MOTOR CLUBS’ BLOG POST: E15 IS SAFE
Posted on 04/13/2015
AMCM Owner Gene Hammond explains why Congress needs to hear the real consumer experiences with E15.
As the co-owner of Travelers Motor Club and Association Motor Club Marketing, my colleagues and I never imagined we would be on Capitol Hill visiting with Members of Congress about the safety of ethanol-blended fuels, but that’s exactly what we did recently as part of the American Coalition for Ethanol annual grassroots fly-in.
We’re not lobbyists. We’re in the business of helping motorists who get stranded and need fuel, a tire repair, a quick tow or who lock themselves out of their cars. Our companies serve nearly 20 million motorists in all 50 states, and we’ve operated auto clubs for more than forty years. But for two short days on Capitol Hill in March, we met with 17 congressional officesfrom Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin to explain what we’ve heard from our auto club members regarding E15.
More than two years ago gas stations around the country began selling E15, a new fuel approved by EPA for cars made in model year 2001 and later. AAA and some gas companies predicted frequent and severe engine problems from this new fuel and called on the federal government to suspend the sale of E15. As stations began to offer E15 and motorists began using it, we closely monitored our road service calls for any indication of problems from the new fuel. The results? We’ve never had an E15 related service call or complaint of any kind. That E15 hasn’t caused any damage to cars is no surprise to us, because during our entire time in the motor club business, we’ve never had a complaint about any blend of ethanol in gasoline, period.
But the critics and the E15 ghost stories haven’t gone away, so we did our part recently by meeting with Members of Congress about what we’ve seen, and more importantly what we haven’t seen, from the usage of E15 by our motor club members. If the anti-E15 predictions and warnings Congress has heard for the last two years were true, the people who had those problems would be well known to you by now. But the charges aren’t true. We let Congress know how safe this fuel is. We don’t think motorists should be forced to use any fuel, but what the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) does is give every driver in the United States the option to buy a quality American made product like the E15 fuel blend if they choose. More fuel choices mean more competition and that means our members save at the pump.
With nearly 20 million members nationwide, we’ve seen it all. Flat tires, dead batteries, and a lot of people who accidently put diesel in their gasoline-powered cars. When these things happen, we’ll be there to help. What we haven’t seen and don’t ever expect to see, are problems from using E15 or any other blend of ethanol.