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Author Topic:   Article on Ethanol Reform
msirof2001 posted 04-21-2015 08:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for msirof2001   Send Email to msirof2001  
"The Log" is a newspaper which is released in California every two weeks. It can be found for free in any establishment that has anything to do with boating, fishing, etc. One can grab a copy from a stack. People can also sign-up for electronic versions. By doing so, you get e-mails with links to articles, plus you get a fully digitized copy which can be read using Uberflip.

Below is a link to an article on Ethanol Reform which I thought this group may find informative.

jimh posted 04-21-2015 09:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What part of the article is of interest to you as a boater?
msirof2001 posted 04-22-2015 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for msirof2001  Send Email to msirof2001     
"What part of the article is of interest to you as a boater?" ~Jimh

For me personally, I read about the effect ethanol has on boat fuel tanks, fuel systems and engines. I don't fully understand the science. But what I hear and see are complaints that 10% has a negative effect on boats and I keep reading that 15% would have a greater negative impact. I continually see products advertised which aim to protect against the effect of ethanol. That is further evidence there is a negative impact. So I don't fully understand it but I have a personal impression ethanol is bad for boats. When I bought my boat (1995 21 Outrage in October 1994), this was a non issue. I've gone a year since my re-power and I certainly don't want anything harming that $16k investment. What I gather from the article is that boating and fishing lobbies keep hammering on congress asking for them to take action, and some congress people are taking certain actions. This is not unlike a few years back when the boating/fishing community lobbied congress so that a new cellular service wouldn't knock out the GPS system boaters rely upon, now as their lorans rust in their back yards next to their tomato pots. So my interest in the article is to see what actions are being taken to recognise the boating interest and keep their expensive equipment out of harm's way. I would personally like to see ethanol go away. Or for me to have an option, even if it is a little more expensive, to be able to personally opt for ethanol free fuel. And I think it is importand for labeling to be precise so that if 10% and 15% are both sold, a person can clearly distinguish which nozzle has which. And I think there should be a warning lable on the nozzle which dispenses fuel which is harmful to certain boat-mechanical components.

martyn1075 posted 04-22-2015 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for martyn1075  Send Email to martyn1075     
Its a fine line with many inputs on this topic. I will not argue that E10 has negative effects but I wonder in some situations if some blame can be put on the owner and the owners maintenance preventive care methods. From any mechanic I have talked to about the issue, the number one problem is with gas that sits for long periods of times. For instance a good example would be buying E10 gas sometime in early September for a boat trip, leaving it in without treatment for several months decide to use the boat without any care and start the motor expecting go first start in the April May. Silly stuff that can be prevented.

Leaving E10 in a old tank prior to 1998 for most companies can be a risk on its parts. That same tank is already 16 years old and E10 gas that sits on these again parts that are not rated for the E10 spec is not a good thing it will just wear the tank and its parts at a faster pace.

gnr posted 04-22-2015 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr    
I probably shouldn’t jinx myself but….

I think this year will be six years since non-ethanol laced fuel became very hard to find in these parts. I thankfully have experienced no problems in my stuff which includes a 1953 Ford tractor, a 1969 or 70 Cub Cadet lawn tractor, a 1987 Evinrude 88spl a 1989 BMW 535i, a mid-eighties Troy Built rototiller and various newer small engines.

I add seafoam to the portable tanks that feed the small engines. I rarely, although sometimes do, add seafoam to outboard and vehicle tanks during the season. I always add seafoam to the outboard and vehicle tanks before they are put up for the winter. The BMW is not driven during the winter.

Everything starts right up when called upon including the engines with 4,5 or 6 month old fuel.

The only problem I recall having was with the tiller after it was left out uncovered in a two day stretch of some of the hardest rain I can remember. I did not try to start it until the following spring when it would not start. I disassembled the carb and found a textbook example of phase separation. A cleaning and reassemble and I was back in business.

I would like to see the ethanol experiment discontinued for other reasons but I personally have had no significant problems, even in some very old engines and fuel systems.

msirof2001 posted 04-22-2015 01:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for msirof2001  Send Email to msirof2001     
[Changed topic from a discussion of the article to a discussion of the durability of certain fuel tank materials. Please start a new thread for that in REPAIRS/MODS. This thread is discussing "Ethanol Reform," whatever that might be--jimh.]
jimh posted 04-22-2015 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Has anyone read the article that is the topic of this thread? Can you tell me what "Ethanol Reform" means?

Then, what is of interest to me as a boater about Ethanol Reform that I might want to read the article ?

I am not very interested in a rehash of old bromides about whose fuel old fuel hose deteriorated with ethanol. I want to know what is this reform supposed to be? The term is even capitalized, as in "Ethanol Reform."

