Fabulous: We’ll Just Put More Ethanol in your Gas Anyway

posted at 1:36 pm on January 31, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks news-wise, and you don’t need a list of breaking stories to remind you of all that’s been going on. But somewhere in this hectic season I managed to miss a long awaited decision by Obama’s EPA which showed up with the previous Friday’s news dump.

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of cars on the road could have more corn-based ethanol in their fuel tanks under an Environmental Protection Agency decision Friday.

The agency said that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006, expanding an October decision that the higher blend is safe for cars built since 2007.The maximum gasoline blend has been 10 percent ethanol.

This decision was made despite repeated warnings from industry experts who have been pleading for more time to perform exhaustive testing. Were they being overly cautious? That’s a difficult argument to make, particularly since we told you last month that one delay in testing came from the fact that the higher ethanol blend fuel was melting down the seals in pumps and storage tanks during testing.

The laundry list of potential problems from this decision is extensive. Asking distributors to carry yet another fuel (even if it doesn’t melt their pumps) will require logistical juggling, equipment changes, new signs and other expenses which are inevitably passed on down to the consumer. Ethanol burns hotter than conventional fuel, leading to earlier failure of catalytic converters. (An expensive fix, as any of you who have been hit with it at the garage will attest.)

All of this is still being pushed under the cloak of a more environmentally friendly solution to energy challenges, a claim which current science has increasingly put in doubt. But would it at least produce any type of savings as we fight to get the budget under control? Precisely the opposite, as noted by Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group.

Rather than furthering his goal to make America “the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015,” however, Obama’s focus on biofuels as the way “to break our dependence on oil” would have the opposite effect if it means sending billions more taxpayers dollars to corn country to finance ethanol infrastructure, Cox said. “Building an ethanol infrastructure at taxpayer’s expense will just lock us further into the past rather than lead us to tomorrow’s energy future,” added Cox, who heads EWG’s Ames, Iowa, office.

This is clearly a victory for King Corn, but lies in stark contrast to the President’s stated goals of Winning the Future. Exit question: Even if gas stations manage to offer this for cars built in 2001 and after, how will they ensure drivers of older vehicles don’t wind up putting it in their vehicles without retooling the entire delivery system?

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Exit question: Even if gas stations manage to offer this for cars built in 2001 and after, how will they ensure drivers of older vehicles don’t wind up putting it in their vehicles without retooling the entire delivery system?

Maybe you should have looked at states that have been putting ethanol in their systems for years and years to get your answer.

upinak on January 31, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Oh, please do include an update directed to the WSJ editorial that rightfully slams that phony Newt Gingrich on his support for ethanol subsidies.

thirteen28 on January 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Just bought a little Suzuki AWD miniSUV. Owners manual specifically warns against using ethanal laced fuel. Can’t buy ethanol free fuel in my state in corn country.

a capella on January 31, 2011 at 1:39 PM

And E10 was sooooooo great for boats.

WashJeff on January 31, 2011 at 1:39 PM

This is so very wrong on so many levels – from the damage that ethanol does to engines, the instability of gasoline containing ethanol, what ethanol does to the fertilizer markets vis-a-vis food production, the hidden costs of using natural gas to produce the fertilizer that goes the corn that isn’t eaten, but is rather burnt instead of the gasoline.

A. Total. Mess.

turfmann on January 31, 2011 at 1:41 PM

higher ethanol blend fuel was melting down the seals in pumps and storage tanks during testing.

Doesn’t leaking fuel damage the environment?

Chip on January 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Exit question: Even if gas stations manage to offer this for cars built in 2001 and after, how will they ensure drivers of older vehicles don’t wind up putting it in their vehicles without retooling the entire delivery system?

By running a few more Cash for Clunkers cycles to remove all cars older than 2001.

Ferris on January 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

This decision was made despite repeated warnings from industry experts who have been pleading for more time to perform exhaustive testing.

It really wouldn’t take much time at all to do the testing. Running exposure tests on polymers and other materials used in automotive fuel systems is a pretty simple and straightforward matter.

In fact there is already plenty of evidence of the damage caused by ethanol to these systems.

One has to wonder, are there any chemists at all working for the EPA?

UltimateBob on January 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Doesn’t E10 have a shelf live of 3 months because of the water it absorbs?
Now make way for E15…

Sowing The Future.

