Posted on Jan 08, 2015

Vintage car at gas pump in city

U.S. Rep.Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced H.R. 21 on January 6, 2015. This bill would repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver decision related to E15 fuel and the authority of the agency to grant further decisions in the matter, until the EPA seeks an independent scientific analysis of the effects of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol.

Sensenbrenner has been trying to get an independent study done on E-15 and its effects on small engines since 2012.  In May, 2012, posted a detailed article about the concerns associated with E15. In November, 2012, the American Automobile Association (AAA) warned that E-15 could damage car engines.

With similar bills by Sensenbrenner failing in 2013 and 2014, he authored H.R. 21 this year hoping to get more support from collegues than in past years.

“Despite ample warnings, the Environmental Protection Agency continues to push E15 into the marketplace. The Clean Air Act requires a waiver for any fuel that is substantially different from zero percent ethanol before it is introduced to consumers,” Sensenbrenner said. “The EPA has been granting CAA waivers and justifying the decisions by citing a single disputed study conducted by the Department of Energy.

“Pro-ethanol groups and the EPA argue that E15 has been sufficiently tested and safe for use, a direct contradiction to what the scientists and engineers who build cars and small engines have stated,” he added.  In fact, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) accused Sensenbrenner of using stalling tactics with his bills.

E-30 and E-85 fuel blends at gas pump
Do not fuel your motorcycle with these blends

The new E15 gasoline formulation may appear at a nearby fueling station, so motorcyclists need to be careful when fueling their motor vehicles. No motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the approved EPA list for E15 use, and the use of E15 can void manufacturers’ warranties.

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

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation advises that beyond voiding a warranty, use of E-15 blend in your motorcycle is a violation of federal law. See the last line of the warning sticker found on many gas pumps.   →


Both the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) are asking members to contact their federal representatives to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 21.

Tony Sanfelipo
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Senior Motorcycle Accident Investigator