The American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association that represents America’s oil and natural gas industry, conducted a survey whose results show that more than three-fourths of Americans fear that E15 fuel may damage fuel system components, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. Also, more than two-thirds of those surveyed believe that using more corn for ethanol production could force up food prices.
E15 is a fuel blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved for use in 2001-and-newer passenger vehicles. Ethanol is grain alcohol produced from crops such as corn that is mixed with gasoline to produce an ethanol-gasoline blend motor fuel.
E15 is not approved for use in any motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers and other small engines. Since 2011, the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use by the inadvertent use of E15, which is now becoming available at gas stations.
Some 77 percent of registered voters are concerned that ethanol blends above a 10 percent level can cause severe damage to car engines and fuel system components, according to the poll. Also, 69 percent of those surveyed said that using more corn for ethanol production could increase consumer prices for groceries due to a reduction in the corn supply for food, food products and animal feed. The survey was conducted between Sept. 19-23 by Harris Interactive.
“The bottom line is that motorcyclists want access to safe fuels for motorcycles,” said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Wayne Allard. “Given marketplace realities, wherever E15 is sold there will very likely be misfueling issues due to confusing or improper labeling at the pump. Mis-fueling could even occur if a rider selects a fuel grade other than E15 on a fuel blender pump and receives E15 leftover in the hose from a previous user.”