Electrongod on January 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

And E10 was sooooooo great for boats.

WashJeff on January 31, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Oh even better… diesel trucks! Oh who ever came up with that was just freaking smart!/

upinak on January 31, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Doesn’t leaking fuel damage the environment?

Chip on January 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

You’re not seeing the larger picture. It is the effort that counts.

a capella on January 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM

…that one delay in testing came from the fact that the higher ethanol blend fuel was melting down the seals in pumps and storage tanks during testing.

I get it now. Speed up the decay of our cars so we can be stuck buying subsidized Volts. Well played EPA; Well played.

mizflame98 on January 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM

A. Total. Mess.

turfmann on January 31, 2011 at 1:41 PM

worse… since it gels inside your gas tank when it hits 0 to -10.

upinak on January 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM

All this story needs, is a life long Big-Gasohol politician like Tim Pawlenty, to call the EPA “chicken.”

Ironic this comes on the very day yet another government is about to topple, due to what some say is rampant food inflation.

Another exit question for the Global Warmingistas and PBS viewers/listeners who get their “science” from frauds like Joe Romm.

Which caused more grain to be taken off the world’s food table? The Russian drought and Pakistan floods, or one year of gasohol manufacture?

MNHawk on January 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Everything was going along nicely until the price of my Corn Flakes doubled.

faraway on January 31, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I chose electrical yard tools; lawnmower, chainsaw, etc., specifically because ethanol severly damages smaller engines. A 15% blend will destroy millions, tens of millions perhaps, of lawnmowers this summer.

Rebar on January 31, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Burning food… Looks like the libs failed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

phreshone on January 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Doesn’t leaking fuel damage the environment?

Chip on January 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Exactly. Then they…the EPA and other enviro idiots will blame big oil, again, and again. This is all being done with intent, to shut down the oil industry, or send it under the management and ownership of the government. It will also force people into Obama’s favorite car. The jolt…errrrr Volt.

capejasmine on January 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Ethanol burns hotter than conventional fuel, leading to earlier failure of catalytic converters. (An expensive fix, as any of you who have been hit with it at the garage will attest.)

Catalytic converters are part of the pollution controls aren’t they? Long ago if your catalytic converter went out you could sell the car out of the city where cars didn’t need a pollution test to get licensed.

That seems like a rather inconsistent thing.

Doesn’t it make as much pollution to make ethanol as it does to run cars without it?

None of this makes sense environmentally. Nothing new there.

But with likely instability in the middle east for the foreseeable future it may not be too bad of an idea to cut dependence on oil by 10% or more.

Drill baby drill.

petunia on January 31, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Everything was going along nicely until the price of my Corn Flakes doubled.

faraway on January 31, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Are you putting Corn Flakes in your gas tank?

Wait, wait. That was supposed to be a joke, but that’s pretty much what they’re doing to us.

turfmann on January 31, 2011 at 1:55 PM

This will do wonders for the already skyrocketing price of food, and yes the poor throughout the world will be the worst hit. At root, Big Environmentalism is against normative humanist values.

paul1149 on January 31, 2011 at 1:55 PM

The agency said that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006, expanding an October decision that the higher blend is safe for cars built since 2007.

Hardest hit: Hungry people around the world who depend on corn as a basic foodstuff.

ps: Dear Goracle….planes don’t run on ethanol. But please try it anyway. On your next flight to Davos.

BobMbx on January 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

By all means, do it.

After millions will die of famine in the food-aid dependent countries, the bleeding-heart communists/environuts will find solace that at least those dead humans will produce methane no more, not counting all the oxygen saved.

Rookie on January 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Great for more food riots, price increases.

I tells ya these Progressives sho is smart. They just keep on workin on gettin the world down to their manageable one billion slaves/serfs.

Yah gots to give it to thems.

and nows they got the DOTUS with his minions working 24/7.

God help us.

PappyD61 on January 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Even the Enviro Industry (Fiends Of The Earth) and AlGoreInc have now come out against Ethanol-laced biofuels.

The quickest and most effective way we can get this entire Ethanol Scam stopped in its tracks is for all of us to immediately write or fax our US Congressman and two US Senators demanding that they defund Ethanol subsidies and defund the EPA.

