AMA Calls for RFS Overhaul

The federal government’s Renewable Fuel Standard is a failed strategy that must be completely reconsidered and restructured, said Wayne Allard, vice president of government relations for the American Motorcyclist Association, last May.

“The RFS is not working for Americans who breathe air, eat food, ride motorcycles, drive cars or mow their lawns. And, the action you’ll see around the U.S. today is emblematic of the wide-reaching support that exists for RFS reform. It’s time to readdress this flawed policy,” said Allard, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

Allard’s remarks came during the National Renewable Fuel Standard “Day of Action,” organized to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to maintain its proposed 2014 renewable volume obligation and for Congress to take up legislative reform that would permanently address the problems inherent in the current RFS.

Motorcyclists, environmentalists, farmers and business leaders lobbied the EPA and key members of Congress before gathering for a press conference. Their message: America’s engines, environment and food supply are endangered by the production, distribution and use of ethanol.

The AMA opposes E15 fuel (15 percent ethanol by volume) because inadvertent misfueling can cause engine and fuel system failure to the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles currently in use and can void manufacturers’ warranties.

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has offered a number of potential solutions, including the “RFS Reform Act of 2013” (H.R. 1462). The bipartisan bill, in part, eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements and caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has publicly acknowledged that ethanol in gasoline can damage internal combustion engines by increasing exhaust temperatures and indirectly causing component failures. Yet, even with this knowledge, the Federal Trade Commission is recommending more labeling at the gas pump as its solution to the problem.

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(This Kickstarts article was published in the August 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)


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