The Trump Administration recently approved the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol, which is not only prohibited for use in recreational boats but can also cause severe damage to marine engines. Boaters who fuel up at land-based gas stations need to be especially vigilant to avoid mis-fueling.
Adding to the problem is the labeling—or non-labeling—of gas pumps that dispense the fuel. Pictured below is a gasoline pump from the Midwest, which is essentially devoid of any labeling that specifies the level of ethanol in each grade of fuel. BoatUS recommends not fueling up at land-based gas stations unless the pumps are clearly labeled with the amount of ethanol blended into the fuel.
According to BoatUS, “E15 is currently banned for sale in many states by the Environmental Protection Agency during summer months over concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. The push for more ethanol into the nation’s fuel supply is a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When it was passed in 2005, RFS assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to grow. Since then, however, gasoline usage has not increased as forecast, which today forces more ethanol into each gallon of gas.”