Is ethanol now the “biofuels Solyndra?”

posted at 3:31 pm on June 2, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

In yet another example of talking out of both sides of their mouths, the Obama administration is facing criticism for pushing biofuels in the form of an E-15 fuel approval for the EPA while raising barriers to domestic, conventional fuel exploration initiatives. The major problems of the pending E-15 approval were pointed out this week by Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Ready or not, here it comes.

At least that is the message from the ethanol lobby about E15, gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. Ethanol producers are in the process of clearing the final requirements to increase the amount of ethanol in our gas…

EPA has continued to ignore significant contrary evidence that shows E15 can cause engine damage, and that mound of evidence is growing. The Coordinating Research Council just released a study that shows E15 can cause engine damage even in new cars. I have contacted the EPA to determine if it still believes the fuel will not damage engines, and I am eagerly awaiting that response.

What sort of engine damage are we talking about? Just check out this study from the CRC released in April. As many as five million cars in the current fleet on the road could suffer from premature system failures by burning the higher levels of ethanol in the E-15 mix. So why do it?

Well, one possible reason is that it might stave off the “danger” of exploring our rich oil and gas reserves. American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President Charles T. Drevna testified before a House Committee this week on precisely why the current administration’s policies are cutting off our nose to spite our face.

“While the Obama administration claims to support an ‘all of the above’ approach to U.S. energy, its actions do not always match its rhetoric, and its approach would be more aptly characterized as ‘all of the above, but nothing below.’ The policies of the administration and EPA continue to support a war on fossil fuels that ultimately harms consumers, workers, the economy and our country’s national security.

“The United States has the ability to secure its long-term energy security through a combination of ingenuity and the right policy choices. The administration should allow the oil and natural gas industry to fully develop onshore and offshore resources on federal lands, streamline and expedite the leasing and permitting processes, and immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

“The government’s role should not be to manage the industry; it should work to provide an environment that facilitates growth while balancing the costs and benefits of proposed regulations. AFPM urges Congress and the administration to consider the cumulative impact of new regulations prior to imposing them, to examine the effectiveness and cost of existing regulations, and to eliminate regulations that hamper American energy producers.”

This is smoke and mirrors and nothing more. For the party which supposedly loves science and claims that Republicans hate it, the EPA and Obama’s energy team seem more dedicated than ever to shutting down a solution to an obvious problem while making campaign trail speeches about supporting the precise opportunities they oppose through regulatory fiat. It would be a fairly clever trick if it weren’t so easy to see the cards hidden up their sleeves.


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Now?
Always as been, we just have a name for it.

AllahsNippleHair on June 2, 2012 at 3:33 PM

It’s one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Ethanol blends SUCK.
The Ethanol lobby can bite my a$$.
And they are my neighbors. Govt teat sucking farmers.
Their govt $$ distorts the price of my calves in the fall.
I don’t get subsidies but they inadvertently punish me in many ways.
Another way is their govt subsidies drive up the price of land rent.
Subsidies should never happen. Period.

Badger40 on June 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

So they’ve pivoted from trying to create markets for products that people don’t want to trying to create markets for products that people don’t want and that are destructive.

The Obama Administration reminds me of a college Student Government Association, only not as smart.

Curtiss on June 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

AND it is true ethanol blends ruin engines.
Took us 2 small Honda engines & about $1000 later to figure it out.
We were using the engine to run a well pump in a pasture.
The 1st one lasted a year. The 2nd not even that long.
Finally put in a windmill.
But it was the ethanol blend that did it bcs the 3rd engine we specifically avoid it & it’s still running.
THANKS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Badger40 on June 2, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Not to mention that a box of cereal now costs almost $5.00 a box where I live.

Night Owl on June 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

IMHO, converting our food supply, into car fuel, was a huge mistake. Because we have huge supplies of untapped shale oil, and shelved clean coal technology. Meanwhile, among other things, Ethanol have raised our grocery prices.

Some where there’s going to have to be a line drawn in the sand, with the environmental wackos. Their nonsense has to stop, or be stopped.

A true environmentalist wouldn’t have any gas, electricity or water piped into their home[s]. /S

byteshredder on June 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

The fact that some biofuels are made of corn and corn is a major food in most products here and other countries, makes the cost of corn products go through the roof? Now how does bho/team deal with that? They probably don’t give a flying flit if people are hungry, just give foto’s money for this krap ethanol?

