Ethanol fuel additive fight rages on

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A Florida state lawmaker’s effort to repeal a requirement that all gasoline sold in the state have some ethanol in it has succeeded with the passage of a bill Gov. Rick Scott signed last Friday.

“It’s one more mandate off the books,” state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, who has been trying to achieve the repeal since he took office in 2010, told Northwest Florida Daily News.

State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, sponsored the Senate version of the repeal bill.

“Big news,” Evers said. “It’s a great thing for all the residents of Florida.”

He said the new law could lead to lower prices at the pump.

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Meanwhile, the recreational boating industry is conducting new Department of Energy-funded research on alternative biofuels.

On Thursday, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the American Boat and Yacht Council and Evinrude will join together to find alternatives to fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

The tests are funded by the Department of Energy, which released a 2011 report on engines using E15 that revealed performance issues such as stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets. The results reinforced the recreational boating industry’s concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for boat engines.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of E15 for model year 2001 and newer cars and trucks, the boating industry has found that fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol causes severe damage to boat engines. Although marine engines are not approved by the EPA to use E15, misfueling at the pump is a danger for boaters who are not aware that E15 is not compliant with boat engines.

Although marine engines are not approved by the EPA to use E15, misfueling at the pump is a danger for boaters who are not aware that E15 is not compliant with boat engines.

The tests, in conjunction with the ABYC and Evinrude, are part of ongoing research conducted by the recreational boating industry to explore the alternative biofuel isobutanol in response to the introduction of E15.

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