Small town news gets it: The "green dream" in California is bankrupt, CARB is arrogant, state lawmakers clueless

From home of the weather station that started it all, Marysville, CA their small town newspaper writes a scathing opinion on the California Air Resources Board.

They get it. The problem is that people that make up CARB are like clueless Al Gore clones. With a recent 340% error exposed, CARB is going along like nothing has happened. The problem is CARB chief Mary Nichols, who sees herself and her organization as above the democratic process.

Our View: Air board’s arrogance damaging

November 11, 2010 09:37:00 PM

California seems intent on traveling a road to self-destruction paved with government mandates and regulations that drive businesses and jobs out of state while discouraging new job creation. A prime job-killing, business-punishing scheme is the insistence on achieving radical environmental goals, despite their real-world economic liabilities.

The California Air Resources Board has adopted a mandate that utility companies produce 33 percent of their electricity from so-called renewable resources by 2020. That’s a drastic increase over the previous 20-percent requirement, which the state still is nowhere near achieving. For some perspective, Congress, firmly controlled by a Democratic majority, refused to hike its renewable requirements even to the 20-percent level.

Compounding the state air board’s error is its arrogance. Even the state Legislature, controlled by left-leaning Democrats, failed this year to impose such an over-the-top requirement. But neither Congress nor the state Legislature’s reluctance dissuaded the Air Resources Board’s unaccountable bureaucrats from going where elected representatives fear to tread.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that air board boss Mary Nichols says the 33-percent standard is important because it “sends a strong, positive message to the market.” The market will get the message, alright. That’s part of the problem.

The message is that California energy prices will soar, on top of the added costs of huge taxpayer subsidies that will be needed to finance so-called renewable energy sources. Wind, solar and geothermal energy are all economically infeasible without massive subsidies.

Like the huge amounts of taxpayer dollars already wasted in government subsidies for the ethanol industry, other renewable-energy endeavors are likely to face similar fates. In Spain, where large tax-financed subsidies spurred its solar industry, 50,000 subsidized solar entrepreneurs now “face financial disaster” as the government realizes it can’t afford to continue propping up the industry with price guarantees, Bloomberg reports. Not only can’t Spain afford to continue subsidies that paid 10 times the wholesale price per kilowatt-hour, but for every new “green” job created by the subsidies, more than two normal jobs were lost.

Without generous tax breaks and subsidies, wind power costs $149 per megawatt hour compared with $100 for coal, according to estimates from the Energy Information Administration.

======================================================

Read the full editorial here

IMO, CARB is a clear and present danger to the livelihood of people of California, it is unchecked bureaucracy gone mad.

Addendum:

Since November 2nd, I’m getting a 3x increase in SPAM inviting me to move to/incorporate my business in Nevada. Given what lies ahead for business in California, the idea has merit.

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181 thoughts on “Small town news gets it: The "green dream" in California is bankrupt, CARB is arrogant, state lawmakers clueless

  1. Maybe CARB can mandate buying the Spanish equipment at bankruptcy sales. Huge savings on hardware would make the costs somewhat better 🙂

  2. You have to understand. I dont even like Beck but he is correct is in his mantra. If you want change in a established country, you have to collapse the original system first. Its not some unknowing-bungling bureaucracy going awry here. Its a well thought out, well funded organization built with a purpose other than the one they front as being for. This group is designed to cause anger and dissatisfaction among the general population. After all Revolutions never occur when things are stable.

  3. Can the EPA do on a national scale, what CARB is doing to California? Reduce or outlaw the production of C02?

  4. Further proof that yes, California is indeed the Lindsay Lohan of states. NFW we in NH are gonna bail these fools out financially either.

  5. California is plain screwed. On one hand CARB wants the energy companies to get 33% from renewables in 10 years but on the other hand the environmentalists fight every renewable project because of its impact on the environment. Caught between a rock and a hard place.

  6. In 2016 all US cars will have to comply with CARB rules and not EPA rules, IIRC. Something to look forward to.

  7. >>wind power costs $149 per megawatt hour compared with $100 for coal
    I find that very hard to believe. Costing wind power must also include the cost of power storage sufficient to provide a reliable supply.

  8. I imagine the air bureaucrats got the go ahead from some politician but then I only imagined it.
    There is a new revelation in government that elected officials can accomplish their goals through regulation by bureaucrats and not get the blame when it all goes wrong. To the contrary they can then campaign on solving the problem they either neglected or caused. And they can always declare they never voted for it. What a deal.

  9. e. c. cowan said on November 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm:

    Can the EPA do on a national scale, what CARB is doing to California? Reduce or outlaw the production of C02?

    They think they can, President Obama has threatened to use that big stick if Congress didn’t pass Cap (prosperity) and Trade (away hope of recovery).
    EPA can be overruled by Congressional action, which didn’t seem likely with Obama’s Congress. With the new one coming in, that big stick has been transformed to Nerf.

  10. Are you saying that an appointed board has no legislative oversight? If true that is totally insane!
    The other boot to fall from this is going to be huge strikes by those that still have union jobs to get huge wage raises to pay for all of this, which will of course just spur on inflation and cost the Cali economy jobs.
    Wow! I think that I will keep my eye on property values there, maybe able to buy a whole town in 10-15 years!

  11. Wind power cannot provide base load supply because of the obvious intermittency of the energy source. Conventional power stations will need to provide back up whether they be coal, gas or nuclear powered. The so called renewable energy sources of wind, solar or even tidal are a mirage which collapse under proper examination.

  12. Is it possible for an entire state to become a permanently economically-depressed ghetto ruled and occupied by unrepentant Green Socialists?
    Can it happen? Has it happened?

  13. @ e. c. cowan says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    Can the EPA do on a national scale, what CARB is doing to California? Reduce or outlaw the production of C02?
    =========================================================
    Unless they are stopped, yes. And they are already on that road: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20022717-54.html , and the EPA site: http://epa.gov/. You’ll find additional information at the following link, including a chart showing all the current litigation which is well worth spending some time on. http://www.lexisnexis.com/Community/environmental-climatechangelaw/blogs/environmentallawandclimatechangeblog/default.aspx
    Partial excerpt from CNET article:
    The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, is marching ahead with rules requiring big polluters like coal-fired power plants, oil refiners, and cement manufacturers to get permits starting January 2 to emit gases blamed for warming the planet.
    President Barack Obama has always said the EPA would regulate carbon emitters if lawmakers failed to pass a climate bill.
    Republicans, who will control the House of Representatives in January after winning some 60 seats in the midterm elections, are organizing to stop that from happening. They say the regulations will cost industry jobs and billions of dollars as the country struggles to recover from the recession.
    The EPA is already under fire from business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and the National Association of Manufacturers, who have filed suits to block it from regulating.
    But the lawmakers represent a bigger threat. “Congress doesn’t give the EPA nearly as much deference as the courts do, and there are about to be a lot more Republicans and unenthusiastic Democrats,” said Michael Gerrard, the director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.
    The uncertainty about the future of emissions policy could stall billions of dollars of investments in power plants and factories and prove to be a painful hurdle to longer-term growth when the economy begins to recover.

