement. Senator Joni Ernst took to twitter later that day stating that President Trump, “just assured me he ‘won’t sign a deal that’s bad for farmers!’ Thank you, Mr. President!” Not to be outdone, other Senators got into the fray and on Wednesday, a group of lawmakers sent a letter to the head of the EPA stating that, “We are very concerned that career EPA officials may be being directed to reverse over 25 years of the agency’s position to manufacture legal and scientific justifications for a politically-directed decision on E15.” If you want to read the full letter, you can do so by clicking here: Senate Letter to the EPA

So, what was in the negotiation to put everyone into a tizzy? Here is what my sources say:

The President would agree to allow 15 percent ethanol fuels year-round (EPA currently bans E15 sales in the summer months due to smog concerns) – this will be in exchange for decreased regulatory burdens on oil refineries. The “decreased regulatory burdens” would be that the EPA would allow EXPORTED ethanol fuel to count towards the required quota of ethanol mandated by the EPA. Whereas previously, oil and gas companies could only count domestically used ethanol towards their mandated quota. The likely result is that, because companies can satisfy their regulatory requirements of blended ethanol gasoline through export products, there may be less ethanol blends in the domestic market (and at the pump). Basically, lets make it someone else’s problem by shipping E15 to Japan. (Do they have an MRF in Japan? Maybe they should….)

My take…while it may help decrease the amount of ethanol in America, the rumored bargain does nothing to help motorcyclists concerns that there is a lack of consumer education surrounding the effects of ethanol on engines AND the fact that ITS ILLEGAL TO USE E-15 in your motorcycle. Oh yeah, and it also voids your warranty. I guess they just expect the 8.5 million motorcyclists in America to regularly check the EPA’s website to see what the latest regulations are. That’s a sensible solution. ::::eye roll::::::

BUT, fear not, enter the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act, H.R.5855. Introduced just days after Bikers Inside the Beltway (where participants told lawmakers we needed this exact relief), this bill would expand consumer awareness on how to safely use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol including improved labeling, fuel pump safeguards, and education outreach. Motorcycles are specifically mentioned as concerned consumers and their need to have a strong dialogue directly with the EPA.

I like it….and I hope you do too. If you do, take a minute and send an email to your lawmaker asking them to support H.R.5855. A pre-drafted email awaits your signature: http://cqrcengage.com/mrf/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=482033