U.S. House panel backs more study of ethanol-gasoline fuels

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A key U.S. House committee has approved a bill that would require an independent scientific study of the effects of ethanol-gasoline blends on engines, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

By a 19-7 vote on Feb. 7, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology approved H.R. 3199 to require the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek an independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 -- a new gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume -- on engines.

The measure, introduced by committee Vice Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), now goes to the full House for a vote. If approved, it then moves to the Senate for further consideration.

"This independent research is needed to ensure that new ethanol-gasoline blends won't damage motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. "We applaud the committee for supporting this crucial legislation."

The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available, and has asked that motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study into the effects of E15.

In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list.

No motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the list.

The AMA and its partner group, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association, have expressed concerns about E15 being mistakenly used and damaging engines in motorcycles and ATVs, and about the continued availability of gasoline that has no ethanol -- or gasoline with only a 10 percent blend -- that is safe for use in motorcycles and ATVs.

To contact your federal lawmakers to urge them to support H.R. 3199, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issue & Legislation.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA honors the heroes and the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.