What is it going to take to stop this Enviro-driven insanity? If people start dying by the thousands while driving gas-leaking bombs, because ethanol is causing gas tanks and fuel seals to leak, I guarantee you that the cynical & fascist Enviro Industry will sidestep any blame and say it’s more reason to “Go Green” or whatever their latest DoubleSpeak Propaganda-Du-Jour slogan is.

CatchAll on January 31, 2011 at 2:01 PM

All of those “old” cars use more fuel and pollute more than “new” cars.

Here’s a great way to get rid of the old cars and make people buy new ones.

CrazyGene on January 31, 2011 at 2:01 PM

As an environmentalists, I hope the environmental groups are up in arms about this. I fear that leftists so control the environmental movement that my hope is forlorn.

thuja on January 31, 2011 at 2:04 PM

It’s bad enough that my tax dollars are paying welfare to Iowa farmers and massive agricorps who know how to play the federal government, now they’re going to wreck the rubber in my van?

Thanks, congress–a pox on the money-sucking farm-vote panderers in both parties.

albo on January 31, 2011 at 2:04 PM

The gas stations around here sell ethanol free premium grade, of course, it costs an arm and a leg. They also put that stuff in diesel, which really is worse and totally unnecessary.

Kissmygrits on January 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I don’t think you understand.

Those potential unsafe concerns fall under a different gobmint branch.

As far as EPA’s primary concern, their decisions had been ‘consistent’.

Sir Napsalot on January 31, 2011 at 2:06 PM

More ethanol in gasoline? No problem, just set up a fractionating column, distill off the ethanol, put the gasoline in your car, and drink the ethanol.

Google it.

Skandia Recluse on January 31, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Obama’s focus on biofuels as the way “to break our dependence on oil”

Um, no. Ethanol is a net loss of energy. It takes more energy to make a gallon than is contained in the gallon of ethanol.

But, hey, what else are we gonna do with all that corn? Feed people!? Pish-posh.

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Ethanol burns hotter than conventional fuel, leading to earlier failure of catalytic converters.

Surprising statement given that ethanol has a lower BTU content than gasoline.

Log on January 31, 2011 at 2:09 PM

One has to wonder, are there any chemists scientists of any kind, or individuals possessing any common sense at all working for the EPA?

UltimateBob on January 31, 2011 at 1:46 PM

FIFY. And the answer is clearly “no.”

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 2:09 PM

My son watched a documentary called “King Corn” in his environmental science class this year. Two guys tried to farm an acre of corn in Iowa. They lost money except for the federal subsidy, none of the corn they grew was actually edible by humans, and they had no idea where their corn ended up. The profits made by the big corn aggregators like ADM are obscene. He was so upset by it that he is refusing to eat anything made with corn anymore or buy ethanol-laced gas for his car.

rockmom on January 31, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I hope the environmentalists are happy.

John the Libertarian on January 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Here’s a great way to get rid of the old cars and make people buy new ones.

CrazyGene on January 31, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Corn for Clunkers

faraway on January 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Guys, big picture. Instead of car engines lasting 100,200, even 300k, now we’ll just hope for 100 and plan on getting cars more frequently OR think of the trickle down of engine repair shops and parts. GM smiles at you

TheVer on January 31, 2011 at 2:13 PM

HEY LOOK!!! THE STUPID PARTY IS BACK IN DC!!

No one is hammering the president 24/7 about sky high gas prices and milking it for every political advantage possible. no one is shaking the trees to force the administration on the defense due to spiraling food prices.

All is silent like crickets.

The stupid party is back in DC folks!!

rickyricardo on January 31, 2011 at 2:13 PM

FIFY. And the answer is clearly “no.”

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 2:09 PM

And yet, the boy-king continues to give the EPA practically unbridled power.

UltimateBob on January 31, 2011 at 2:14 PM

He was so upset by it that he is refusing to eat anything made with corn anymore

Then he’s become a vegan–grocery stores would be limited to fruit and non-corn vegetables, since everything seems to use a corn product or is raised on corn feed.

albo on January 31, 2011 at 2:15 PM

buy ethanol-laced gas for his car.

rockmom on January 31, 2011 at 2:10 PM

good thing he can actually buy regular-old-fashioned gasoline. Not all of us are able too.

upinak on January 31, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Geez Louise. Could this bunch of cuckoo dummies running the EPA clown show be any stupider? Or do they think we are as stupid as they are? About two years ago, I got to see an exhibit, in Brazil, about their use of ethanol. They don’t use any corn for production. They only use sugar cane. And sugar cane ethanol, then, wasn’t any cleaner than any fossil based fuels. Crony Capitalism at it’s finest now for all to see, courtesy of the U.S. EPA, bought and paid for by special interest and by all of our tax dollars! No wonder this country is broke and busted. It’s time for every citizen to “call” the EPA on their BS and redeem all of our markers.