  14. Those of us who live in California seemed doomed to a world of massive increases in energy costs, huge free market job losses and intrusive and burdensome regulations which impact all citizens and businesses in our state. This ludicrous situation is now being pushed by our clueless bureaucrats and politicians in a state which just announced that it is facing a government deficit of 25 billion dollars in the next 18 months.
    Southern California Edison (SCE) Company just announced that it has sold its ownership share of 740 Megawatts of the Four Corners coal fueled power plant located in New Mexico to Arizona Public Service (APS) a move required by the loony environmental laws of our state. This sale will increase electricity costs to SCE’s customers by billions of dollars over the years while saving APS customers billions. Arizona has an unemployment rate of 9.7% compared to California’s unemployment rate of 12.4% with California electric rates already about 40% higher than those of Arizona. Multiply this absurd example of self inflicted economic damage to our state by hundreds of times and one can see how the impacts of AB 32 will simply destroy our states economy and push bankruptcy on California.
    This is the reality of Mary Nichols loopy “sends a strong, positive message to the market”. This tragic situation provides a clear example of the bizarre self destructive thinking of global warming alarmists.

  15. Press Release
    New EPA requirement
    Face Mask Co2 sensors
    Breath in for free – breath out Co2 charge per breath apply.
    If you are not current in Co2 charges we will cut off your breath in ability.
    Carol Browning
    Energy Tsar

  16. I can only watch politicians infected with the Green malaise all around the Western world spout nonsense as they condemn their own economies to failure. Let’s all hope the denouement arrives quickly so that these people either get voted out or their electors rebel.

  17. U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement that he welcomed the decision to release Ms. Suu Kyi, who he called a “hero,” but he said it “does not change the fact that she, and the political opposition she represents, has been systematically silenced, incarcerated, and deprived of any opportunity to engage in political processes.” British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Ms. Suu Kyi in a statement, describing her as “an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights.”
    ===
    They say all these politically correct things while pushing the carbon fraud and attempting to silence dissenters by calling them “deniers”. So much for democracy and human rights *sigh*

  18. Second for Dr A Burns. $149 seems low for wind power. The source is the DOE (I think) via EIA: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/pdf/2016levelized_costs_aeo2010.pdf
    This is a 2016 projected cost for the entire U.S. (in 2008 $) amortized over the lifetime of the power generation system. Thus, it is highly optimistic for alternative power. Without knowing their assumptions, it would be impossible to see what they are projecting for actual cost of wind power per kW-hr.

  19. So here in the UK we have the EC and in California you have CARB. Couldn’t we persuade them to join that one way trip to Mars? It would solve their and our problems at a stroke:-)

  20. Am I missing something or is there another law about providing a guaranteed supply.
    If by 2020 the renewable energy source is 10% of capacity and 90% is non renewable all they need to do is to shut about 55% of the non renewables so that the % renewables is 20%.
    Of course you will need major power cuts to make it work but that isn’t a problem is it. /sarc off

  21. Christopher, leftist Revolutions happen as autocratic oppression and poverty are beginning to ease but still have a strong grip. It’s the revolution of rising expectations. Libertarian revolutions happen when oppression is being applied. They can crank on the oppression, but it won’t lead to the goal you think they have in mind.

  22. I am so loving watching California go bankrupt. The icing on my cake is that they did not pass the marijuana law that would have saved them. I love the smell of state bankruptcy in the morning.
    In other news;
    This anti-naked body scanner movement is just like the climate change denier movement that succeeded. We won the carbon tax debate and now we are going to win the body scanner debate.

  23. Yes, it’s not just happening there. It was great to listen to Clive James on Question Time the other day. He described Ed Milliband as “a fantasist”, for continuing to insist we cut CO2 emissions 80% by 2040. I suspect we’ll be re-opening the Welsh and Yorkshire coal fields by then.

  24. Christopher says:
    “Its a well thought out, well funded organization built with a purpose other than the one they front as being for. This group is designed to cause anger and dissatisfaction among the general population.”
    I think that commenters on WUWT are well aware of that snippet of info Chris. Delving a little deeper will bring you to the conclusion that there is a world order in the making that is funded by world (renowned) banks. The EU has already disappeared down that road with unelected bureaucrats, who are now integrated with (guess what?) unelected b’crats within the UN. But maybe you know this already, and you are unwilling to make your name heard amongst these arrogant, ignorant, but very affluent and powerful people. I don’t blame you, but I am maybe older, none the wiser, but unafraid of their relentless propaganda.
    What probably irks most of all in this interminable debate is the sheer ignorance of joe & jane public, their quiescence in accepting bogus, crass and sometimes outrageous statements. Their own education was somewhat stultified, certainly compared with 40 or 50 years ago, and now we are experiencing the awful, mind-numbing effect of propaganda within schools, throughout the western world, where the second generation are now telling their parents where they are going wrong, and have been for (in the child’s view) many years. This is unfortunately what happens when one allows the child freedom of expression, so often lauded today. Children should always be seen and not heard, otherwise we, the parents and grandparents find it impossible to pass on our own experiences, which are far more important than some computer-modeller’s analogy of impending doom.

  25. There’s an old saying: “If something can’t happen, then it won’t happen.”
    No way California can replace one-third of its energy production with renewables. It won’t happen.
    When it becomes clear that this arbitrary number can’t be reached and the costs will be huge, the blame game will start. We should already be spreading the word that the problems and the cost is entirely the fault of the Democrat Party. They are not the old JFK Democrats. That party has been hijacked by ultra leftist billionaires, and now it represents very rich socialists and communists, not working people. It’s their fault these things are happening. It’s their fault energy costs will skyrocket. It’s their fault that unelected CARB bureaucrats have legislative power. Spread the word.

  26. Christopher says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    You have to understand. I dont even like Beck but he is correct is in his mantra. If you want change in a established country, you have to collapse the original system first. Its not some unknowing-bungling bureaucracy going awry here. Its a well thought out, well funded organization built with a purpose other than the one they front as being for. This group is designed to cause anger and dissatisfaction among the general population. After all Revolutions never occur when things are stable.

    Quite so. But the purpose of revolutions is to revolt against the thing that is making the general population angry. Are you saying that the underlying purpose of this fiasco is to make Californians revolt against green energy? Because if so, they are going the right way about it (and more power to them in that case, I say).

  27. Bravo Appeal-Democrat! I always liked Marysville. Wife and I stayed with Friends there. Loved watching SR-71’s in the Pattern at Beale. Wife, and I in friend’s backyard.
    warm fall afternoon, an SR-71 just blasted over town in after burner. Wfe said,
    “Oh look at that Black Bird! what is it called?” I said:”Blackbird.” miss those times
    and people…

  28. New search engine term of the day is “Climategate”.
    Google over and over again “Climategate” in Bing, Google, and Yahoo search and get Climategate in the top of the news again, just like Infowars does. November 19th is the anniversary of the climategate email release and we should be planning a big celebration for that day.

