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MRF Updates

NTSB Chair Steps Down

Deborah Hersman announced that she would be vacating her role as chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Hersman has commanded the board since 2009 and has been a board member since 2004. Hersman was also considered as a replacement for secretary of transportation Ray LaHood when her retired.

The NTSB was created as an independent federal agency in 1967; it has investigated more than 132,000 accidents and made more than 13,500 safety recommendations. The NTSB is recognized internationally as a preeminent accident investigation organization. Hersman serves as the chief executive of the agency, which has 400+ employees and an annual budget of more than $100 million.

She was the board member behind the two-day motorcycle safety symposium conducted in October 2007, which led to the issuing of calls for mandatory helmet laws. She did, however, make good on a promise to the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to personally take the Basic Rider Course. She passed the class, but never got her license.

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U.S. EPA to FTC: Ethanol Harmful To Motorcycles

Recently the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule regarding the labeling of ethanol blended fuels in order to “help fuel purchasers identify the correct fuel for their vehicles.” Ironically, the new rule would exempt any fuel meeting the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) E15 waiver from the proposed labeling requirements.

In the record section of the proposed rule, the EPA provides information under the “objections to the proposed labels” section openly stating that ethanol is harmful to motor vehicles, and specifically mentions that ethanol is damaging to motorcycles.

The EPA indicates two major ways that ethanol affects vehicles. First, ethanol enleans the air to fuel ratio by increasing the proportion of oxygen relative to hydrocarbons. This can lead to higher exhaust temperatures and can possibly cause catalyst failure by gradually deteriorating emission control equipment. Next, other component failures can occur due to materials compatibility issues with ethanol use.

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The Most Important Day to Bikers on the Federal level.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 – Bikers Inside the Beltway
The Schedule is as follows:

Parking: 3rd Street between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW directly in front of the Capitol building.

Arrival & Registration: 9:00 am to 11:00 am Attendees will receive lobbying materials and general instructions to help with their day.

The MRF encourages you to schedule appointments with your Representative and Senator’s offices. Plan your appointments according to your arrival time. If you plan to arrive promptly at 9:00 am, you can schedule meetings anytime from 9:45 am on. If you plan on arriving at 11:00 am at the latest then you can schedule meetings from 11:30 am until 1:15 pm or after the Congressional Program. Should you be unable to get an appointment, plan on dropping by as many offices from your State as you can during that time. Feel free to contact the MRF office with any questions about scheduling or otherwise.

Debrief – Strategy Session
Time to be announced – We will gather to discuss the events of the day and collect information from attendees to move forward with the MRF Legislative agenda.

Friday, May 16th, 2014
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Grass-Roots day, Follow Up, Follow Through session has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

We do encourage all attendees of our Lobby day, Bikers Inside the Beltway, to visit the new MRF office location and continue any additional lobbying efforts with the help of Jeff Hennie. Jeff will be available to go to Congressional Offices with you on Friday if you so desire. Please contact Jeff to schedule times.

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Champion Representative Tom Petri to Retire

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that long time MRF supporter, Tom Petri (R-WI), will not seek another term in Congress. This will be the last term the 35-year Capitol Hill veteran will serve. The 73-year-old congressman has been popular with his home district, sailing to re-election year after year. Petri was first elected in 1979.

Petri led the charge of the full repeal of the helmet law mandate in the mid nineties at the request of ABATE of Wisconsin and the MRF. Petri has chaired various subcommittees on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

We at the MRF will miss his dedication, leadership, and generosity that he has bestowed upon the motorcyclists of this country.