Evinrude's Jeff Wasil

Sept 17, 2019

Evinrude’s Jeff Wasil testifies in front of Wisconsin Senate’s Committee on Economic Development, Commerce, and Trade on Thursday September 5, 2019. 

The NMMA reported that Jeff Wasil, engineering manager at Evinrude (BRP) recently testified before Wisconsin’s Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce, and Trade regarding Senate Bill 349 – a measure that seeks the expansion of E15, also known as unleaded 88, by making it easier for fueling stations to dispense E15 and E10 from the same nozzle. Mr. Wasil conveyed the industry’s opposition to the legislation in his remarks, which NMMA echoed in written testimony.

While the bill requires that E10 remain available at gas stations in at least one nozzle, it would make it more difficult for consumers to purchase E10, as the fuel may only be available at a single, inconveniently located nozzle. Most of the fuel dispenses would therefore be rendered as blender pumps, in which a certain quantity of fuel, determined by the length of fuel piping from the stations tank to the dispenser, would contain either E15, E10 or a blend of both, depending on what fuel the previous customer selected. Even though a customer specifically selected E10, they may inadvertently be dispensing E15 until the fuel piping system is completely purged. The complexity of these fuel pumps and associated labeling shortcomings would make it more likely for misfuelling to occur.

Mr. Wasil discussed several challenges recreational boating consumers face with higher ethanol fuel blends, including phase separation, fuel system material compatibility issues, corrosion of aluminum fuel tanks, and engine performance issues. Wasil also discussed how the marine industry worked together to test, approve, and help bring to market the next-generation biofuel, biobutanol, and the many fueling stations that are successfully selling this marine-friendly biofuel. Following his testimony – which is available here – committee members expressed interest in learning more about biobutanol and how future bills and regulatory discussions should include a pathway for the fuel.

Additionally, NMMA submitted written comments in opposition to Senate Bill 349. The association noted that biobutanol is a renewable fuel additive that does not have the same dangerous effects as ethanol and its availability should be expanded. NMMA’s comments also encouraged policymakers to draft and pass legislation that increases consumer awareness about E15 with clear labeling.

NMMA will continue to monitor the bill’s progress. If you have questions, please contact NMMA senior vice president of government and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org or NMMA manager of Great Lakes policy and engagement, Jill Sims at jsims@nmma.org.

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