You know what they are doing? They want your older car/truck/etc. cratering having to use ethanol and YOU have to buy a NEW gov approved/taxpayer funded company to make the car companies MONEY!

I just wonder how much corn raised here in the US and other countries goes to fuel not food?
L

letget on June 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Total waste of farm land when cheaper, more efficient, available sources are available!! Unintended side effect is using precious water resources to be burned as fuel and wasted!! Water will be more scarce than fuel in the future!! These idiots in power can’t think beyond the next election or next poll!!

Marco on June 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I looked into this issue when I was looking for an RV. E15 destroys rv gas generators. another reason to be against it.

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

This “E15″ ethanol debacle reminds me of the “E-burger” that was being touted and sold during the Carter presidency. Along with a ‘gas shortage’ that us all standing in line for gas, and rationing so that you could only buy gas on ‘odd or even’ days, depending on what the last number of your license plate was, and prices that went through the roof, there was a MEAT SHORTAGE, too. The price of decent meat also soared and since so many people were unemployed and/or homeless, most people couldn’t afford anything but hamburger and even that was in short supply and expensive. Hence, ‘E-burger’ was sold instead of quality hamburger or ground beef. It was very low quality ground beef, that had to have SOY added in order to meet the protein requirements because it had so much fat and filler in it. I guess with the “E15″ 15% Ethanol that they want to add to our gasoline we should count ourselves fortunate that THIS democrat president only wants to put additives in our cars…not our bodies.

While I’m reminiscing about the Carter presidency I’ll also mention that the prime rate soared and a home loan was running at between 18%-21%…needless to say, not too many people could afford to buy a home at those prices. The ‘gas shortage’ was accompanied by one of Carter’s pet projects… the 55 MPH speed limit. He threatened states and cities that didn’t wish to comply with cutting off their federal funding. With the masses of unemployed and the huge welfare rolls the states had no choice….they fell in line and complied despite the negative impact on trucking, deliveries, and commerce and revenues ( both through loss of volume in commerce and loss of revenues directly at the gas pump) in general.

There was also that nasty incident wherein the Shah of Iran was deposed. the current extremists took over Iran, and our embassy personnel were taken hostage and held for over 400 days… until the day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

thatsafactjack on June 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

AND it is true ethanol blends ruin engines.
Took us 2 small Honda engines & about $1000 later to figure it out.
We were using the engine to run a well pump in a pasture.
The 1st one lasted a year. The 2nd not even that long.
Finally put in a windmill.
But it was the ethanol blend that did it bcs the 3rd engine we specifically avoid it & it’s still running.
THANKS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Badger40 on June 2, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Finally now Home Depot has started selling fuel for small engines, presumably ethanol-free. The labels are a little dodgey about the contents, but it is likely good old pure gasoline with some preservatives. Unfortunately it’s about $3.00 a quart.

You can also buy ethanol-free at marine service stations. You can’t just drive up and put it in your tank though, you have to put it in a container ‘for your boat’. The website http://pure-gas.org/ has a list of stations that sell ‘pure gasoline’.

I’ve seen the shelf-life of 10% ethanol gasoline estimated at as little as two months, so if you have a vehicle you don’t drive much you are susceptible to rusted-out fuel pumps, injectors, etc.

You can also search the internet for simple procedures to remove the ethanol from the ethanol/gasoline mixture.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Didn’t mention this in the article, but as a fisherman I know that boat dealers are now selling and actively PUSHING fuel treatments for boat engines to prevent the damage they sustain from the ethanol in even the current E-10 fuel blends. E-15 in high power fishing boat engines is going to be a maintenance nightmare. I know that may not sound like much to the people who don’t go boating, but if it’s bad for a 400 HP Merc outboard, how good could it be for your Ford?

Jazz Shaw on June 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM

“While the Obama administration claims to support an ‘all of the above’ approach to U.S. energy, its actions do not always match its rhetoric, and its approach would be more aptly characterized as ‘all of the above, but nothing below.’

Now that’s friggin’ Hilarious!

Well played.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM

More accurate to say that Solyndra was modeled after Ethanol. Uneconomical ideas that no private investor would support is a great condition for government investment.

echosyst on June 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Ethanol has always been a scam. It does more environmental harm than good – including net CO2 emissions. It causes engines to degrade prematurely. It does nothing for mileage.

It is a wealth transfer from taxpayers and consumers to Big Ag like ADM. Corporate welfare and crony capitalism at its worst.

Ethanol should be banned, not promoted, as a motor fuel.

