Outdoor Recreation: The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation to help address a $16 billion maintenance backlog on America's public lands. The "Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act" would create a public lands fund spending up to $1.3 billion a year between 2020–2024. Deferred maintenance projects include rebuilding roadways, bridges, buildings, campgrounds, trails and other vital infrastructure that support outdoor recreation.
E15 Gasoline: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rulemaking to allow gas stations around the country to sell E15 (gasoline that's 15% ethanol) year-round. Previously, the EPA prohibited the sale of E15 between June 1 and September 15 due to fuel-volatility concerns that higher blends of ethanol combined with warmer temperatures may lead to increased ground-level ozone formation and smog. It is unclear if the EPA's rulemaking will be implemented immediately since it will likely face court challenges. SEMA opposes an expansion of E15 sales, which the EPA is pursuing in order to achieve the Renewable Fuel Standard's artificial mandates to blend large volumes of ethanol into gasoline sold in the United States. Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause damage to high-performance parts and vehicles manufactured prior to 2001.
Route 66 Centennial: The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bill to create a commission to recommend ways to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66, which was completed in 1926 as the first all-paved U.S. highway. The "Route 66 Centennial Commission Act" creates a 19-person board, including governors of states through which the highway passed from Illinois to California. The Commission will recommend ways to celebrate the anniversary, such as through writings, films and documentaries, education programs, artistic works and commemorative memorabilia.
California—Off Highway Vehicles: The California Coastal Commission voted to make no changes to its permit which allows off highway vehicle (OHV) use at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). The Commission voted against a prohibition on night riding, additional fencing to restrict OHV use, eliminating unlimited OHV use on holidays, and increased enforcement eff orts focused on vehicle use and speed limit. The Commission also voted down a proposal to provide year-round protection to a 300-acre endangered species area, which is currently protected on a seasonal basis, and future closures for the purpose of dust control. Oceano Dunes encompasses nearly 3,600 acres along the Pacific Ocean, of which OHV use is now limited to 1,500 acres or less. It became a state OHV park in the '80s and is the only such park on California's coast.