On Wednesday, Mr. David Hilbert spoke before Congress in the name of NMMA about E15 and marine engines. Mr. Hilbert, thermodynamic development engineer for Mercury Marine, a division of the Brunswick Corporation, took part in a Congressional hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. A number of specialists testified on E15 and its effects before the Subcommittee. Mr. Hilbert was responsible for the research on E15 and its effects on marine engines as shown by the Department of Energy in reports released in late October.
Mr. Hilbert’s testimony highlighted the damaging effects that E15 has on marine engines, and noted that more testing is needed to further identify how E15 will affect engines and fuel systems under various conditions. Mercury’s testing showed significant problems with outboard engines, including severe damage to engine components and an increase in exhaust emissions, reinforcing the recreational yachting industry’s concern that E15 is not a suitable fuel for marine engines.
The Subcommittee heard testimony from representatives of the EPA, the American Petroleum Institute, Gevo, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the University of Wyoming Institute of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association. Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD), received David’s testimony favorably and the committee members had no questions for Mr. Hilbert after the research was presented. The testimony and accompanying photos will be printed in the official record of the hearing.
NMMA President Thom Dammrich says, “We are pleased that Congress has shown an ongoing interest in this important research. NMMA is committed to continued research on E15 and its effects on marine engines. We hope that before any E15 is offered to the public, a thorough investigation will be completed so that boaters can safely fuel their vessels without incident now, and in the future.”