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MRF June 2018 Update

By Andy Kelly
I want to start with talking about ethanol. Back in the beginning of April, thirteen Senators from the corn states, co-signed and sent a letter to Mr. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), accusing him of undermining comments that the President made about renewable fuels. What brought this on, was the EPA had been issuing hardship waivers to exempt some refineries from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Let me explain that under the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard program, a small refinery can apply for a waiver by demonstrating that in trying to meet the required amounts of ethanol, it would cause them “disproportion economic hardship.” I am guessing what set the thirteen Senators off was that the EPA granted a large oil refinery a waiver, so this now angered the corn state Senators and they are demanding the EPA stop issuing this waiver entirely, and turn over to them, every refinery that was granted a waiver.

Additional ethanol news is Japan will be opening its market to corn-based ethanol. I hope this will relieve the pressure that the corn belt legislators put on fuels, but I don’t think so. Let’s hope I am wrong.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released their data on motorcycle fatalities nationwide. I am happy to tell you that fatalities are down nationwide by 5.6%, and in Pennsylvania fatalities are down by 7 or 3.7%. The GSHA feels that a particularly strong hurricane season may have led to fewer motorcycles on the highways. When you read the report, look at the statistics, and read suggestions that are made, it makes you scratch your head. The GHSA report said “that with the legalization of recreational marijuana in several states there may be a higher number of drivers and motorcyclists under the influence of drugs and marijuana impairment is known to increase a person’s crash risk” but in the states that have legalized recreational marijuana, the motorcycle fatalities went down, and I don’t remember hearing about any hurricanes in Colorado. I am not advocating riding a motorcycle or car stoned, and please DON’T, but this is how you can manipulate statistics.

Another interesting statistic is the GHSA reported that riders over the age of 40 now comprise the greatest amount of motorcyclist fatalities nationwide. Jay Jackson, Vice President of the MRF, recently reported that studies have indicated that 90% of motorcycle crashes involved riders that are self-taught. I am way over 40 years old and when I started riding a motorcycle there was no motorcycle training available to the best of my knowledge. Maybe the GHSA should think about free training nationwide to lower fatalities instead of hoping for hurricanes and pushing to put helmets on everyone’s head like their Road to Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths in 2050 suggests.

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