Adjoran on June 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

You can also buy ethanol-free at marine service stations. You can’t just drive up and put it in your tank though, you have to put it in a container ‘for your boat’. The website http://pure-gas.org/ has a list of stations that sell ‘pure gasoline’.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2012 at 4:02 PM

There are some marinas here in Virginia where you can pump directly into your car and the gas is ethanol free. Not sure about all of them, of course, because I haven’t talked to all of them. Lot of marinas in Virginia. I’ve contacted several in my area and they all have ethanol free gas. The Stihl dealers in the area also carry ethanol free gas but it’s pretty expensive. I use it in all my two cycle engines. The gas at the marinas is a little more expensive than what you get in gas stations but not excessive.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

The Party of Unintended Consequences, Exhibit #1,232,432.

hillsoftx on June 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Is ethanol now the “biofuels Solyndra?”

Yes. And has been for over 30 years.

There is pitiful little evidence that Ethanol does any good. The high cost of Ethanol is hidden by the massive government subsidies. There is no evidence that it inproves the environment, and even if it did is the improvement worth the costs?

Omitted from the cost/benefits wild guesses presented by liberals is the CO2 and environmental costs of growing the corn and transporting the Ethanol which cannot be delivered by pipeline but must rely on… drum roll please … trucks burning fossil fuels.

Ethanol is a disaster at all levels. No rational argument can justify it.

This is partly why Congress terminated the Ethanol subsidies in January. Ah, but Congress left in place the mandate to expand the mandate for Ethanol use, which is why we are talking about this article.

The government still mandates expanded Ethanol use even though it recognizes that it doesn’t have sufficient benefits to justify additional subsidies.

Standby for a massive increase in cost of gas when E-15 is approved.

But it gets even worse. It turns out that other countries like Brazil can produce Ethanol (even if it had some benefit) at a much lower cost. But our government slaps an import tax on it so that Amercian farmers have an advantage in selling their own overly expensive Ethanol.

Who gets screwed to the wall in the end–the consumer.

Even Al Gore has said that Ethanol was a mistake. Think about that. Yet here we are expanding a completely useless product that costs consumers untold billions of dollars.

I’m convinced that government is completely, totally, one hundred percent broken with no leadership in place to fix it.

No one can cite a major government program that has worked, that has come anywhere close to projected cost estimates, or that hasn’t turned into a bureaurcratic nightmare.

The government can’t even take care of our veterans who it sent to war. The post office is bankrupt. Social Security will soon be bankrupt. Medicare will soon be bankrupt. Medicaid will soon be bankrupt. After spending trillions of dollars, the war on poverty has don’t beans. The great society was a catestrophic failure. And now, Bush added prescription drug entitlements that we can’t pay for and Obama added Obamacare which will not only break the bank it will eviserate the economy when it is fully implimented. The estimate for Obamacare has already doubled and only a tiny portion of has been implimented.

Come November, vote out everyone who doesn’t promise to balance the budget and reduce the deficit. That is going to be an incredibly painful process–even for my now on social security–but it has to be done and some or going to really suffer.

Just remember, the suffering will be a result of the fiscal irresponsibility of Congress and Presidents (current and past) and most importantly of the voters who foted irresponsible people into office–and kept them there.

BMF on June 2, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I am on my third lawn mower in 4 years because of ethanol. And boat owners tell me they have it just as bad. My old ford Explorer literally blew up because of ethanol. It ate threw the fuel system and the vapor exploded from a starter spark.

pat on June 2, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Seems pretty clear to me:

1) mandate manufacturers to make cars with such high mileage mandates, that they have to produce hybrids/electric cars.

2) force people to use a fuel that will destroy their current regular car.

3) people have no choice now but to buy the ridiculously expensive and inefficient new cars.

Green Power!

Rebar on June 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

ethanol starts breaking down into water in about 60 days. Carbureted motors hit hardest. The large fuel tanks in the boating industry cause major problems for marine motors due to this breakdown. Once the breakdown starts additives do not help, you cannot convert water to fuel.

When using ethanol fuel always run your fuel tanks to empty. You got to burn it up before it breaks down.

