AMA opposes planned E15 waiver

The American Motorcyclist Association strongly opposes the emergency waiver to allow summertime sales of E15 recently announced by the Biden administration, along with any attempt to weaken the already inadequate labeling standards at the pump that puts powersports users at risk of misfuelling.

None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in this country is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol by volume. E15, which contains 15 percent ethanol, is in fact illegal to use in motorcycles, boat engines, lawn mowers, chainsaws and other outdoor power equipment products.

“E15 has been shown to damage carbureted and fuel-injected motorcycles, reduce gas mileage and decrease shelf life of the gasoline,” said AMA Director of Government Relations Michael Sayre. “The fact that it is illegal to use in motorcycles, and that clear labeling at the pump is not required, poses a significant risk for misfuelling.”

A similar EPA waiver in 2018 to allow for year-round sales of E15 was challenged in court by the AMA and the American Petroleum Institute (API). A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the waiver misinterpreted the Clean Air Act and the waiver was struck down.

The planned EPA waiver is set to be finalized before summertime sales begin on June 1. E15 sales are traditionally barred between June 1 and September 15 due to the blends’ higher volatility, which contributes to smog in the warmer months. According to the White House, the EPA will also consider working with states to expand E15 availability and modifying labeling at the fuel pump.

The AMA greatly opposes modifying labels at the pump that could potentially misinform customers. The AMA instead advocates for stronger labeling at the pump to make the potential dangers of E15 clear and concise. The inadequacy of labeling can be seen in the rise of Unleaded 88, a fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol and is deliberately mislabeled.

In lieu of proper labeling, the AMA continuously spreads awareness to members about the potential damage E15 can cause.

The EPA has acknowledged the growing scientific consensus that ethanol-blended fuels are worse for the environment than non-ethanol fuels, and economists and analysts doubt the waiver will have any measurable impact on lowering prices at the pump.

To learn more and take action, visit https://www.votervoice.net/Motorcyclist/campaigns/94109/respond.

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