  29. @Chemman
    The power companies should collect the names of those who object to renewable schemes, and prioritise their properties as the first to be cut off from power in the event of shortages, followed by other supporters of this dimwit legislation.
    It is only fair that those that advocate most strongly for a return to the dark ages should be the first to enjoy the experience.

  30. Well – here in the United Kingdom La-La Land, our deluded politicians are aiming for an 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050.
    EIGHTY PERCENT..! Can you credit it..? Basically, we might as well all go back to living in caves and emerging now and then to grind some corn (in a windmill, obvously) – what we do with it then I’m not sure – can’t stick it in the oven to make bread, that’s for sure – and as for lighting a fire to roast a pig…
    The cost of this lunacy is to be £18 billion a year (no, that’s not a typo) for the next forty years. Who’s paying..? Yep – you’ve guessed it….

  31. The thing is, Coal will get more expensive; Wind won’t.
    When oil spiked to $147.00/barrel in 2008 Coal went to $140.00/ton (and, actually, briefly went to $160.00/ton.)
    On Jan 1, 2011 Ethanol will be cheaper to use than gasoline. AND, it will no longer be Subsidized. Yes, that is correct; the fairly minor amount the government has invested in ethanol (and, that was spent right here in the U.S. for U.S. jobs, manufacturing, transportation, farming, etc.) has given us a fuel that is more powerful, and less expensive to use (in a modern engine) than gasoline.
    However, the $52 Billion the Government spent subsidizing Fossil Fuels last year have given us nothing but a more expensive Addiction.

  32. There is a common problem in all Western democracies, developed or developing. The government bureaucracy runs the show. Theoretically answerable to the elected government, the elected government depends upon the bureaucracy to shield them from criticism by the citizenry. The result is that the bureaucracy grows and increases its power all the time, unchecked by the elected government.
    The only remedy for this is to take away the cookie jar. Government should be limited to governing, not ruling and controlling and dictating.

  33. Hi …A new thread on ATS for any spirited folks to take up the gauntlet ….Normal” Arctic Climate is Now Obsolete …………………….”It’s really frustrating to hear of such irreversible climatic changes, especially when so many people have hopped on the bandwagon of pretending it isn’t happening. I’m not normally somebody who’s afraid of change… but climate change is one of those terrible global changes that we DON’T want to see happening. What do those of us who care do when the polar caps melt before our eyes? How can the momentum of this train of fossil-fuel based energy economies be stopped in a timely manner? Unfortunately, the media, the public, and the government have hopped on their own train of “let’s compromise with industry, take our sweet a** time, wait till somebody else acts first, and not really do much about it until it’s too late”. As many people have said before… humanity is a terribly immature species in its handling of “civilization” and our planet. It’s my contention that this planet is NOT here for us to own or manage, and that instead we are an equal part of the biosphere as any other species, regardless of our great intelligence/curiosity. I hope to see the day when we clean up our act.” http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread629872/pg1
    Now normally I might make a comment like,Great like what would be wrong with the Natives growing their own fruits and vegetables but as always there are some AGW’s that come on spewing more graphs and scientific jargon to make a simple person like myself regret the ever hit the reply button ….so please , embrace the challenge….who knows you may find one convert,but it is more likely most already know ….peace

  34. Capitalism and industry are the enemy. These nitwits see themselves as post-Industrial collectivists who must have certain privileges that they deny others in order to bring about the necessary change. Elites disciplining the unwashed peasants.

  35. e. c. cowan says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    Can the EPA do on a national scale, what CARB is doing to California? Reduce or outlaw the production of C02?
    ——-
    REPLY: They’ve already started. This article came out a few days ago, and provides the link to the Title V document:
    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/11/10/10greenwire-epa-issues-guidelines-for-states-permitting-fo-82460.html
    “U.S. EPA has released a long-awaited guidance document that instructs state and local officials how to start issuing permits for power plants, refineries and other large stationary sources of greenhouse gases when EPA’s new climate rules take effect next year.
    State and local officials will need to absorb the information by Jan. 2, when they must begin requiring the best available control technology for greenhouse gases at new and modified facilities.”
    I predict that, despite their bluster, Congress will be powerless to stop this. EPA has a Supreme Court ruling on their side, and they operate under a different branch of government (White House). Congress can attempt to limit funding or force changes, but that won’t succeed.
    Watch this story develop over the next few weeks, it’s huge.

  36. I’ll put it more bluntly
    Draft Letter to: Mary Nichols, Chief of CARB, and all supporters whether Democrat or Republican
    When due to your policies, California has power shortages, do you, by supporting these policies agree that, your household power supply should be terminated as a priority, along with all your company and office (including political) power supplies, in favour of people who oppose you?
    Why should your opponents suffer from your foolishness?
    Please feel free to copy and paste

  37. It is clear that Californians are afflicted with some disease that enters their brain and makes them crazily spend money they don’t have. The federal government is just as diseased for forcing the other 49 states to give California $10 billion per month to continue to feed California’s spending addiction. Let’s just let California crash into the rocks and sink so that we can use them as an example of what happens when you let idiots man the helm.

  38. the2ofusr1 says:
    “but climate change is one of those terrible global changes that we DON’T want to see happening”
    Huh? You make no sense. Are you saying we can stop the next ice age, which is due to happen in 2000 years or so??

  39. The solution is easy.
    Mandate (as long as everything else about it is mandated, this can be too) that electric service to ‘windies’ will vary directly with the wind’s power input into the grid.
    When the wind doesn’t blow, their lights don’t glow. Currently available electronics and metering devices can surely implement the above.
    Then no nasty backup generators are needed at all for the wind-power loving community.
    They can choose their own alternate power strategies for calm days, and their self-righteousness will remain unblemished.

  40. Ok. I see a lot of people here are putting two and two together. Let me put a large piece of the puzzle in there for you.
    $50 Billion dollars spent on the police state per year. I think I know exactly what this exercise is all about.
    See the latest episode of Jessie Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory titled “Police State”. And no, it’s not a theory. It’s in 1080P and you can see it with your own eyes on TV.
    This is an amazing article.
    Big Sis Forced To Respond To Nationwide Revolt Against TSA
    http://www.infowars.com/big-sis-forced-to-respond-to-nationwide-revolt-against-tsa/
    For you who don’t think you are being played, you are incapable of recognizing you are being played, like a fiddle.
    Alex Jones: The Real Pyramid of Power

  41. the2ofusr1 says:
    November 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Why would I waste my time? As soon as I hear someone refer to our planet as “the biosphere” I know I’m listening to a deluded and green cretin, and I immediately back away.

  42. “Kum Dollison”, the energy density of ethanol is *lower* than the energy density of gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. It’s also difficult to see when it’s burning which makes for nasty burns after accidents, and is corrosive enough that many vehicles cannot be cost effectively modified to allow its use.
    Since it is great at mixing with water which it can suck right out of the air, in very cold weather you can actually have ice crystals form and block fuel lines. So if you’re driving you pull to the side of the road while you can, and if you’re flying, you land somewhere you’d rather not land.
    In short, even if you can produce the ethanol putting in less energy than you get out, it’s a lousy motor vehicle fuel.