Ethanol fuel is the worse idea since the pet rock.

filetandrelease on June 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

There are some marinas here in Virginia where you can pump directly into your car and the gas is ethanol free. Not sure about all of them, of course, because I haven’t talked to all of them. Lot of marinas in Virginia. I’ve contacted several in my area and they all have ethanol free gas. The Stihl dealers in the area also carry ethanol free gas but it’s pretty expensive. I use it in all my two cycle engines. The gas at the marinas is a little more expensive than what you get in gas stations but not excessive.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Yep, legal depending on county. Most metro (ie liberal) counties don’t allow it. Odds are that if you need an emissions pass to get your tags, and you have special summer gasoline mixes, you won’t find pure gasoline. If you live in the boonies, look for it.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM

As the Dems like to do, ” If it moves, tax, if it keeps moving, tax it again. When it stops moving, subsidize it ! ” The unexpected consequences of static and statist analysis are this : Everytime you try to create a solution to a problem that does not exist, sh#t happens. With ‘ methanol’, you artificially drive up the price of corn which in turn drive up feed and food prices. That has a disastrous effect on the middle and lower class; the very people the Dems claim to want to help. These bastards do this over and over again with complicity of Republicans serving special interests.No more subsidies for anyone !!

El Kabong54 on June 2, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Let’s burn our food! Who cares if the price of livestock goes up because we’re pouring their feed corn in to our gas tanks? Who cares if the price of gas goes up because we’re being forced to pay for the higher priced substitute to petroleum? Obama needs to win Iowa, by gumption, so world hunger and reasonable food and gas prices can go to he11.

MJBrutus on June 2, 2012 at 4:45 PM

To bad the enviro lobby doesn’t practice retro-active birth control.

GarandFan on June 2, 2012 at 4:49 PM

…YES!

KOOLAID2 on June 2, 2012 at 4:52 PM

The first study I read on the corn/ethanol subsidy called it “a food burning subsidy.”
Didn’t stop our Governor Pawlenty from supporting it along with mandating that all electricity be generated by (I believe) 25% renewable fuels (read eco friendly, non-coal or natural gas).
Did I remember to say he mandated it? I did? Good, because he MANDATED it, proven economist that he is.

Amendment X on June 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Cessation of ethanol now would not only lower the price of gasoline but also of beef, poultry and pork.

Politicians just don’t know shet about economics or physics.

esnap on June 2, 2012 at 4:58 PM

A true environmentalist wouldn’t have any gas, electricity or water piped into their home[s]. /S

byteshredder on June 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM

FIFY. Because you are applying actual logic.

The anti-civilization neo-Luddites we have passing themselves off as environmentalists, OTOH, just want everyone else to stop using energy. And to live in mud huts, and spread night soil (don’t ask) by hand in the rice paddies.

All the time believing that they will be living in castles with their iPods, CrackBerries, and other neat tech toys, and still have their chauffeur-driven limos (running on solar electricity!) to take them to get a cap’ from some cute little barista at Starbuck’s.

Yes, their worldview is heavily influenced by The Flintstones. Reality, not so much.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Fun Facts:

Each gallon of Ethanol produced requires 1.5 gallons of real fuel to produce.

Each gallon of ethanol has .85 times the energy of real fuel.

Therefore each gallon of Ethanol energy produced requires 1.76 gallons of real fuel.

jukin3 on June 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

They make me run gas that ruins my cars engine, they will see me in Washington and at the EPA. Someone is going to pay, in some way for damaging my property.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on June 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Let’s look at the energy gained by ethanol shall we?

For every 100 gallons of gas expended to plant, harvest, transport and refine ethanol you get a whopping 102 gallons of ethanol product. A very inefficient energy yield.

Put that in your gasoline and watch you mileage go down 2-3 mpg

Not to mention the long term engine problems

Brazil. – a country that prior to it’s offshore discoveries, developed a very refined ethanol infrastructure and cars retrfitted to run on ethanol. You could choose gas/ethanol/blend. And sometmes situations required ethanol use only.

In addition Brazil uses sugar cane which has a much higher energy yield and burns cleaner

We have plenty of sugar cane in the state of Louisiana

audiotom on June 2, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Strangely enough…this problem could be solved easily with the RIGHT kind of govt. oversight & the unleashing of the free market.

Standardize all fuel systems across the board from passenger to Tractor trailer- True Gas or Diesel….In fact, I would go one step further an make all cars, SUV, etc run on CLEAN DIESEL technology. At the same time, eliminate all blends EXCEPT the first two. No more California standards, etc. Chuck em all.

If more personal cars are diesel, as well as trucks, etc then the refineries would have to crank out more of one and way less of the other. Prices would spike briefly but it would drop back down to more acceptable $2.50…

If that happened we can still appease the Green Nuts when you can still use waste cook oil as a blend recycled with fresh or recycled diesel. Price would further drop.

