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Proposed Expansion of E15 Fuels Could Endanger Motorcyclists

April 25, 2016

In March 2016 a bill was introduced in Congress that would provide grants for developing the infrastructure to deliver fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

Introduced by U.S. Rep David Loebsack (D-Iowa), the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion, and Leadership Act (H.R. 4673, otherwise known as the “REFUEL Act”) would provide federal grants for the purchase and installation of equipment (pumps, storage tanks, pipes, etc.) specifically for “dispensing fuel containing covered renewable or alternative energy.” This equipment would be key in expanding the availability of E15 fuel, a blend of gasoline that includes up to 15 percent ethanol.

In cooperation with our Sustaining State Motorcycle Rights Organizations, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) opposes the implementation of any fuel blend that contains anything higher than a 10 percent ethanol content without further research on the effects of these blends on motorcycle engines.

To date, none of the motorcycles in use in the United States are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol, and use of E15 fuels in motorcycles may damage fuel systems and void manufacturers’ warranties.

Because this bill directly violates the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the FARM Bill) that prohibited funding for special ethanol blender pumps, and because E15 fuels can damage motorcycles, the MRF encourages you to contact you U.S. Representative and ask him or her to oppose H.R. 4673.