Congressional Bill Would Stop E15 Fuel Sales, Require Research

March 2013 Powersport News

Pickerington, OH - A bill requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the use of E15 fuel until the gasoline-ethanol blend is studied further has been introduced in Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports. 

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the bill, H.R. 875, on Feb. 28. The measure would repeal the EPA's waiver decision approving the use of E15 and would bar the agency from granting further decisions on the use of the fuel until the EPA obtains an independent scientific analysis of the effects of the E15 blend. 

E15 is a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume, and the EPA hasn't approved its use in motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles. The EPA has approved its use in 2001-and-newer light-duty vehicles, which include cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles. 

The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available. The AMA wants motorcycles and ATVs to be part of any scientific study on the effects of E15. 

Sensenbrenner said there have been several tests highlighting E15's harmful effects on engines "but they have all been dismissed by the EPA. 

"Therefore, we must force the EPA to stop the use of E15 fuel until the serious safety, durability, performance and environmental concerns have been addressed," he said. "Throughout the 112th Congress, I introduced several bills to address the risks associated with E15. And earlier this week witnesses from AAA, the American Motorcyclist Association and the Coordinating Research Council all testified to the Science, Space and Technology Committee that more testing is needed. 

"We have a responsibility to ensure that Americans using gas-powered machinery-whether it be cars and boats or chainsaws and lawnmowers-are not put at risk due to faulty fuel that has not been adequately vetted," Sensenbrenner said.

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