Boating Industry

March 2016

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Page 5 of 43 6 | Boating Industry | March 2016 AT THE HELM JONATHAN SWEET Boating Industry EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Jonathan Sweet ( SENIOR EDITOR: Liz Keener ( MANAGING EDITOR: Brianna Liestman ( ASSOCIATE DIGITAL PRODUCTION EDITOR: Shauna Spencer ( MANAGING ART DIRECTOR: Dodi Vessels PRODUCTION ARTIST: Kelsey Houle ( PRODUCTION MANAGER: Angela Schmieg PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Cherri Perschmann NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR: Kathy Johnson 763-383-4409 ( SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER, EAST: Chris Pelikan 954-383-4408 ( CEO: Marion Minor SR. VICE PRESIDENT/FINANCE & OPERATIONS: Gerald Winkel SR. VICE PRESIDENT/MARKET DEVELOPMENT: Joanne Juda-Prainito VICE PRESIDENT/MARINE, POWERSPORTS, BEVERAGE: Amy Collins AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Tim Morgan SALES OPERATIONS MANAGER: Bernadette Wohlman BOATING INDUSTRY (ISSN #1543-4400) is published nine times per year – January, February, March, April, May, July, August, October and December – by EPG Media & Specialty Information, 10405 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55441. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional mailing offices. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Free to qualified members of the boating industry. Annual subscription rate is $99 per year for U.S., Mexican and Canadian residents and $149 for residents in other countries. All paid subscriptions must be paid in advance and in U.S. funds only. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Boating Industry, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823. CUSTOMER SERVICE: Visit, call (845) 856-2229, fax (847) 763-9569, email or write to Boating Industry, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823. EDITORIAL: All manuscripts, materials, photographs and artwork submitted are at mailer's risk and must include self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage for return. No responsibility will be assumed for unsolicited materials. Boating Industry is a registered trademark of EPG Media & Specialty Information. © 2016 by EPG Media & Specialty Information. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited unless expressly authorized by publisher. For more information on e-prints or reprints from Boating Industry, contact Bernadette Wohlman, (763) 383-4400 x4464 Printed in U.S.A. Member of Awards THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD (and the increased use of ethanol it requires) has long been a concern for the boating industry. Study after study has shown the damage ethanol can cause to marine engines and other small engines. And recent decisions by the EPA on RFS volume obligations have only exacerbated the issue, guaranteeing more 15 percent ethanol blends (E15) will make it into the marketplace as more ethanol is blended into the nation's fuel supply. (Read more in the February issue of Boating Industry or at That decision highlighted the need for a legislative answer to the problem – reforming or replacing the RFS with a more sensible solution. There are several bills percolating in Congress, many of which are supported by NMMA, MRAA, BoatUS and others in the industry — and we'll take a deeper look at those in our annual government issue next month. There are a number of reasons to be optimistic that something can finally happen this year, but one development that caught my attention was Ted Cruz's win in the Iowa causcuses in February. On one hand, he fits the profile of a lot of past winners on the Republican side in Iowa — conservative, appeals to evangelicals, etc. But there is one big difference: Cruz came out against ethanol subsidies. That's something that once spelled certain electoral doom in the nation's first caucuses. Ethanol has often been called the "third rail" of Iowa politics — touch it and you die. The so-called "ethanol pledge" was something every candidate who hoped to win in Iowa would make, promising to continue supporting those subsidies and the Renewable Fuel Standard. His opposition to ethanol subsidies even had Iowa's Republican governor, Terry Branstad, calling for Cruz's defeat in the state. Despite all that, he won, indicating that perhaps ethanol will not be the dominant factor it has been for years in Iowa politics. The more cynical of us would be inclined to posit that the only reason ethanol subsidies have had so much support for so long is Iowa's outsized impact on the presidential race. After all, the Senate has often been described as 100 people who believe they're going to be president some day — and for years the message was if you want to win Iowa, don't mess with King Corn. So maybe, just maybe, it's a sign we're headed in the right direction. A crack in the ethanol armor?

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