ASIDE: The topic of a proposed re-allocation [by the FCC, not by Congress] of spectrum adjacent to the L-band spectrum of GPS in order to create a financial windfall for a private investor ("Lightsquared") was discussed in a prior thread. See

At one time, marine navigation was a significant use for GPS, but by now the GPS market has grown to have more than a billion users, and of that user population only a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of them use a GPS on a boat.

Exactly how this related to "Ethanol Reform" is not very clear to me at this point, primarily because I still have not heard anything about "Ethanol Reform" in this discussion, other than the name.

Hoosier posted 04-23-2015 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I read the article and it's main point is eliminating, or greatly reducing, the "ethanol mandate". I read that as letting the market dictate what kind of gas we can get, not the government. So, if it's cheaper to sell pure gas in an area let them do it. For us it means it'll be a lot easier to get pure gas for our boats and tow vehicles. One mind boggling stat in the article is that 40% of our corn crop goes to making ethanol that nobody wants.
jimh posted 04-24-2015 02:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave--Thanks for explaining what is meant by the term "Ethanol Reform" in the cited article.
BQUICK posted 04-24-2015 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for BQUICK  Send Email to BQUICK     
One thing that no one can argue is that E10 causes a leaner fuel/air mixture that puts a lot of older motors that can't compensate at risk of running too lean and causing damage as well as not running well. E15 would make the mix even leaner.
jimh posted 04-24-2015 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One thing that no one can argue is that E10 causes a leaner fuel/air mixture...

Besides the fact that this is not on the topic of Ethanol Reform, I disagree with the premise. Perhaps you can start a new thread and explain how this change in volumetric ratio between fuel and air occurs.

weekendwarrior posted 04-24-2015 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
This is true...[I don't know what this is. Please move "this" to a new thread about "this".--jimh]
weekendwarrior posted 04-24-2015 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for weekendwarrior  Send Email to weekendwarrior     
[From an] article [that is] a few years old, this excerpt describes why I think we're stuck with ethanol for a long long time (i.e., no reform). [Ethanol] costs the consumer more so more profits to the gas company, the farm lobby supports it so cash to the politicians, and the government subsidizes it.


The first effort to support ethanol usage is a 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit to "blenders," the companies who blend ethanol into gasoline. This tax credit is intended to raise the price of ethanol for ethanol producers and corn farmers to encourage production, and to lower the price of ethanol products for consumers. It is strongly supported by farm lobbyists.

Despite the tax credit, however, E85 costs about 70 cents a gallon more than gasoline on an energy equivalent basis on average, according to the Department of Energy.

jimh posted 04-24-2015 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It seems like all the big liberal politicians have reversed their opinion on Ethanol. Maybe the pay-offs have dried up.

I agree with the notion that Ethanol is not going away any time soon. This notion of "reform" just means we are not getting E15 jammed down our throats by the government.

Farmers are some of the most subsidized businesses there are. I keep trying to tell my old joke about farmers, but no one seems to get it:

Q: How to you tell a really successful farmer?

A: He has two mailboxes.

(Explanation: the successful farmer needs two mail boxes because all the government subsidy checks won't fit into one mail box.)

Ethanol has never made sense to me. You can't grow enough corn, and it takes energy to grow that corn.

jimh posted 04-25-2015 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
From what I can tell, the actual topic of the article in some Calfornia weekly newspaper that was the topic of discussion in this thread is a bill introduced in the 2015 Congress and titled as HR 704. You can read the actual proposed legislation contained in HR 704 in many places, but a convenient spot is

In general, I prefer primary sources of information, and in the case of proposed legislation in Congress, there is probably no better primary source than the actual text of the legislation proposed.

The website mentioned above does have some analysis of the legislation and estimates the chances of it being passed into law. According to their metrics, the present estimate of the likelihood of HR 704 being enacted into law is about one chance in 100.

The full title of HR 704 provides a nice summary of its purpose:

To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate certain requirements under the renewable fuel program, to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from approving the introduction into commerce of gasoline that contains greater than 10-volume-percent ethanol, and for other purposes.

I think that this definition is also a good definition for the nebulous term "Ethanol Reform" which has been used here.

Notwithstanding the recognition that a weekly newspaper for boaters in California might have some information about HR 704, a more comprehensive index to recent news article about HR 704 can be found by using a GOOGLE NEWS search. For example, this search:

jimh posted 04-25-2015 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
FORBES magazine has an article from March 2015 that gives a reasonable assessment of the future prospects for Ethanol as a gasoline fuel supplement. See

Kissing Ring Of King Corn or Why Ethanol Ain't Going Away Anytime Soon kissing-ring-of-king-corn-or-why-ethanol-aint-going-away-anytime-soon/

The title of the article seems to be a good executive summary of its contents.

jimh posted 04-25-2015 04:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Corollary legislation introduced in the Senate is titled S.577, a bill "To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate for renewable fuel."

See for the text of the proposed legislation.

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