On Monday, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) released a blog attacking Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) because he supports the expansion of renewable fuels. Really. In March, Loebsack reintroduced legislation (H.R. 4673) establishing a grant program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to invest in renewable and alternative fuel infrastructure. Specifically, the Renewable Fuel Utilization, Expansion and Leadership (Re-FUEL) Act would create new and retrofit existing infrastructure, including pumps for biofuels and hydrogen, tanks, piping and electric vehicle chargers. The legislation is paid for and would not add to the deficit. But the AMA is advising its members to oppose H.R. 4673 because "none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the U.S. are certified by EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10% ethanol." AMA believes that expanded infrastructure will lead to more E15 availability and misfueling by motorcycle riders. Riders are more responsible and careful about what fuel goes into their motorcycles than owners of any other vehicle. They will notice the E15 label, and lack of required octane, quicker than anyone and AMA suggesting otherwise is simply nonsense. Consider these facts:
- E15 is only found at 200+ stations today and the octane of E15 would be too low for motorcycles. E15 is sold as 88 octane today. As a rider, we look for octane before anything else, and this would keep E15 out of motorcycles.
- E15 is clearly identified by an orange and black label that says what engines can and cannot use it. Motorcycles cannot, and in fact, it would be illegal.
- The Re-FUEL Act would eliminate the potential for misfueling even more. If new infrastructure is funded, it likely move E15 to its own hose on the dispenser and eliminate the chance of misfueling by motorcycles and all other consumers.
- The Re-FUEL Act would increase the chances of finding premium fuel at stations, the fuel needed by motorcycle riders. If new infrastructure is funded, it would provide more tanks and create more dispenser configurations that would allow many retailers to keep premium, or perhaps re-add it. This should make EVERY motorcycle rider happy.