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Consumers Remain Ill-Equipped for Newer Fuel Options at the Pump
Improved Consumer Education on Ethanol Fuel Options in the Marketplace Needed

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute issued a news release with results from two polls on consumer awareness about ethanol at the fuel pump. Attached is an infographic summarizing the research and sharing information to encourage consumers to "Look Before You Pump." Photo: Outdoor Power Equipment Institute

According to polls, consumers are ill-equipped to make smart decisions about new gasoline choices entering the marketplace, such as fuel blends greater than 10 percent ethanol. Two recent national polls were conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. Americans continue to choose gasoline on price, and do not pay much attention to pump warning labels.

Fuels containing greater than 10 percent ethanol can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment, including lawn mowers, chain saws, generators, utility vehicles and other small engine equipment such as motorcycle, snow mobile and boat engines, according to most engine manufacturers. Yet, the polls, conducted in April and May, show 63 percent of Americans will use the least expensive grade of gasoline whenever possible.

In addition, nearly three quarters (74 percent) of Americans say they are not at all sure if it's legal or illegal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into small engine products. By federal law, it is illegal to use those higher ethanol fuel blends in outdoor power equipment.

[Call Out}: Fuels containing greater than 10 percent ethanol can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment.

"Unfortunately, decision-making at the fuel pump is getting more complicated, as higher ethanol blended fuels are becoming available," said Kris Kiser, CEO and president of OPEI. "The research shows that the American public is woefully unaware and uneducated about ethanol blended fuels, and how to use them."

Environmental Protection Agency announced its latest targets for their Renewable Fuel Standard, which determines ethanol blending requirements for the nation's fuel supply. The standard calls for increases in fuel blending over the next several years. U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it would invest $100 million into infrastructure, installing new blender pumps at fuel stations throughout the United States. As an industry, OPEI has supported consumer education through Look Before You Pump ( campaign.

"The American public is confused by blended fuels in the marketplace today," said Kiser. "It's sad to see our government investing $100 million into infrastructure to bring new fuels to communities across America, while allocating no funding to educating the public about them."

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September 21, 2019, 11:57 pm PDT

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