AMA-logo-230PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that demand for ethanol-related fuel probably isn’t enough to meet the requirements of federal law and changes may need to be made next year, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

In a regulatory announcement released Aug. 6, “EPA Finalizes Renewable Fuel Standards,” the EPA said that for 2014 “the ability of the market to consume ethanol in higher blends such as E85 is highly constrained as a result of infrastructure- and market-related factors. EPA does not currently foresee a scenario in which the market could consume enough ethanol sold in blends greater than E10, and/or produce sufficient volumes of non-ethanol biofuels to meet the volumes of total renewable fuel and advanced biofuel as required by statute for 2014. Therefore, EPA anticipates that in the 2014 proposed rule we will propose adjustments to the 2014 volume requirements, including the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel categories.”

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require all consumers to buy at least four gallons of gasoline from certain gas pumps after the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend is introduced into the market, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The EPA revealed the requirement to the AMA in a letter dated Aug. 1, responding to AMA concerns that E15 — a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume — could be put in motorcycle and ATV gas tanks inadvertently when consumers use blender pumps. A blender pump dispenses different fuel blends through the same hose, and the vast majority of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use today aren’t designed to operate on E15 fuel.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — A key U.S. House committee has approved a bill that would require an independent scientific study of the effects of ethanol-gasoline blends on engines, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

By a 19-7 vote on Feb. 7, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology approved H.R. 3199 to require the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek an independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 — a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume — on engines.

The measure, introduced by committee Vice Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), now goes to the full House for a vote. If approved, it then moves to the Senate for further consideration.

“This independent research is needed to ensure that new ethanol-gasoline blends won’t damage motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “We applaud the committee for supporting this crucial legislation.”

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) applauds U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) for introducing a bill that calls for new research into the effects of certain ethanol-blended gasoline.

“The research sought by Representative Sensenbrenner is badly needed to ensure that new ethanol-gasoline blends won’t damage motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) engines,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “We are urging all concerned motorcycle and ATV riders to contact their lawmakers to ask them to support Representative Sensenbrenner’s bill: H.R. 3199.”

On Friday, Oct. 14, Sensenbrenner, who is vice chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, introduced H.R. 3199. The legislation would require the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek an independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 — a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent alcohol by volume — on engines.

“The EPA’s decision to allow E15 into the marketplace will impact every American who owns a car, lawnmower or boat,” Sensenbrenner said. “Automakers insist that using E15 will void warranties, lower fuel efficiency and cause premature engine failure. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.

“There are serious concerns that the EPA used only one Department of Energy test and rushed E15′s introduction into the marketplace,” Sensenbrenner said. “This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence — albeit inconvenient evidence for the EPA — that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines.”

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.

In a July 11 letter to the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, the AMA, along with its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), asked “that on- or off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles be part of any scientific study” into the effects of E15 sought by the subcommittee.

In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list.

No motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the list.

The AMA and ATVA have expressed concerns about E15 being mistakenly used and damaging engines in motorcycles and ATVs, and about the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol, or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend, that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs.

The organizations have also expressed concerns about the possibility that “blender pumps” that dispense multiple grades of gasoline through a single hose might introduce enough ethanol into gasoline to be used in a motorcycle or ATV to damage the vehicle; and that ethanol absorbs water, which could be harmful to motorcycles and ATVs.

To contact your federal lawmakers to urge them to support H.R. 3199 go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com.