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OPEI to Continue Raising Awareness of New Ethanol Blends


In late 2016 new EPA regulations increased the amount of ethanol refineries were required to blend into the gasoline supply. OPEI's mission is to help manufacturers, suppliers and dealers inform consumers of the changing fuels market, protecting their equipment from damage.

OPEI, the trade association representing power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, has updated its free consumer and dealer education materials for its "Look Before You Pump" consumer protection campaign. As these updates were made available to consumers, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final regulation, requiring refineries to blend 19.28 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and other biofuels into the gasoline supply in 2017.

Consumers remain confused about the changing fuels marketplace. Less than one third - only 31 percent of poll respondents - knew that gasoline blends in excess of E10 are harmful to outdoor power equipment. Only five percent knew that gasoline blends in excess of E10 are not approved for use in small engines, according to 2016 national polls by Nielson/Harris and OPEI.

"Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers who own outdoor power equipment said in a 2016 national poll that they are not sure (42 percent) or do not pay any attention (22 percent) to what type of fuel they are using," said Kris Kiser, OPEI president and CEO.

Gasoline containing greater than 10 percent ethanol (E10) can be harmful to outdoor power equipment and other small engine products, including lawn mowers, snow throwers, power washers, string trimmers, chain saws, and other small engine equipment such as boats, snowmobiles and utility vehicles.

"It's important for everyone involved in the outdoor power equipment, marine, snowmobile and motorcycle industries to remind our consumers to 'Look Before You Pump,'" Kiser added.

As higher ethanol blends continue to enter the fuel marketplace in 2017, consumers must remember to select gasoline based on product specifications, and not just choose fuel based on price. With more than 250 million pieces of outdoor power equipment currently in home garages, utility and maintenance sheds, and facility management stations, OPEI urges consumers to remain vigilant and always check their product manuals for proper fueling instructions. For more information visit

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March 22, 2019, 6:23 am PDT

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