The controversy over ethanol in gasoline continues. This month, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) started a formal legal challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Regulation to Mitigate Misfueling” rule that addresses concerns about 15% ethanol blends and non-road products and older model-year vehicles.
OPEI and partner groups maintain that EPA’s labeling effort is inadequate to protect consumers and avoid misfueling and damage to millions of products not designed to run on any ethanol fuel higher than E10.
“We are asking that the EPA do more to protect the consumer. We need to educate the public on a new fuel entering the market that is about to fundamentally change how we purchase and dispense gasoline. And, we need to ensure that consumers can still find E10 for the millions of products — lawnmowers, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs and UTVs, boats and older cars — that still use an E10 legacy fuel,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, in a press release.
OPEI points out that the EPA’s prior experience with fuel transitions and misfueling demonstrates that labeling alone is insufficient to prevent misfueling. As the EPA led the transition to unleaded fuels, the agency reported a misfueling rate of nearly 15% almost 10 years after the introduction of unleaded gasoline.
While it's not yet legel to sell E15 in the U.S., and there's no clear idea of when that will occur, it's getting a lot of attention in the news.
As the pros and cons of ethanol additives are batted about among consumers, they'll look to their equipment dealer as a resource. They're likely already confused. Ensuring your staff delivers a consistent message — whether it's to reccomend an additive or non-ethanol fuel — will help clear the air.