  43. Become a member of InfraGuard with it’s 40,255 members.
    These are the people who get to find out first when the SHTF and get special privileges for membership.
    “The Application Process
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    4.Sign, date and submit the ROB PDF form. Every ROB form is uniquely created and will not be retrievable at a later date.
    5.Follow instructions on how to submit the completed ROB.
    *Applications will be rejected if your ROB is not submitted within 30 days.
    Find A Chapter Near You
    All InfraGard members are associated with a local chapter. Some states have more than one chapter. Select the chapter you would like to be affiliated with. (Visit the chapters page to find a chapter near you.)
    Understand…
    InfraGard is an organization dedicated to the protection of the United States and the American people. In order to maintain a level of trust within the membership, all applicants undergo a records check performed by the FBI. Applications are screened according to a defined criteria and then passed to the local chapter for final processing.
    InfraGard membership comes with great responsibility. We value active members who are willing to devote their time, effort and talent to help build this organization and achieve our goals of protecting the American people. You will be a representative of the nation’s largest volunteer organization dedicated to critical infrastructure protection.
    Finally, before you fill out your application, please read the InfraGard Code of Ethics and browse the other Policies and Procedures. As a member of InfraGard, you will be expected to abide by these guidelines.
    The benefits of joining InfraGard include:
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    http://www.infragard.net/member.php
    I would like someone to put a copy of the Rules of Behavior(ROB) PDF for InfraGuard on the web.

  44. Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    Kum,
    Please cite your information sources for the assertions you made:
    1. Unsubsidized ethanol cheaper than gasoline (USA?).
    2. Ethanol ‘more powerful’ than gasoline.
    To my knowledge, these assertions are not true but your sources could change my mind…..

  45. Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    The thing is, Coal will get more expensive; Wind won’t. ”
    You are correct but not for the reason you think; here is the reason:
    “Under my plan electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket” Barak Obama speaking of the coal industry.
    It does not have to be that way.

  46. We need a new word along the lines of “schadenfreude.” Over the years, I have managed to pretty much avoid falling victim to schadenfreude. But what is happening in California gives rise to a delight in the misfortunes of others that is not schadenfreude. What is the difference? Part of the difference is that the people who are bringing this 1,000 year calamity onto the state of California are arrogant control freaks who believe that they must whip into shape the scientifically illiterate vast unwashed that we are before we destroy the environment, the poor, academia, the transnational elites, puppies, and kittens. These control freaks are hopelessly and grandly self-destructive. In my own case, I think it is knowing just how dangerous these people are how wonderful it is that they are totally self-destructive that gives me such pleasure. Imagine if all public meetings organized by Hitler or his associates had turned into internal brawls with fifty percent casualties. I think that is the source of the pleasure. What is the word?

  47. Larry Hamlin says:
    November 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    Those of us who live in California seemed doomed to a world of massive increases in energy costs, huge free market job losses and intrusive and burdensome regulations which impact all citizens and businesses in our state. This ludicrous situation is now being pushed by our clueless bureaucrats and politicians in a state which just announced that it is facing a government deficit of 25 billion dollars in the next 18 months. . .

    How can a state government run a large budget deficit? California can’t print its own money. Most state constitutions require a balanced budget, and most states adhere to one, as they have no choice.
    /Mr Lynn

  48. Kum Dollison says: November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    “When oil spiked to $147.00/barrel in 2008 Coal went to $140.00/ton (and, actually, briefly went to $160.00/ton.)”
    The energy density of coal is roughly 24 mega-joules per kilogram.
    2000 pounds = 910 kilogram: 21, 840 mega-joules for $140.00
    The energy density of gasoline is roughly 44.4 mega-joules per kilogram.
    Energy in a barrel of oil = 6,000 mega-joules for $147.00
    Comparing tons of coal to barrels of oil is deceptive at best, dishonest at worst.
    Coal/Oil, 21, 840 mega-joules/6,000 mega-joules = 3.64.
    Oil is 3.64 times more expensive than Coal.
    “On Jan 1, 2011 Ethanol will be cheaper to use than gasoline.”
    Ethanol as an energy source will never be less expensive than Coal.
    Kum you are a source of disinformation.

  49. Yes, Greg, but it has an extremely high Octane rating (114 vs RBOB’s 84.) As a result, the newest engines such as G.M.’s 2.0 L TDI (in the 2012 Buick Regal achieve virtually the same mileage as straight gasoline.) It’s possible that when the new Delphi Heated Injectors hit the market in the fall of 2012 E85 in such an engine might get Better mileage than straight gasoline.
    As far as the “ice” story: That’s just nonsense. Minnesota has 376 stations that sell E85, and I’ve never heard the first story out of there about Ethanol “freezing.”

  50. @David, UK
    Logic would say that people would rebel against green energy, but there is a system in place in this country where when prices on a good rise due to regulations or other government intrusions, a large part of the blame is deflected away from the regulatory body and pushed squarely on the company that raised the prices with major undertones of anti-capitalism sentiment.
    They’ve spent years training Americans to hate those evil fat cat, poor exploiting industrialists.

  51. Imagine how nice it will be in California when every one has left. The movie people will have the state to themselves. Along with a few gardeners, they will have uncrowded streets, no waits in the few nice restaurants, and none of that rabble. Isn’t that really nicer than it is now?
    A few organically grown crops, hand picked and delivered by bike, think Paris with out the crowds. A few six figure electric cars quietly motor to Silicon valley, dodging some rough pavement and street people at the stoplights. The air as clean and cool as can be.
    Isn’t that the way it should be, devoid of the mediocrity of masses of middle class urchins running around. It will be so nice.
    To bad when the population reaches that level there will not be a need for the bureaucracy that currently endeavors to make California so nice. So you see, it is an ill wind that blows no good.

