Sunday, October 13, 2013

Renewable Fuels

I keep hearing that the EPA is going to reduce the amount of ethanol that is blended into the nations gasoline supply.  I'm no fan of blended gasoline as I know the havoc it rains on small engines, especially those engines that aren't used ever week or so.  As a result of that havoc, I only use un-blended fuel (non ethanol) in my small engines.  We've got a couple of places locally that sell it at a very small premium and it's worth it to me to use real gasoline in my small engines.

I know a couple of things about ethanol, and it's hard to break out the facts from the bullshit, but as best I can tell, it takes 140 gallons of fuel to plow, plant, grow, and harvest an acre of corn.    That harvested acre of corn will produce about 328 gallons of ethanol for blending into our gasoline.  I don't know how much fuel it takes to convert the raw corn into ethanol and I've seen estimates going both ways, saying that producing ethanol is energy efficient, and I've seen estimates saying that producing ethanol requires more energy than it returns.

However, the one thing I need to know is that the ethanol producers are threatening to sue the EPA.  That speaks volumes to me.
Already, some ethanol groups are threatening to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which administers the fuel blending program, if it lowers its volume target.
As your basic Tea-Party American, I believe that the market will sort it out, and the government shouldn't be in the market at all.  Let the motorists decide.  If ethanol is a good deal, it will survive in the market.  If it's not a good idea, it will go the way that other not-good ideas went.  There's no reason that the government should be setting mandates for fuel blending.  The market will sort it out all by itself.

Get the government out of my fuel tank.  We became the greatest nation in the world without the EPA.  They're non-essential and should stay non-essential.


Termite said...

For the pilots who own planes with Rotax engines(or Lycoming/Continental engines with the auto gas STC), which run on premium grade autogas, it's a real problem. It can cause higher moisture absorption, stratification, etc.

And it causes the price of livestock feed to rise, increasing the price of meat.

Rich Jordan said...

here in ill annoy all I can get is ethanol-diluted gasoline. Both my current and previous car got significantly worse mileage with the diluted gas; when I travel to a state without the alcohol requirements, the Jeep gets 2 MPG better in the city and 4-5 on the highway. The previous truck got nearly double the MPG with real gas compared to gasahol.

Ethanol is just an additional tax on the motoring public, and it isn't a cheap one either.

Gerry N. said...

Try the link. I can now put Zero-E fuel in my pickup and car. the pickup now gets 5 mpg more than on the 10-15% ethanol crap and the car a 2009 Hyundai Tuscon gets 6. A slight premium and well worth it.