LOUISVILLE, Ky. -The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, at the GIE+EXPO here announced a national ethanol education and consumer protection campaign, called ‘Look Before You Pump.’ 

The urgency of the industry’s campaign comes from research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are "not at all sure" if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything higher than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign will reach consumers through radio and video public service announcements (PSA), fact sheets, in-store displays, labeling and product hang-tags. A prominent, red warning hand indicating ‘OK’ for 10 percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85) is the campaign’s main graphic.

"Although there is continued uncertainty in the renewable fuels market, one thing for certain is that the way consumers select and use fuel will be changing in the coming years," said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI.

"It is incumbent upon our industry to be proactive.  We are cautioning American consumers and business owners whose livelihood depends on our equipment to be more mindful at the gas pump.  Don’t assume that the gas you put in your car can still go in your mower, chain saw or generator."  
According to Todd Teske, Chairman, President and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the world’s largest  manufacturer of small engines, and OPEI’s Board Chair, "It is critical that we educate all users of outdoor power equipment about the dangers misfueling can cause to their equipment.  Our number one goal is to protect our customers," said Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton and OPEI’s Board Chair (pictured above at the OPEI press conference at the EXPO.)

OPEI urges consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel for that engine.

For more information, visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.