The President is clearly not ready to glide off quietly into that good night and has plenty of plans in place to cement his legacy. Yet another of these brilliant schemes popped up this week as reported by Bloomberg News. Regardless of the growing awareness of the damage that increasing levels of ethanol in fuel blends are doing to engines, rather than scaling back the assault, the President would like to invest more taxpayer money into gimmicks to counter the deterioration.
The Obama administration is set to pledge $100 million Friday to expand the use of special fuel pumps that allow drivers to blend more ethanol into their gasoline, according to people briefed on the announcement.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has long championed these so-called blender pumps, may unveil the plan on the same day that the Environmental Protection Agency announces quotas for the use of renewable fuels. With ethanol makers facing a possible cut in their quota below the statutory level of 15 billion gallons, the grant program will let the administration of President Barack Obama demonstrate that it still supports the fuel, which in the U.S. is produced mostly from corn.
“Blender pumps are a huge part of the equation when it comes to the deployment of the second generation biofuels, because investors need a market to invest in,” said Brooke Coleman, the executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council. “It allows the consumer to choose based on price.”
Our rationale for doing this is because “investors need a market to invest in” now? Would those be the same investors who sunk their money into Solyndra? Ethanol is the money pit of the engine industry. The effects are slower to surface in large automobile engines, but the owners of smaller boat engines or lawn mowers can attest to just how bad it is. And that doesn’t even begin to address the fact that it’s a hotter burning, less efficient fuel to begin with. But for the sake of politics, we’ll keep vacuuming money out of the economy to prop it up.
But blender pumps put the control in the hands of the consumer at the pump. And that’s a good thing, right? (All of you small government folks can feel free to raise your hands now.) You might have an E-85 car. Or you might have a regular car but want to do what’s best for the environment. So that’s a win-win, isn’t it?
I suppose it is if you ignore the previously mentioned information. Maybe you want to spike up your fuel to E-15 to prevent global warming, but you have a ten year old car. What then? We’ve been sounding the warning about this for a while now, and even one of our biggest detractors at Forbes (who did his best to discredit this site on the ethanol question) was forced to admit that we were correct last year.
Nonetheless, I’m afraid Hot Air has drawn much-needed attention to a critical dimension of the ethanol story that the mainstream media has either chosen to ignore or simply missed.
Hot Air states:
But one factor which some auto shoppers may not be aware of is that the industry is aware of these dangers and they aren’t going to honor warranties on vehicles guzzling the latest 15% ethanol blend unless you’ve got a brand new car or one that is specifically rated as a ‘flex fuel vehicle.’
This is true. Historically, car manufacturer warranties have included language stating that the warranty if void if the car runs on gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.
At least one reason for voiding the warranty is that “the extra ethanol could corrode plastic, rubber and metal parts in cars not built to handle it,” as Hot Air states.
Even the people who want to disagree with us have a hard time arguing with the science if they are honest. But hey… the President wants to dump another $100M into the mix. Never mind that it’s your money. It’s all for the cause, right?