This week, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., paired up with U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., to bring out a bill offering consumers more information about ethanol at pumps across the nation.
Scott brought out the “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act” on Wednesday with Frankel as a cosponsor. The two representatives are both members of the Boating Caucus.
The bill would have the EPA offer more information on how E15 ethanol impacts engines with the two representatives noting that it can prove harmful to boats, motorcycles, older cars and outdoor equipment.
“As we are presented with more choices at the gas pump, it is imperative that American consumers know exactly what kind of fuel they are putting into their engines,” said Scott. “Gas pumps today are riddled with confusing labels that fail to adequately warn consumers of the dangers of fueling small engine equipment with E15. For this reason, with the support of Congresswoman Frankel, I introduced the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018. By making fuel pump labels easier to decipher and coordinating public education programs, this legislation can save consumers time and energy at the pumps and avoid headaches and costs down the road.”
Frankel pointed to the damage E15 can do to boats as one of the reasons she was backing the legislation.
“In Florida, recreational boating is more than just a way of life – it’s an $11 billion industry supporting more than 56,000 jobs,” said Frankel. “This bipartisan bill educates people on their fueling options to keep boats running well, so it’s calm waters all year long.”
The National Marine Manufacturers Association is supporting the legislation.
“Thanks to the leadership of Representative Scott and Representative Frankel, American consumers and 141 million recreational boaters will be better insulated from the danger of improperly fueling their boat engines with an unsafe, unreliable and often incompatible fuel option,” said Thom Dammrich, the president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “E15 fuel is often sold at retail gas stations, and currently 63 percent of consumers assume all products sold at these stations are safe for their engines despite the fact that high ethanol fuel blends are prohibited in boat engines. The Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018 addresses that challenge head on and will direct the Administrator of the EPA to revise the labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15, and to develop and execute a public education campaign that expands awareness of the risks associated with E15.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. So far, there is no counterpart over in the U.S. Senate.
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