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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its latest proposed Renewable Fuel Standard that would increase the levels of biofuels including higher-ethanol fuel blends such as E15. Under the proposed standard, renewable fuel levels would increase from 15.93 billion gallons set in 2014 to 17.40 billion gallons by 2016.

While the 15% ethanol, 85% gasoline blend may be better for the environment, the EPA has openly admitted E15 may be harmful to motorcycles. The American Motorcycle Association, which has been fighting against increasing E15 use, warns the higher levels would increase the risk of motorcyclists and ATV owners misfueling and adding the harmful blend to their vehicles.

“The federal government is moving in the wrong direction on this issue and against the interests of the motoring public,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Motorcycles and ATVs are not built to handle ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, or E10. Mandating the increased production and sale of higher-ethanol blends and subsidizing more blender pumps significantly increases the likelihood that motorcycle and ATV riders will inadvertently pump unsafe fuel into their tanks.”

The EPA says its proposed levels are actually below the volumes originally requested by Congress but would still increase renewable fuel use in the U.S. to historic levels. Under the proposed levels, renewable fuels would represent 9.63% of all transportation fuel used in the U.S., up from 9.02% reported for 2014.

The proposal is currently in the hands of the Federal Resister, but will soon be open for public comment until July 27. Comments may be submitted online at Regulations.gov; refer comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015- 0111.

[Source: EPA, AMA]