MayorDaley on January 31, 2011 at 2:16 PM

now we’ll just hope for 100 and plan on getting cars more frequently

Darn. I already lived through the 1970s and Detroit’s planned obsolescence approach to cars.

albo on January 31, 2011 at 2:16 PM

It is projected that by next year, 4.3 billion bushels of corn will go into ethanol production.

And that could feed how many people?

And how much of an issue is food in the current unrest in the Middle East?

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

They don’t use any corn for production. They only use sugar cane. And sugar cane ethanol, then, wasn’t any cleaner than any fossil based fuels.

Plus they don’t have that extra step of converting starch to sugar like you have to do with corn. So that’s more energy required to make corn ethanol.

albo on January 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Oh, please do include an update directed to the WSJ editorial that rightfully slams that phony Newt Gingrich on his support for ethanol subsidies.

thirteen28 on January 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Yes, Newt shooting his mouth off again: The WSJ v. Professor Cornpone

“Last week, while in Iowa, Newt Gingrich endorsed broad government mandates on automakers to promote greater use of ethanol. In the process, he lambasted “big city” critics and the WSJ editorial page and dismissed concerns that ethanol mandates increase the cost of food and fuel. This morning the WSJ fires back, chiding the former professor for his cornpone pandering and “support for Mr. Obama’s brand of green-energy welfare.” Gingrich may think cuddling up to the corn lobby will enhance his presidential prospects, but his extreme endorsement of ethanol mandates won’t reassure those who already doubt his fealty to free enterprise and limited government.”

slickwillie2001 on January 31, 2011 at 2:21 PM

D@mn them… The world’s stomach growls, food is in short supply and we can’t drill for more oil? DRILL,BABY, DRILL!

CynicalOptimist on January 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I also list a website where you might be lucky enough to find pumps with 100% pure gasoline in your area.

tree hugging sister on January 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM

People are going to be more upset when they find that there are no product pipeline to transport anything with more than 10% ethanol.

Transport costs of fuel by truck and train is more expensive.

Kermit on January 31, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Ethanol definitely destroyed my 97 Thunderbird.

Where is the republican leadership on this? That’s the sad thing.

Iblis on January 31, 2011 at 2:35 PM

If we want info, go to Brazil for it since they have used alcohol since the 1970′s. I tried to get their government to offer to help us years ago and the minister I talked to was very defensive. Anyway, the residue after use to make alcohol is good for cattle feed and even human consumption, but few address that aspect of corn use.

amr on January 31, 2011 at 2:35 PM

satanically stupid.

Inanemergencydial on January 31, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Buy Ford!!!

Call your reps

destroying our means of livelyhood

this pos leader should be facing treason charges

Sonosam on January 31, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Which one of the following does not fit?

1. Community Organizer
2. Social Justice
3. Scientific Evidence

RADIOONE on January 31, 2011 at 2:42 PM

And how much of an issue is food in the current unrest in the Middle East?

iurockhead on January 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM

That’s it isn’t it. I’ve read several articles now and have yet to hear any mention of what exactly is causing this unrest. Apparently the ME is suddenly, mysteriously, full of unrest, and no one seems exactly to know what it’s all about.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I thought if you poured enough sugar in a gas tank, the engine would get fubar, now we just put a little in at a time…The adults genuises are in charge!

TheVer on January 31, 2011 at 2:45 PM

If the gub-mint is so concerned with shoving corn up my tail-pipe and limiting the amount of miles I can expect to get out of a vehicle. I may start importing Bio-Diesel conversion kits.

ExPat on January 31, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Ethanol burns hotter than conventional fuel, leading to earlier failure of catalytic converters.

Ethanol has a lower BTU rating than a comparable amount of gasoline. How does it burn hotter? I really don’t know, please ‘splain to me?

