Monday Minute - The End of Ethanol?

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I've been hearing about the phasing out of ethanol for years, but as nothing ever happens, I don't generally pay much attention to news reports that even mention it. Ethanol in gasoline has been a bugaboo to every cruising boat owner I know, myself included. Outboards are often cranky little buggers, but ethanol blended in gas causes painful issues on a regular basis. A recent yacht club cruise photo highlighted the growing popularity of electric Torqeedo outboards, which do a great job for many dinghy needs that do not require long distance or speed.

However, in a recent Porsche Club publication, there is a note that the end of ethanol may be near, as Congress introduced legislation to start phasing out the requirement to blend up to 15 percent ethanol with gasoline sold in the U.S.

"Ethanol has a lower BTU content than gasoline, so fuel efficiency suffers, and ethanol has been known to cause deterioration in certain types of rubber used in hoses and gaskets." And the water in fuel issue is also no secret. No kidding. This entire affair was a direct Fu*#* Y%* to boat owners from the agriculture lobby whose only goal was to boost corn prices. In a world where every special interest group matters, we don't.

So if the federal mandate goes away, which appears to be the case, the national requirement to blend ethanol with gasoline will be history, and we be back to a time where our outboard's gasoline actually stays combustible and doesn't gunk up carburetors and cause other issues.

That would be nice.

Have a great week. The rains are hopefully done for a few days here in Annapolis, so I will be working on Blue Angel and spending time on the water. And looking at boats...