AMA speak out against E15
The organization, the latest group to speak out against E15, a blend of fuel containing 15 percent ethanol, started the day with a motorcycle ride around the U.S. Capitol, followed by a rally. Members then visited with their congressional delegations’ offices to urge them to back legislation that calls for new E15 research into the effects on motorcycles and ATVs.
“E15 fuel is one of the most important issues that faces motorcyclists today,” said Maggie McNally, chair of the American Motorcyclist Association.
The American Petroleum Institute, restaurant groups, livestock owners, among others, have spoken out against the fuel. While most gasoline sold at fuel stations across the country contains 10 percent ethanol, a handful of stations across the country have offered it.
Critics have said the use of corn to produce ethanol has driven up the price of meat and other foods for consumer. Auto groups have argued the blend could damage millions of vehicles, put drivers at risk and force automakers to void warranties if consumers put E15 in their cars.
Ethanol supporters were quick to blast the motorcycle industry for their “rally without a cause,” a nod to the 1955 movie hit, “Rebel Without a Cause,” with James Dean.
“Today’s political theater is just that – the AMA knows that motorcycle operators are not legally allowed to use E15. So, it seems to me they are just doing the bidding of Big Oil and other special interest groups to prevent consumers from having a choice when it comes to filling up at the pump,” said Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy, a trade group representing the ethanol industry.
“The Environmental Protection Agency has been very clear – E15 is legal for use only in light duty trucks and cars, vehicle models 2001 and newer. E15 is not for use in motorcycles and small engines for ATV’s or weed whackers, which begs the question, what is the point of today’s exercise?” he said.
The EPA, which approved the new blend in January 2011, finally gave the OK for it to go on sale last June. The blend, which has been approved for use in cars and light trucks built since 2000 but is banned from older vehicles and light equipment, has been slow to get off the ground because of the time and cost it takes to comply with the new requirements