  52. Dr. Burns:
    >>wind power costs $149 per megawatt hour compared with $100 for coal
    I find that very hard to believe. Costing wind power must also include the cost of power storage sufficient to provide a reliable supply.
    From 1991 until my exit from a major Midwestern utility in 2001, same said utility had 100+ MW of “wind generators” at the highest and windiest point on the western 1/2 of the state the utility served.
    Nasty thing, databases put together with real data…can be! After 10 years of operation, the “capacity factor” of the wind plants was 13%. Yep, that’s it, 13 MWe supplied.
    Thus there would have to be 9 times as many wind turbines as “rated” to match, say the C.F. of a coal plant.
    Therefore, when capitol costs are considered…let’s say the 200 million that the wind turbines cost, the REAL cap cost would be $1800 MILLION for 100 MWe. Do a 40 year amortization on this, and I’m sure you’ll come up with something close to $1.50 per KWHr.
    This would mean taking the current CA electric rate and raising it by a factor of over 10.
    On a conservative basis, 30% wind/solar would mean a TRIPLING of generation cost over all!
    Wait, Dr. Burns brought up another IMPORTANT POINT.
    The wind don’t blow all the time, and the sun don’t shine. Building STORAGE (say pumped?) would probably add about another 50% to the cost, or 17% overall… so the 30% wind solar will go up by a factor of 5.
    Hum, imagine your “green family” getting their $800 utility bill every month!
    Happy bankruptcy and homelessness, CA..(at least you won’t freeze to death, as you would where I come from!)
    Max

  53. Mac, Friday’s CBOT for ethanol is here:
    http://news.ncgapremium.com/index.cfm?show=62&subtype=25
    Note: that is the price *before* any subsidies are in place.
    I’m not sure how many URLs I can put in a comment, so I’ll just say that if you go to Bloomberg, and click on “Commodities” you’ll see that gasoline is $2.21/gal.
    A good example of “power” would be that the new 2.0L TDI (turbo, direct injected) engine from GM delivers 220 HP on E85, and IIRC 187 HP on gasoline.
    The reason being, you can crank up the turbo to deliver a much higher compression, and concurrently apply more EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) in effect, lowering the displacement available for fuel in the cylinder.
    This is what the guys that won the Xprize for building a 100 mpg, manufacturable car did. That’s why the only manufacturable 4 seat car to ever achieve 100 mpg did it on ethanol. Also, alky dragsters are much more powerful than “gas” dragsters. Also, the NASCAR drivers report that upon going from straight gasoline to E15 (15% Ethanol,) they’re getting about the same mileage, but with a little more power.

  54. Theo Goodwin says: Wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm
    “We need a new word along the lines of “schadenfreude.” Over the years, I have managed to pretty much avoid falling victim to schadenfreude. But what is happening in California gives rise to a delight in the misfortunes of others that is not schadenfreude. What is the difference? Part of the difference is that the people who are bringing this 1,000 year calamity onto the state of California are arrogant control freaks who believe that they must whip into shape the scientifically illiterate vast unwashed that we are before we destroy the environment, the poor, academia, the transnational elites, puppies, and kittens. These control freaks are hopelessly and grandly self-destructive. In my own case, I think it is knowing just how dangerous these people are how wonderful it is that they are totally self-destructive that gives me such pleasure. Imagine if all public meetings organized by Hitler or his associates had turned into internal brawls with fifty percent casualties. I think that is the source of the pleasure. What is the word?”
    Californischadenfreudeication.

  55. Kum Dollison:
    Your information is sure different from mine. E85 is over 25% less efficient than gasoline according to some sources and in the winter E85 isn’t E85, they increase the amount of gasoline to make sure your engine will start in the winter. See http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=fuel&subject=fuelAlt&story=e85
    and a pile of other scientific sources including EPA on farm studies of tractors fueled by diesel versus biofuels. Guess which was more efficient and less costly?

  56. Kum Dullison,
    There are many things wrong with your claims, I shall address one rather amusing one. It requires heat to produce ethanol from corn……..it’s a still you know. Drive by the ethanol plant southwest of South Bend, Indiana and you will see a rather large coal pile used for this purpose. Ethanol from sugar cane makes some sense (see Brazil), it is idiotic to make it from corn.

  57. It took me awhile to realize that God’s greatest blessing on this society for at least the last 50 years is….. the clowns of the Far Left: the Three Musketeers of Idiocy in Washington and the other California wannabees (I mean Brown and CARB, not Pelosi, since she is already one of the Musketeers). They are succeeding, like nothing else could, in waking up all of us normally apolitical folks. Even George Soros can’t keep this stupid train moving now! Thanks, libs!

  58. Kum Dollison says: November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    “On Jan 1, 2011 Ethanol will be cheaper to use than gasoline.”
    The energy density of gasoline is roughly 44.4 mega-joules per kilogram.
    The energy density of ethanol is roughly 21.2 mega-joules per kilogram.
    Any amount of gasoline contains more than twice the amount of energy as an equal amount of ethanol.
    No amount of double-speak will change that fact.
    In order for ethanol to be a less expensive than gasoline as a fuel source for transportation gasoline would have to cost more than twice as much as ethanol.
    That will not happen on Jan 1, 2011.
    Kum you are a source of disinformation.

  59. I feel almost as bad for California now as I did about Zimbabwe when Mugabe sent his thugs out to take over the farms owned by white people. Zimbabwe use to be a major food exporter. Mugabe’s thugs did not know how to run a modern farm. Now they are starving. Life expectancy has dropped from over 60 to about 33. Of course sources like Wikipedia blame it on a drought, brought on no doubt, by AGW.
    The high population density of coastal California cannot exist without energy. I wonder how low the life expectancy will drop if this continues. When electricity rates skyrocket and the poor start dying in heat waves for lack of air conditioning, the moonbats can blame it on AGW and double down again and require 66% of electricity come from the raptor Cuisinarts.

  60. Mac the Knife says:
    November 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm
    Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    Kum,
    Please cite your information sources for the assertions you made:
    1. Unsubsidized ethanol cheaper than gasoline (USA?).
    2. Ethanol ‘more powerful’ than gasoline.
    To my knowledge, these assertions are not true but your sources could change my mind…..

    The biggest problem with the ethanol vs gasoline debate is no one ever fully identifies what they are talking about, and there many unspoken false assumptions included in the negative attacks against E85.
    There are multiple different ways to compare fuel energy and useful work output from a fuel.
    Many people focus on the energy content per volume of fuel. If compared by that measure gasoline appears to come out on top, as it stores more energy per gallon than ethanol or E85 does.
    The false conclusion is then made that due to the lower energy per gallon then the gasoline engine will produce more power than the ethanol or E85 fueled engine will. This is a red herring argument because it is totally irrelevant to real world comparisons of fuels and their performance in real engines.
    What is important to a real driver are two metrics, how much does it cost to go a mile on a given fuel, and how much power can the engine produce on a given fuel.
    It is very easy to feed an engine far more fuel than it can successfully burn because internal combustion spark ignition engines are inherently air limited. They can burn no more fuel than the air they can process allows. Therefore the real measure of performance of a fuel is how much energy can you release burning that fuel with a fixed amount of intake air in the engine. To do that, you need to compare the actual energy released at fuel air mixtures that real engines produce maximum power, and at their stoichiometric fuel air mixtures (which is where they spend most of their time on light throttle cruise).
    By that measure ethanol and E85 specifically easily out perform gasoline.
    Typical gasoline Thermal energy 18,676 BTU/lb Gasoline stoichiometric fuel air mixture of 14.7 – 15.2:1 — it will release between 1270.4 and 1228.7 btu per pound or air burned.
    Pure ethanol typical Thermal energy 11,585 BTU/lb 9.00:1 stoich fuel air mixture = 1287 BTU/lb of air burned.
    Typical E85 Thermal energy 12648 BTU/lb 9.765:1 stoichiometric fuel air mixture= 1295 BTU/lb of air burned.
    If you compare the fuels at their best power fuel air mixtures you get the exact same win for ethanol and E85 over gasoline.
    Using the lower heating values you get:
    Typical gasoline Thermal energy 18,676 BTU/lb Gasoline Max power rich 12.5:1 = 1494 BTU/lb
    Typical gasoline Thermal energy 18,676 BTU/lb Gasoline Max power lean 13.23:1 = 1411.6 BTU/lb
    Typical E85 Thermal energy 12648 BTU/lb rich max power fuel air mixture 6.48:1 = 1951.8 BTU/lb
    Typical E85 Thermal energy 12648 BTU/lb lean max power fuel air mixture 7.38:1 = 1713.8 BTU/lb
    Anyone who asserts that ethanol and E85 produce less power than gasoline simply does not know what they are talking about. In real engines the direct conversion from gasoline to E85 at comparable fuel air mixtures for the fuel used, yields about a 5% gain in power if no effort is made to optimize the engine for ethanol/E85.
    If the engine is optimized for E85, you can make upwards of 20% more power than gasoline on the same displacement engine. The 5% figure above is the power increase quoted by Ford Motor company for E85 in their engines. Saab also has engines that they rate at higher power output on E85 than the same engine on gasoline.
    Tests run by University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center for the aircraft version of E85 clearly show this power increase.
    http://www.fuelandfiber.com/Archive/Fuel/Research/AGE85/age85.html

    http://www.fuelandfiber.com/Archive/Fuel/Research/AGE85/age85.html
    http://www.aviatorsguide.com/planetalk/0906/index.htm

    On the cost per mile issue, again E85 if priced competitively (no effort to rip off the customer) frequently is cheaper per mile traveled in markets where there is sufficient competition that vendors properly price the E85. The current subsidy share for ethanol in a gallon of E85 is about 45 cents per gallon depending on the actual ethanol percentage which can vary from 70% in winter blend to 85% ethanol in summer blend.
    Anytime the price split between the gasoline your engine requires and E85 exceeds that amount, E85 is cheaper than gasoline without the subsidy.
    For cars that must use premium gasoline that means that E85 is almost always cheaper in both cost per mile and cost per gallon than gasoline. It frequently is also cheaper for cars that can run on regular gasoline.
    Right now the national average price for gasoline (regular) and E85 is:
    Average E85 Price $2.53
    Average Gas Price $2.92
    That yields a price difference per gallon of 39 cents per gallon for regular and about 49 to 59 cents per gallon for midgrade and premium gasoline. E85 and gasoline prices vary widely by local, so you need to make the comparison in your market to get a real evaluation of the price spread per gallon and cost per mile.
    One web site attempts to track this information, and you will see if you browse through the listings that in competitive markets where E85 is easy to find, it is very competitive with gasoline and even without subsidy it could compete today.
    http://www.e85prices.com/
    The other problem is that people assume that Detroit FFV (flexible fuel vehicles) are representative of the best fuel mileage available on E85. This is simply not true. The Major manufactures get the exact same CAFE program benefits by selling an E85 capable vehicle regardless of the fuel mileage on E85. As a result the have zero motivation to do anything more than make the engine run reasonably well on E85 and those FFV’s are typically optimized for gasoline mileage and have only minimum adaptation to use E85 effeciently.
    Private experimenters easily exceed 90% of their gasoline fuel mileage on gasoline running cars converted to E85 that will still pass dyno emissions testing with flying colors.
    Larry

  61. Greg Goodknight says says November 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    “Kum Dollison”, the energy density of ethanol is *lower* than the energy density of gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. It’s also difficult to see when it’s burning which makes for nasty burns after accidents, and is corrosive enough that many vehicles cannot be cost effectively modified to allow its use.
    Since it is great at mixing with water which it can suck right out of the air, in very cold weather you can actually have ice crystals form and block fuel lines. So if you’re driving you pull to the side of the road while you can, and if you’re flying, you land somewhere you’d rather not land.
    In short, even if you can produce the ethanol putting in less energy than you get out, it’s a lousy motor vehicle fuel.

    The only real use for ethanol is to add it to ice in the form of Gin or Southern Comfort, or to consume it directly in wine or beer.

  62. “Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    As far as the “ice” story: That’s just nonsense. Minnesota has 376 stations that sell E85, and I’ve never heard the first story out of there about Ethanol “freezing.””
    No, it is not nonsense and has been known and experienced for many decades. It has happened to all fuel classes. BS&W is Bottom Solids and Water, and it accumulates to some extent in virtually all storage tanks. Small amounts of water in the fuel lines freeze and block fuel from the engine. Just put 10 or more feet of 1/4″ line 8″ off the ground in the shade in -20F and see what happens.
    See this link to U Colorado May 2010 http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/farmmgt/05010.html.
    BTU rating for ethanol is shown as 13,160 vs gasoline as 20,750. In other words, the energy content of gasoline is on the order of 50% greater than ethanol after adjusting for all factors affecting performance when run in an engine designed for gasoline. That must include both the increase in Octane rating and the decrease from water absorption. Since ethanol has an infinite ability to mix with water (see bartender for more guidance) it is theoretically and actually possible to reach a water concentration in the fuel where it will not burn, though this is unlikely in the 12 gallon tank on most cars. And most ethanol is made from food, not waste material.
    None of which has any relevance to a post on CARB regulations covering electricity sources in California in 10 years.

  63. @the2ofusr1. If you don’t already live in California (which I doubt,) please move there as soon as possible. One of the beauties of the federation of states is that each state is free to go its own way, except for the few powers vested in the United States by the Constitution. I assure you that when California fails, they will not be treated like major banks “too big to fail.” Instead, they will get the Okie treatment of the dust bowl days and expected to evacuate or starve.

  64. To Mr. Lynn’s questions about how California can run a budget deficit the answer is that it can’t. However the state government politicians have been playing games with the budget at least the last 2 years where the assumptions and actions contained in the budget are not connected to reality. For example in the last so called budget the largest single factor that allowed the state to claim a balanced budget was an assumption that the Federal Government would provide the state with 5 billion dollars in aid. That did not happen and of course the 5 billion dollars just carries over to the next cycle. The state also does many other things including shutting down offices on certain days, reducing hours of operation, reducing overtime, increasing sales and auto taxes, selling off state owned property and on and on. But these measures are far short of what is needed to truly balance the budget.
    Newly elected Governor Brown will be faced with how to deal with the ever increasing 25 billion dollar deficit projections and a time will come if not already here that the games played in the past can’t do the job.
    The state is in a perfect storm where business are leaving in droves, are outsourcing business expansion out of state or just shutting down because of the massive and yet still increasing over regulation, some of the highest general sales and income taxes in the nation and huge increases in yet more energy taxes and intrusive freedom killing regulations on the way as the clueless bureaucrats and government politicians just add on more and more misery. These clowns fail to appreciate that state government tax subsidized green markets will destroy what California needs to get out of this mess and that is huge expansion of free market jobs and business.

  65. Kum Dollison says: November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    “On Jan 1, 2011 Ethanol will be cheaper to use than gasoline.”
    What do Tate & Lyle and Broom’s Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre have in common?
    1. They both produce Ethanol.
    2. They both make more money if their competitor’s products are heavily taxed.
    3. They both provide funding to the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Angela.
    The Ethanol line is that it is ‘cleaner’, that it produces less CO2 when it is burned.
    Ethanol produces less CO2 per volume than gasoline because there is less burning happening since there is less energy to be converted through combustion.
    Ethanol produces the same amount of CO2 as any other fuel if the released energy is the comparator, and not the consumed weight or volume of fuel.

  66. If they say windpower costs $149/MW-hr compared to coal’s $100, they’re lying. You have to add the 100 to the 149 and get $249/MW-hr because the coal has to be there to back up the wind for the most-of-the-time the wind isn’t adequate.

  67. Greg Goodknight says:
    November 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm
    “Kum Dollison”, the energy density of ethanol is *lower* than the energy density of gasoline, diesel or jet fuel. It’s also difficult to see when it’s burning which makes for nasty burns after accidents, and is corrosive enough that many vehicles cannot be cost effectively modified to allow its use.
    Since it is great at mixing with water which it can suck right out of the air, in very cold weather you can actually have ice crystals form and block fuel lines. So if you’re driving you pull to the side of the road while you can, and if you’re flying, you land somewhere you’d rather not land.
    In short, even if you can produce the ethanol putting in less energy than you get out, it’s a lousy motor vehicle fuel.

    It’s also difficult to see when it’s burning which makes for nasty burns after accidents, and is corrosive enough that many vehicles cannot be cost effectively modified to allow its use.
    E85 has 15%-20% gasoline in the mixture and burns with a yellow flame just like gasoline —- not an issue.
    I have a Subaru WRX I converted to E85 with over 40,000 miles on it since the conversion. I intentionally did not change a thing in the fuel system — zero problems. After several years, I even pulled the fuel injectors and checked the O rings. They were like new. I also removed a small section of the OEM rubber fuel line and cut it open. The inside of the hose looked like new. I then let the hose section dry for 2 weeks and bent it double inside out, and there were no cracks in the rubber.
    Modern cars (built since the late 1980’s when ethanol added fuels were mandated by law in some locations) tolerate E85 with no problems at all. There are thousands of other experimenters like me that have run completely stock cars on E85 for years with no fuel system problems of any kind. I also run my 88 and my 86 Subaru on high ethanol blends and they have the stock fuel system also — not a problem.
    If the fuel system tolerates 10% ethanol blends (as all American Market cars do) they will tolerate E85 with no issues. In areas where blender pumps are available, a 30% mixture of E85 and gasoline is the most popular fuel blend sold from these pumps and it is going into non-FFV vehicles. The myth that E85 will cause corrosion is false. U.S. market E85 contains corrosion inhibitors and less that .5% water content by law. The only issue with E85 conversions is when the conversion is first made the E85 cleans all the garbage out of the lines left by years of gasoline use. This sometimes plugs up the fuel filters. Once the filter is replace there are no further problems once the tar’s and varnish left by partially oxidized gasoline and its heavy fractions are cleaned out.
    In modern sealed fuel systems it is nearly impossible for the fuel to absorb water from the atmosphere, even if the car is parked for over a year with fuel in the tank they start and run just fine. E85 actually carries small traces of water condensate out of the fuel tank so it can never collect and cause either corrosion or freezing issues.
    Since it is great at mixing with water which it can suck right out of the air, in very cold weather you can actually have ice crystals form and block fuel lines.
    Then can you explain why for 100 years alcohols were sold in little bottles to be added to gasoline to “dry it out” and prevent gas line freeze up in cold weather?
    Adding ethanol to water lowers the freezing point so low that ice cannot form. This is a flat out bogus claim.
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ethanol-water-d_989.html
    Freezing points for high ethanol concentrations with small amounts of dissovled water are over 100 degrees below zero F.
    If you look at the msds sheet of the common fuel line antifreeze mixtures you will find the primary active ingredient is methanol that is even more aggressive about taking up water than ethanol and much more corrosive than ethanol when water is present, yet these compounds have been sold for decades precisely to prevent the problem you assert exists.
    Larry

  68. I was responding to this statement in the post:
    Like the huge amounts of taxpayer dollars already wasted in government subsidies for the ethanol industry, other renewable-energy endeavors are likely to face similar fates.
    You guys can just keep beating that dead “btu” horse to death, but the fact remains, the difference between gas mileage, and E85 mileage in the new Regal, with the new 2.0L engine is 4%. And, GM says that will go away in the next iteration.
    You can hate “Green” all you want; but the fact is: Oil is going away. Your choices will be Ethanol, or Batteries. You Will get to choose.

  69. Hey Kum, the price of Powder River Basin coal has never exceeded $16.00/ton. It’s about $13.00/ton now. However, when the price of commodities and building materials like copper, iron, and concrete increase, the cost of windpower WILL also.

  70. At least CA has the ballot initiative process.
    And, there is the ability to recall the governor, which I’m sure even democrats will be itching to do before 2011 is half over?
    Help me with the rule, though: Does the lt. governor take over if there is a recall of the governor? It might be best we drop the whole notion of recalling Brown, if that is the case.
    As for bailing out CA, I’m afraid we’re already doing that. CA has been kept afloat ever since Obama took office by feds quietly buying their worthless bonds as pointed out by Pat in “tips and notes to WUWT” on November 3.

  71. Gary P says: Wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm
    “I feel almost as bad for California now as I did about Zimbabwe when Mugabe sent his thugs out to take over the farms owned by white people. Zimbabwe use to be a major food exporter. Mugabe’s thugs did not know how to run a modern farm. Now they are starving. Life expectancy has dropped from over 60 to about 33. Of course sources like Wikipedia blame it on a drought, brought on no doubt, by AGW.
    The high population density of coastal California cannot exist without energy. I wonder how low the life expectancy will drop if this continues. When electricity rates skyrocket and the poor start dying in heat waves for lack of air conditioning, the moonbats can blame it on AGW and double down again and require 66% of electricity come from the raptor Cuisinarts.”
    I don’t feel bad for Californians, sorry Anthony, except for many people like you, but we are prepared to take care of you people when the time comes.
    watch JESSE VENTURA’S CONSPIRACY THEORY S02E04 – POLICE STATE, FEMA CAMPS
    http://snardfarker.ning.com/video/watch-jesse-venturas?xg_source=shorten_twitter

  72. Terry Jackson says:
    November 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm
    “Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    As far as the “ice” story: That’s just nonsense. Minnesota has 376 stations that sell E85, and I’ve never heard the first story out of there about Ethanol “freezing.””
    No, it is not nonsense and has been known and experienced for many decades. It has happened to all fuel classes. BS&W is Bottom Solids and Water, and it accumulates to some extent in virtually all storage tanks. Small amounts of water in the fuel lines freeze and block fuel from the engine. Just put 10 or more feet of 1/4″ line 8″ off the ground in the shade in -20F and see what happens.

