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US makes recommendation on ethanol in fuel

The American Motorcyclist Association has welcomed a recommendation from the US Environmental Protection that the volume of conventional biofuels, like ethanol, would remain unchanged from 2019 at 15 billion gallons.

The proposed rule, part of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, sets the levels of ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply next year. It also includes 2021 standards for biomass-based diesel.

“We are glad that the EPA is not proposing an increase for 2020 in the ethanol content for our nation’s fuel supply,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice-president of government relations. “We believe the levels are already too high because higher ethanol fuels, like E15, can harm motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines and fuels systems.”

The EPA proposed – a final ruling will be made in November – that total renewable volume obligations would be 20.04 billion gallons in 2020, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019. Advanced biofuels, like those made from agricultural wastes, would increase from 4.92 billion in 2019 to 5.04 billion gallons in 2020.

The AMA also objects to any increase in the amount of ethanol blended into the nation’s fuel supply that would result in a decrease in availability of ethanol-free fuel (E0) or fuel containing 10% ethanol (E10).

None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10% ethanol. In addition to engine and fuel system damage, using higher ethanol blends can void manufacturers’ warranties.

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