Because we wont waste money on the Corn subsidies, etc, that money can be redirected. Govt still gets it .75 cents for every gallon sold, and we as a public may finally get a fuel supply that’s actually within average peoples price range…you know, the 99% the unwashed hippies keep chirping about.

I’m not much a engine person, these were ideas bounced back n forth…any diehard gear heads can point out any flaws?

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

I’m not much a engine person, these were ideas bounced back n forth…any diehard gear heads can point out any flaws?

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

It’s always been my understanding that Lib’s absolutely HATE diesel fuel in all of its blends.

CARB requirements are causing horrendous cost increases in the construction and trucking industries here in the Onetime Sunshine State.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that there’s “no such thing as clean diesel”.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM

when you are all things to all people these contradictions are bound to arise

stout77 on June 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Ethanol is not completely useless so don’t knock it too much. Look here.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 5:51 PM

It would be a fairly clever trick if it weren’t so easy to see the cards hidden up their sleeves.

The most transparent administration… evah!

College Prof on June 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM

That’s what i mean…there nothing wrong with the tech per se, its the perceived conception given to it by the Evironuts vs reality.

Whats not to like? A standardize system, with a step down in price for the fuel with a price *reduction* from the vehicles when more imports that run TDI or even standard diesel cars are available (and most of those imports will be smaller, with some luxury vehicles thrown in) then a price reduction in each unit of car.

Plus we get the added benefit of letting the STATE and Federal workers (outside of LEA) let them drive around in hybrids or full electric clown cars. There’s no reason why a Department head for the Post Office or a Water Commission or Highway Dept needs a gas fuel vehicle when his job isn’t a emergency.

Frankly same goes for most of Congress…Why the heck aren’t *they* carpooling in a Electric bus, huh?

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that there’s “no such thing as clean diesel”.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I take great delight in pointing out to liberals that there is no such thing as clean energy. If you want to produce the amount of energy that it takes to keep our world running you’re gonna have to burn something. Coal, oil, gas, uranium, wood, trash, something. If you don’t the damned lights are going out.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Research what one overseas company is doing about this issue. Stihl.

Bmore on June 2, 2012 at 5:57 PM

filetandrelease on June 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Ethanol, CH3CH2OH, does not break down into water. It is hydrophilic which means it is attracted to water. So small amounts of water are held onto by ethanol and that eventually builds up in your gas tank and fuel systems.

chemman on June 2, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Oldnuke, TY for the link! I am planning to lay in a supply…just in case. There’s a lot of snakes around my way, and this is first rate medicinal use of course…. :o)

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 5:59 PM

“Frankly same goes for most of Congress…Why the heck aren’t *they* carpooling in a Electric bus, huh?”

Secret service decided there was too much risk of a busload of very important people catching on fire due to battery malfunction. Only regular Americans like Brian Terry are allowed to suffer the effects of bad policy.

stout77 on June 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM

They have ruined light bulbs, dishwashers, stoves, washing machines, detergent, and now finally our cars.

I don’t know if even an all-GOP, tea party government can unravel this mess.

PattyJ on June 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Research what one overseas company is doing about this issue. Stihl.

Bmore on June 2, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Having recently purchased a Stihl weed whacker I can tell you one thing they’re doing. Providing a source of stabilized alcohol free gas that’s pre-mixed with oil for their two cycle engines. Expensive you say well factor in that for about 10 bucks (three cans) they’ll double their already good warranty if you purchase the gas at the time you buy the tool.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM

My son owns a Prius. He normally burns E-10 and gets about 45 mpg. He recently found a place that sells non-ethanol gasoline. When he switched to that his mileage jumped to 54 mpg. That is a 20 percent improvement. I have seen 10 percent improvement going from E10 to E0 fuel. What is boils down to is E10/E15/E85 fuels are bad for economy and bad for engines.

Maybe with E15 there will be massive lawsuits against the EPA.

Dasher on June 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

eon on June 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Which is why every time a true believer posts about AGW on a conservative site I confront them about their hypocrisy of living off big energy/oil. Lots of excuses given as to why they can’t go off grid and bicycle/walk/run everywhere. Hypocrites all

chemman on June 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

chemman on June 2, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Isn’t it also hygroscopic?

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Mitt Romney in Iowa, 5/27/11:

I support the subsidy of ethanol,” said Romney, working his way through the Des Moines crowd, where he shook hands and doled out autographs. “I believe it’s an important part of our energy solution in this country.