I do know that starting about 4 years ago I had to replace every fuel line on my small engines and rebuild a couple of carbs because of the ethanol.

TugboatPhil on January 31, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Not only does it wreck the engine, but dont you get crappier mileage with crapanol? Makes us buy more of it too…the gift that keep on giving!

TheVer on January 31, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Obviously, an end to the little covered government program that rewards the implementation of literally the stupidest thing possible is long overdue.

I have to believe, at this point, that stupidity guarantees career advancement, at least inside the beltway.

Wind Rider on January 31, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Who out there doubts that Obama wants world-wide food riots?

GaltBlvnAtty on January 31, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Doesn’t leaking fuel damage the environment?

Chip on January 31, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Yes, which is why the last “miracle” additive (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE) to “oxygenate” gasoline to make it burn “cleaner” was banned by Congress. Most compounds in gasoline are insoluble in water, so that gasoline from LUST (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks) floats on top of underground water, and remains undetected. MTBE is soluble in water to 5%, and was poisoning drinking water, so it had to be banned from gasoline.

Ethanol is nearly infinitely soluble in water, so that if its content in gasoline is increased to 15%, tap water near a LUST could turn to stronger moonshine.

Ethanol from corn is an ENERGY LOSER–it takes nearly as much energy (from fossil fuels) to plant and reap corn and turn it to ethanol as the energy obtained from burning ethanol. People and livestock can eat corn, and diverting corn to ethanol production increases prices of corn-based food and corn-fed beef. It would actually be more energy-efficient to feed corn to people and have them ride bicycles than to convert it to ethanol and burn it in cars.

So if an idea is stupid and inefficient, what’s an Obama to do? Do 50% more of it, of course!

The agency said that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006, expanding an October decision that the higher blend is safe for cars built since 2007.

There could be a glimmer of hope here. Just because EPA says that E-15 is “safe” for cars built between 2001 and 2006 doesn’t mean it’s more economical. It’s also “safe” to make electrical wires out of gold, and it conducts extremely well, but most electricians use copper because it’s a whole lot cheaper!

Steve Z on January 31, 2011 at 3:02 PM

I’ve been making some good hay investing in symbol CORN!

Ethanol subsidies are the stupidest of all forms of corporate welfare, but it isn’t going away anytime soon. Our dysfunctional political process with its emphasis on Iowa ensures that. So we’ll continue to pay farmers directly and indirectly pay farmers by forcing the rest of us burn what they grow. Screw the hungry, we’re burning their food for votes. Screw the economy, we’re forcing all motorists to pay more to put food in their tanks.

MJBrutus on January 31, 2011 at 3:13 PM

More drilling would be way better, but this gives us some energy independence temporarily. The downside is if we ever have a drought or large famine in the world we are in trouble.

For my polluted area though, I’d like to see more natural gas fueled cars.

(There was also a recent column on synthetic hydrogen fuel the Brits are messing with that may not require car modifications)

scotash on January 31, 2011 at 3:23 PM

higher ethanol blend fuel was melting down the seals in pumps and storage tanks during testing.

That’s exactly what MTBE did as well — corroded and destroyed the seals on storage tanks and pumps, leading to TWO massive refits that killed off most of the independent gas stations in California and led to a huge increase in engine issues for cars, boats, etc. My car, for example, burned up after MTBE ate away at the rubber hoses and caused the fuel injector to fail, spraying gasoline all over the engine — so said my insurance company.

EasyEight on January 31, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I doubt bama is interested in what the majority of Americas people want

only is that important when working on another despotic regime

hondurans know the BS bama represents

Sonosam on January 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Oh, please do include an update directed to the WSJ editorial that rightfully slams that phony Newt Gingrich on his support for ethanol subsidies.

thirteen28 on January 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

You got that right. And while we’ve made a habit of pointing fingers at the tyrants of the Mid East, let’s not lost sight of the fact that we’re being screwed by the tyrants of our own Mid West as well!!

MJBrutus on January 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

The left isn’t interested in the ‘details’ or the ‘consequences’.

They revel in “the smugness factor”.

GarandFan on January 31, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Ethanol is just a mini-scam when compared to global warming. It is redistribution of wealth under the guise of scientific fraud. Liberals fool themselves into thinking “smart” when almost on a constant basis it results in just another example of intellectual bankruptcy. Their perception of what is reality is skewed by external forces they cannot control. They, in their own minds, will try to make what they falsely perceive as reality into what they believe it to be without regards for what the truth dictates.

volsense on January 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM

OT: I’m sure H/A is preparing a post on this now, but I wanted to get a jump on cheering some good news!!!

MJBrutus on January 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If only we had some statesmen, or, more likely, stateswomen in both parties. The Republicans and Democrats could get together and agree that scheduling of presidential primaries would rotate through states, thereby taking away Iowa’s untoward significance. That would allow us to get rid of the ethanol hoax, which would have lots of positives, including improving the world’s food supply.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 31, 2011 at 3:40 PM

My Tacoma is environmental perfection:
13-1/2 years at 25 mph no matter what the conditions;
No plant retooling for a lot of that time;
No damage from creating a new truck;
No damage from disposal of an old one;
Would go another 10 years – if it weren’t for E15.
Darn right I skipped cash for clunkers.
Now they’ll clunker it for me.

tomg51 on January 31, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Who out there doubts that Obama wants world-wide food riots?

GaltBlvnAtty on January 31, 2011 at 2:58 PM

This isn’t about common sense it’s about the Soros plan. And it’s working just fine. Divert food production to ethanol so as to increase food prices. Devalue the dollar, thank you Mr. Bernanke, which has the same effect and walla you get what you want: food riots around the world, coming soon to this country. Chaos. Bottom up. Just waiting for the top to come down and those inside the gov to come out of the closet.

Now that the progressives have overthrown the friendly and stable but despotic Egyptian government so it can be replaced by an unfriendly despotic Islamic government that will control the Suez Canal we will soon see their desired goal.

Oil prices have already started to skyrocket which will only cause food prices to do the same both here and overseas. So it looks like we’re in for it but good.

Exit question: Is there anything our fearless Tea Party elected new Congress reps can do to reverse this destructive nonsense and why aren’t we getting on their collective cases about this?

shmendrick on January 31, 2011 at 3:45 PM

shmendrick: Please see my primary idea at 3:40.

GaltBlvnAtty on January 31, 2011 at 3:49 PM

GaltBlvnAtty on January 31, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I get your drift and concur but I think it will be difficult to put into practice and may take some time that we do not have at this point. It would seem that our best hope to stymie this latest attempt to damage our country and our world would be for our reps in congress to take some steps to prevent this. How I’m not sure but we need to put pressure on them to get crackin on this corny thingy.

shmendrick on January 31, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Great! Burn more food, starve more people. The EPA is playing population control through starvation.

michaelo on January 31, 2011 at 4:01 PM

great…the vast majority on hot air dont mind going thru life unencumbered with facts…

Ethanol raises my local basis 15 cents, it actually does not effect world price–too small of portion of the worlds crop.
Corn going from 3.00 to 6.00 on China Demand raises a box of Corn Flakes 5 cents, if its more thanks Big Food such as Gen. Mills.

I have several 10 year old boats, bikes, lawnmowers, small gas motors, 25 yr old p/ups, grain trucks—all on ethanol w/no problems—alot of urban folks blame their poor maintainence on ethanol, or maybe getting a story from the local shop who then tags on a extra quick 100.00 billing.

Economist Urbanchuk–ethanol pays back the Fed Treas. 3-1 via Fed Taxs generated, State Taxs and Lower LDP paymts

Maybe a bunch of you should look closely at your 1040 Home Mtg. Int. deduction—–now that is pure welfare, at least a subsidy gives back to society

sbark on January 31, 2011 at 4:21 PM

If ethanol is a net energy source, it should be possible to power an ethanol plant with the ethanol it produces, and at the same time produce excess ethanol to sell.

If ethanol is a net energy sink, then you’d have to import oil or coal to run the plant, defeating any energy savings. Does anybody here know if they run ethanol plants on ethanol?

Same for solar panels: Are there any solar panel plants that are powered entirely by the same solar panels they manufacture? I think not…

ZenDraken on January 31, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Ethanol raises my local basis 15 cents, it actually does not effect world price–too small of portion of the worlds crop.

sbark on January 31, 2011 at 4:21 PM

The majority of the increase has been caused by U.S. monetary policy. The ethanol scam is only a small portion, but it’s still a portion.

DFCtomm on January 31, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Im sure the solution will be offered by GM, which will put out an affordable all ethanol vehicle, the release of which will be timed with some draconian ethanol mandate… sure you can keep your old car if you like, it will just cost you a fortune in maintenance, or get on board with the new govt motors ethanol mobile!!

Koa on January 31, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Nothing will get a party thrown out of power faster than doing things that break our cars.

This is just one more example to toss on a growing pile of examples of a patronizing, condescending government that is determined for force things down our throat “for our own good”.

They have reached a point of diminishing returns where automotive exhaust is now so clean that they must take increasingly draconian steps to extract smaller improvements.

It is time for them to stop.

crosspatch on January 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

More ethanol in gasoline? No problem, just set up a fractionating column, distill off the ethanol, put the gasoline in your car, and drink the ethanol.

Google it.

Skandia Recluse on January 31, 2011 at 2:07 PM

I realize that you were probably just joking, but for those that didn’t catch that, please let me state unequivocally:

DO NOT set up a fractionating column for GASOLINE.

You wanna make some moonshine? Go buy some cheap beer and fractionate the hell outta that. But please, for the love of God and your family don’t home-distill gasoline! High heat source + large container of gasoline = BIG FIRE, BIG EXPLOSION, YOU A CHARRED SKELETON.

Besides that, Fractionating isn’t even necessary. Ethanol sticks to water. Much easier to passively crack it by simply adding WATER to a container of gasoline, stir, let sit overnight, drain out Ethanol/water mix from the bottom.

Of course, be aware that you will lose some octane level with that, but it absolutely doable by the average person in small lots. Many classic car owners are already doing this to preserve their old cars’ engines.

wearyman on January 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM

I drive a 96. The sad fact is that they want my car to burn up. The environment (which will take the biggest hit from the manufacturing cost of a new car) is the last thing they care about. This is all about giving back to auto and ag lobbyists.

phelps on January 31, 2011 at 6:23 PM

sbark on January 31, 2011 at 4:21 PM

You’ll have to admit that it is pretty convenient to have a market that is forced on the consumer at the point of a gun.

TugboatPhil on January 31, 2011 at 6:49 PM

We’ll destroy your cars and force you to buy from GE.

JellyToast on January 31, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Quite apart from the effect on motor vehicles, this news comes at an especially interesting time. From today’s The Corner-

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said its global food index has surpassed the all-time high of 2008, both in nominal and real terms. The cereals index has risen 39pc in the last year, the oil and fats index 55pc…The immediate cause of this food spike was the worst drought in Russia and the Black Sea region for 130 years, lasting long enough to damage winter planting as well as the summer harvest. Russia imposed an export ban on grains. This was compounded by late rains in Canada, Nina disruptions in Argentina, and a series of acreage downgrades in the US. The world’s stocks-to-use ratio for corn is nearing a 30-year low of 12.8pc, according to Rabobank…the biofuel mandates that have diverted a third of the US corn crop into ethanol for cars.

And this is a good time to turn even more perfectly good food into fuel?

Jay Mac on January 31, 2011 at 7:30 PM

The agency said that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006,

Great…my truck’s a ’99.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM

All those folks with vintage cars and motorcycles; hope you like dropped valves.

Boxy_Brown on January 31, 2011 at 9:59 PM

EPA says it’s OK for my car, but my warranty says 10% max. Also, manufacturers certify its emissions compliance with E10 for 100,000 miles. Who pays my warranty claim, GM or the EPA?

This is madness. What has happened is gasoline consumption has dropped and mandated ethanol use increased. There is no way the oil companies and their distributors can make thier minimums with E10. So we pay by having E15 crammed down our throats.

Corky Boyd on January 31, 2011 at 10:53 PM

The same idiots who want to mandate higher mileage standards insist on pouring more water into your gas tank!!!

As usual, they will be surprised when this measure fails to produce any positive benefits for anyone.

(Sadly, this is not a comedy skit…)

landlines on February 1, 2011 at 2:03 AM

I can see a day when this idiocy will spur a new industry: home re-refining kits!!!

These kits for the home will enable one to remove the Ethanol and water from polluted E10 and E15 fuel in order to produce the pure gasoline needed to make vehicles work properly and efficiently.

landlines on February 1, 2011 at 2:08 AM

Let the markets determine this issue. Get the government out of it, NOW!

SC.Charlie on February 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM