Fishing & Boating News
In practical terms; what does that mean? I’m going to focus on the connection between clean water, corn production and increasing the amount of corn ethanol in fuel that we use in our boat engines. That connection is best encompassed in the issues surrounding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The RFS was rolled out in the 2005 Energy Policy Act and expanded in 2007. It outlines the amount of renewable fuels, including corn-based ethanol, which must be introduced into the consumer fuel supply each year through 2020. The recreational fishing and boating communities have lead a valiant fight against these measures, yet ethanol mandates are growing and that should concern all of us.
Without proper warning labels, boat owners may fill up using E10 (gas containing 10 percent corn-based ethanol by volume) or a higher concentration that is proven to cause great harm to motor boat engines. Most engines aren’t designed to tolerate ethanol, especially because it draws moisture into the engine and causes corrosion. By the way, please remember to look before you pump! Choose E10 or less for small engines in power equipment, cars older than 2001 and marine vessels.
For more than a decade, a number of environmental and industry groups have “sold” the perception that ethanol is sustainable. But, at the scale the RFS requires, it’s not. The effects of corn ethanol production are much broader than its impact on angling and boating. Corn fertilizers – as do many fertilizers – cause serious harm to the aquatic environment and our important fisheries resources.
Here are some other impacts to consider:
The RFS was intended to steer the U.S. towards a clean energy future, but it instead has yielded questionable results and unintended impacts.
I’m a proponent of alternative sources of energy but when you see this issue for what it’s worth, it’s clear that corn ethanol is not the golden ticket.
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