Buckshot Bill on June 2, 2012 at 6:06 PM

My son owns a Prius. He normally burns E-10 and gets about 45 mpg. He recently found a place that sells non-ethanol gasoline. When he switched to that his mileage jumped to 54 mpg.

Dasher on June 2, 2012 at 6:05 PM

A gallon of gasoline sans alcohol has about 115,000 BTU. A gallon of ethanol about 76,000. A mixture of alcohol and gas will have substantially lower BTU content than pure gasoline. Have to burn more gasohol to get the same BTU output.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM

If more personal cars are diesel, as well as trucks, etc then the refineries would have to crank out more of one and way less of the other. Prices would spike briefly but it would drop back down to more acceptable $2.50…

Unfortunately the way a 42 gallon of oil works is there is a set ratio of gasoline, diesel, kerosine, etc that comes out. That is why diesel goes up more than gas with oil. IOW, there are 15 gallons of gasoline, 12 gallons of kerosine, and 12 gallons of diesel in a barrel.

jukin3 on June 2, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM

I don’t think you can even buy a two-stroke engine in CA anymore – they don’t meet CARB requirements.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Because of ethanol blends, my 45mpg motorcycle sits in the garage with the carburetors all gummed the hell up and I’m forced to drive my 17mpg truck. Thank you government anti-pollution regulations!

warden on June 2, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Buy a diesel.

WeekendAtBernankes on June 2, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Unfortunately the way a 42 gallon of oil works is there is a set ratio of gasoline, diesel, kerosine, etc that comes out. That is why diesel goes up more than gas with oil. IOW, there are 15 gallons of gasoline, 12 gallons of kerosine, and 12 gallons of diesel in a barrel.

this ratio was true in the past but the newer refineries in europe
get more diesel than this ratio. I’m not sure how much more.

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Ethanol, solar power, wind power… the powers of the future for 40 years and still just as far off from being economical today as when they were first proposed as powers of the future…

Don’t mind the horrific waste due to subsidize and tax kick-backs.

You pay for this stupidity.

Perhaps it is time to start voting it out of office.

ajacksonian on June 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I don’t think you can even buy a two-stroke engine in CA anymore – they don’t meet CARB requirements.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Stihl websites in California still list them for sale.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. At $5.60/ bushel, there is $.10 worth of corn in a box of corn flakes (up from $.05).

FirelandsO3 on June 2, 2012 at 6:26 PM

If more personal cars are diesel, as well as trucks, etc then the refineries would have to crank out more of one and way less of the other. Prices would spike briefly but it would drop back down to more acceptable $2.50…

most diesel issues today are the emissions controls systems that started in 2007 with the required installation of dpf’s(diesel particulte filters)

also diesel is a worldwide commodity and the rest of the world uses much more diesel than we do. if we shift more to diesel supplies od diesel will be tighter. as another person posted you can only get so much diesel froma barrel of oil.ULSD is also very close to heating oil.cold winters less diesel.

the US is the beneficiary of the rest of the world using mostly diesel. the surplus gasoline from European refineries comes to us.

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 6:29 PM

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. At $5.60/ bushel, there is $.10 worth of corn in a box of corn flakes (up from $.05).

FirelandsO3 on June 2, 2012 at 6:26 PM

You can always eat the box and double the nutritional value!

ajacksonian on June 2, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Stihl websites in California still list them for sale.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I’m really surprised.

They’ve been leaning hard on both the boating retailers (no more two-stroke outboards) and Marina gas docks….trying to outlaw pre-mix).

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I’m not the one complaining about the cost of cereal.

FirelandsO3 on June 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Good Points Gerry…didn’t look at it like that.

Again, I’m not against use of electric or even compressed gas like hydrogen…hell, I’m trying to teach myself to make auto grade alcohol with a backyard distillery…I got a feeling its a skill that will come in handy in the future.

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Again, I’m not against use of electric or even compressed gas like hydrogen…hell, I’m trying to teach myself to make auto grade alcohol with a backyard distillery…I got a feeling its a skill that will come in handy in the future.

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 6:35 PM

lol….be very careful amigo…..we don’t want to lose ya to a refining accident!!

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Diesel trucks are now subject to the 2010 standards which increased their cost by $5,000 to increase the purity from 99.6% to 99.9%. It requires the use of urea injected into the catalytic convertors (except for Internationals). It drove Caterpillar out of the commercial truck engine business.

FirelandsO3 on June 2, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM

LOL…Strangely enough, i like doin those type of projects. What i really trying to do is teach myself how to rebuild and service engines more, and in this case probably should include diesel too.

Its those simple skills that may make the difference. Knowledge of how to do things the old fashioned way is more precious than gold, and easier to carry and barter with.

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I still think hydrogen is in our future, at least as an automotive fuel. The decarbonization of human energy sources has been happening throughout recorded history without government intervention, and sooner or later someone will figure out a way to make hydrogen collection economically feasible.

gryphon202 on June 2, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I still think hydrogen is in our future, at least as an automotive fuel. The decarbonization of human energy sources has been happening throughout recorded history without government intervention, and sooner or later someone will figure out a way to make hydrogen collection economically feasible.

gryphon202 on June 2, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Methane is more likely, as it can be compressed to a much greater degree than can Hydrogen. To move a car you would need a hydrogen tank nearly the same size as the car itself dragging behind it.

Methane is still an organic compound of course, but the ocean is filled with it, and it would probably be easier and cheaper to mine Methane ice from the bottom of the ocean than to create a new means of Hydrogen production that didn’t require an enormous amount of electricity.

Buckshot Bill on June 2, 2012 at 6:59 PM

It takes 600 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol. A year’s worth of food burned away in one tank.

Professor_Chaos on June 2, 2012 at 7:01 PM

gryphon202 on June 2, 2012 at 6:52 PM

If only we could harvest the “methane” eminating from Jazz’s Christie/Amazon post.

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 7:02 PM

AND it is true ethanol blends ruin engines.
Took us 2 small Honda engines & about $1000 later to figure it out.
We were using the engine to run a well pump in a pasture.
The 1st one lasted a year. The 2nd not even that long.
Finally put in a windmill.
But it was the ethanol blend that did it bcs the 3rd engine we specifically avoid it & it’s still running.
THANKS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Badger40 on June 2, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Us too. We finally put in a waterline out to the tank, but that means buying water when we have a well. We are going to try to swing a solar powered pump for just that one tank this year.

cptacek on June 2, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I still think hydrogen is in our future, at least as an automotive fuel. The decarbonization of human energy sources has been happening throughout recorded history without government intervention, and sooner or later someone will figure out a way to make hydrogen collection economically feasible.

It may be our future but it’s far,far,far future.

none of the alternative energy sources will get a foothold until they get cost competitive.

with the massive amounts of natural gas and oil the collective america’s and canada will be producing from shale they will not be competative for a long,long,long time.

gerry-mittbot-seer(in his own mind)

gerrym51 on June 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Research what one overseas company is doing about this issue. Stihl.

Bmore on June 2, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Having recently purchased a Stihl weed whacker I can tell you one thing they’re doing. Providing a source of stabilized alcohol free gas that’s pre-mixed with oil for their two cycle engines. Expensive you say well factor in that for about 10 bucks (three cans) they’ll double their already good warranty if you purchase the gas at the time you buy the tool.

Oldnuke on June 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM

That may be what I saw at Lowes or Home Depot. It comes in a few flavors, 4-cycle with no oil, and 2-cycle with oil in a couple of ratios. Yes expensive.

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2012 at 7:31 PM

The other day, I posted this on the Bloomberg thread:

Seriously, get rid of the high fructose corn syrup in practically everything and it will be a step in the right direction in controlling obesity and diabetes.

PatriotGal2257 on May 31, 2012 at 5:33 PM

At the time I wrote that, I thought that the use of the high fructose corn syrup is slowly ruining people’s health in the same way that ethanol is ruining everyone’s engines.

I had to replace one of my fuel injectors two years ago and so every time I fill up, I use a gas treatment product as well. My car seems to run a bit better because of it, but it shouldn’t be necessary at all.

PatriotGal2257 on June 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I remember a discussion on ethanol a few years back, I think here on HotAir. Someone summed it all up thusly:

“Save the earth, starve a poor person.”

I live in CT, which doesn’t have an enthanol-free gas station listed on that site. We do have emissions inspections, though I think they are really a joke, and exist only as yet another way for the state to tax us. Our ’97 Subaru, with the completely rusted out exhaust system, passed with flying colors. But then this IS the state that sent Blumenthal to the Senate. 8(

LibraryGryffon on June 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM

I know that may not sound like much to the people who don’t go boating, but if it’s bad for a 400 HP Merc outboard, how good could it be for your Ford?

Jazz Shaw on June 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM

The marine environment is like the perfect storm for an engine. Ethanol kills engines by absorbing moisture from the air. The more humid the air, the more moisture binds to the ethanol. Further, if you are like me, you take your boat out once every few weeks (and fill up once every few months) during the season, which gives the gas plenty of time to go bad.

Ethanol has caused problems with my boat and Jet Ski, but my biggest nightmares have been with my lawn equipment. Trimmers, edgers, and blowers only last about 2 years on average.

I can buy gas at a pure gas station near my deer lease (2.5 hours away). Otherwise, I only buy 1/2 gallon of E10 at a time to keep it fresh. This has helped tremendously.

stvnscott on June 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Corn in our cars, is causing corn products in our stores, to shy rocket in price.
The more corn we take out of production for a wasted purpose in fuel tanks, creates a food shortage, thereby driving (pun intended) prices up.
Get it out of fuel. It is more expensive all the way around.

Delsa on June 2, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Corn based ethanol is an epic failure, but you know once politicians get control of MONEY for something that thing will hardly ever go away..

Politicians do not solve problems , they cause them.

RockyJ. on June 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Incidentally, E15 competes with banned plastic shopping bags.

ericdijon on June 2, 2012 at 9:03 PM

BlaxPac on June 2, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Dibs on the first shotglass of “corn sqeezin’s” (after you cut it to semi-flammable).

Tim_CA on June 2, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Corn in our cars, is causing corn products in our stores, to shy rocket in price.
The more corn we take out of production for a wasted purpose in fuel tanks, creates a food shortage, thereby driving (pun intended) prices up.
Get it out of fuel. It is more expensive all the way around.

Delsa on June 2, 2012 at 7:53 PM

I always wonder what future generations will say. “Wait a minute. They were putting food in their gas tanks?”

Snake307 on June 2, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Is Romney’s position on Ethanol as moronic as that of Obama and Gingrich?

NORUK on June 2, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I don’t want to put that stuff in my engine. I will pay extra for the real stuff.

Dollayo on June 3, 2012 at 12:02 AM

The problem is that each one of the vast majority of ethanol plants is actually majority owned by local farmers. That it the only way to receive state subsides from 20 to 30 cents per gallon

There are other problems with E15 than just the vehicles, the cost will go up as numerous refined product pipelines are not certified for ethanol but NOT E15 blend. That’s going to cost a pretty penny in higher pump prices with that additional transportation cost.

Kermit on June 3, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Sensenbrenner writes: “The policies of the administration and EPA continue to support a war on fossil fuels that ultimately harms consumers, workers, the economy and our country’s national security.”
This is the sole aim of the altruist/collectivist Left. Destruction born of Envy. Nothing more or less. Or as Rand said it best, “They don’t want to live, they want you to die.”

WyattsTorch on June 3, 2012 at 9:15 AM

The left is on an agenda of demonizing the Koch brothers.

The Koch’s in the past few years have purchased a good number of bankrupt ethanol plants. Some are very new. At 10 cents or less on the dollar, the greenie weenies stand to make the Kochs some very good money.
The cornie fuel mantra is a way to really bless the wealthy Kochs and hurt the poor folk that drive an old beater 400CI Oldsmoblie. If the ethanol doesn’t ruin the engine, it will ruin their wallets first. The Kochs have their act together. They take advantage of the greenie weene movement.

seven on June 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

You’ve got it all wrong.

Solyndra is the new Solar Ethanol.

oldroy on June 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The EPA has painted itself into a corner. They have to increase the percentage of ethanol to accommodate their mandated annual increases in ethanol usage. because of declining motor fuel use the mandate will force gas companies to exceed 10%.

Now what happens to all the drive train warranties that limit the ethanol percentage to 10%. The EPA can claim til the cows come home it won’t damage your engine, fuel and emission systems, but the manufacturers can legitimantely refuse to pay if you have used E-15. If E-15 becomes the norm and E-10 phased out you are simply out of luck if your catalytic converter gives up the ghost. It’s on you, not the EPA nor the manufacturer.

I suspect the mandate forced the oil companies to exceed 10% in late 2010 based on two 3,000 mile trips through 12 states I made then. I now carry a fuel tester EAA (Experimental Aircraft Assoc.) sells. And I will report any discrepencies to the proper state authorities.

Corky Boyd on June 3, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Ethanol subsidies are utterly bogus and ethanol polluted gasoline not only produces worse mileage but it also damages engines.

CorporatePiggy on June 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM