The Agricultural Act of 2014 passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 29 contains a provision that would deter distribution of E15 fuels into the U.S. marketplace.
The bill will be considered by the U.S. Senate next week before going to the president for his signature.
The American Motorcyclist Association considers this provision a victory for the owners and riders of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in operation, which could be damaged by the use of E15 fuel (a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume).
Known as the Farm Bill, it prohibits the use of Rural Energy for America Program grant money to purchase and install special ethanol blender pumps for use at the retail level. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack intended to use REAP funding to install 10,000 blender pumps by 2016.
Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved E15 use in 2001-and-newer light-duty vehicles, which include cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles, the EPA has not approved its use in any motorcycles or ATVs.
The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns about potential E15 misfueling and the subsequent damage that the fuel can have on motorcycle and ATV engines and fuel systems. The AMA believes that blender pumps dispensing E15 at service stations will create a high potential for inadvertent E15 misfueling by consumers.
The AMA will continue to monitor the E15 issue, including the EPA’s proposal to reduce the 2014 requirements under its Renewable Fuel Standard.
More information on the AMA’s position on E15 may be found at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/amafuelforthought.aspx.