    You left out a minor detail — No, it is not nonsense and has been known and experienced for many decades. It has happened to all fuel classes. BS&W is Bottom Solids and Water, and it accumulates to some extent in virtually all storage tanks.
    should read:
    No, it is not nonsense and has been known and experienced for many decades in hydrocarbon fuels which cannot carry condensate water out of the tank. It has happened to all fuel classes. BS&W is Bottom Solids and Water, and it accumulates to some extent in virtually all storage tanks.
    That is a problem unique to hydrocarbon fuels that cannot absorb any significant amount of condensate water. Once you start adding even small amounts of alcohol (see bottle of HEET gas line anti-freeze), or 10% ethanol added gasoline, this is no longer the case as the fuel can absorb and carry the water out of the tank and it can never collect into a sludge in the bottom of the tank. E85 has such a high water capacity that it will very quickly completely dry out a water contaminated fuel tank, and prevent the formation of that layer of stagnant water, bacteria that like to feed on the hydrocarbon fuel and water and rust that accumulates in gasoline and diesel fuel tanks. You are blaming a problem that belongs to straight hydrocarbon fuels on the fuel that will actually prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.
    Larry

  73. I was looking at Appalachian Anthracite. I believe it’s what is traded on the exchanges. I believe it’s up somewhere over $60.00/ton, right now.
    In any case, it will go up more than wind does, I betcha.

  74. My ideas are usually not on the “winning” side politically, and I might often feel like Charlie Brown at football time, but I think I have a good 250 years of tradition on my side. As a historian (and psychoanalyst) I have read about all the Great Awakenings that have been part of the American tradition and the myriad utopian (always failed) ideas and communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Also I acknowledge that 2010 is not too far from millennial panic of Y2K. Therefore, I am going to relax a bit while I suffer Southern California living (I am well prepared for “survival” emergencies) waiting for the idiots’ time to be over. Yes, we may take a few hits along the way; the entrenched rent(tax)-seekers will not leave the teat voluntarily. This cannot last much longer because California will run out of money as the new Congress prevents repetitive payouts for failure and sloth. We must return to responsible living. This will happen. No one can shake my faith in the American people — this assurance goes all the way back to the colonial period. The U.S. of A. will live in reality even if it takes a while in coming; we have the strength and the tenacity. We can tell what energy source gives the most bang for the buck so long as we have the free market in which to test each one. For even more hopefulness, WUWT was created in California. The truth shall make us free — this is an Enlightenment sentiment, not a religious one. Thanks, Anthony for your strength and tenacity.

  75. Kum Dollison says: wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm
    “You can hate “Green” all you want; but the fact is: Oil is going away. Your choices will be Ethanol, or Batteries. You Will get to choose.”
    In this event, the profits of big oil go away by having nothing to sell. Isn’t this what you want in the first place? The profits of big oil to go away?

  76. I just “got” a TV commercial.
    98% of California dairies are family owned.
    The corporate farmers, who HAVE to be worried about continuously making a profit and their long-term prospects, have already left!
    And of family-owned farms, I know it’s not uncommon for the farmer to hold down a full time job to “afford” to keep running their family farm, or at least a part time one. They’re used to living make-or-break, trying to keep up with debt payments, with a lifestyle worse than that of those “in poverty” on public welfare. Moving the operation, as in selling the farm and buying one elsewhere, is rarely an option due to the rise in land prices. There won’t be enough cash left after settling up the debts to outright buy the new farm, and who’d give a mortgage to a mere farmer?
    What it looks like to me, the dairy farming businesses have left, those remaining can’t leave and will keep operating as long as they can.
    Oh, that remaining 2%? Come on, it’s Kalifornia, they could be “owned” by communes!

  77. Add to my previous comment;
    The big oil companies will always find oil to sell. That is their business. The Queen of England and Queen Beatrix will make sure of it as they own big chunks of the business. The earth is constantly replenishing it’s supplies with new oil. You just need to find it.

  78. RE: California seems intent on traveling a road to self-destruction paved with government mandates and regulations that drive businesses and jobs out of state while discouraging new job creation.
    That about sums it up. California is deeply in debt and the Bozos in Sacramento keep making things go from bad to worse. Our unemployment is 12.4%, exactly what it was 1 year ago. Pity the news media in the People’s Republic Of California will never tell the truth to their viewers, nor will they ever connect the dots. If the voters knew how badly the people in Sacramento are screwing them, the Bozos in power making this mess would loose their jobs.

  79. I shall put it simply for KUM. I hope somebody can answer
    Ethanol from corn, !8 gallons per acre
    Bio diesel from palm oil 1340 gallons per acre
    Which is more efficient?
    Ignoring the politics, I am still scratching my head

  80. I just thank God every day for the complete and total economic collapse of the United States of America.
    It seems to me to be the only way to put an end to the happy horse schit that we have to put up with every day from our government.

  81. “hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm”
    Larry, It is sad you can’t read. The actual post discussed your point :
    “Since ethanol has an infinite ability to mix with water (see bartender for more guidance) it is theoretically and actually possible to reach a water concentration in the fuel where it will not burn, though this is unlikely in the 12 gallon tank on most cars.”
    But fuel line freezeup is possible in all fuel classes, including alcohol. Just put a bottle of any 80 proof in the freezer. There is a water concentration that will freeze, and someone somewhere at the needed temperature will experience it. You also have to deal with the fuel separation issues laid out in the cited paper.
    You may be personally enamored of converting food to fuel, and you may make as many claims as your heart desires, but you can’t impose your alternate reality on the actual economic world.
    This is similar to the NYC liberal who said GWB could not possibly be elected because no one I know voted for him.

  82. Grey Lensman says:
    November 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm
    I shall put it simply for KUM. I hope somebody can answer
    Ethanol from corn, !8 gallons per acre
    Bio diesel from palm oil 1340 gallons per acre
    Which is more efficient?
    Ignoring the politics, I am still scratching my head

    Not sure where you got that number for ethanol yield from corn but it is totally in outer space. The palm oil production is also highly suspect.
    Argonne National Labs issued a report in 2002 that put the corn yield per acre at 125 bushels per acre and the ethanol yield (ignoring all the other co-products produced) at 2.66 gallons per bushel, which converts to 332.5 gallons of ethanol per acre.
    http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/AF/265.pdf
    A more recent report 2010 gives higher numbers due to the continuing improvements in both farming output and the ethanol production systems.
    They site current corn production at :
    158.6 bushels of corn per acre
    2.77 gallons of ethanol per bushel of corn
    439 gallons of ethanol per acre
    http://www.fapri.missouri.edu/outreach/publications/2006/biofuelconversions.pdf
    This site lists palm oil biodiesel production at a much lower value as well, at 635 gallons per acre.
    http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_yield.html
    There is no one magic bullet when it comes to bio-fuels, each local will have to find the most productive crop for their local climate, soils and infrastructure. Corn for ethanol makes sense in certain parts of the U.S. it makes no sense at all in dry land farming areas that do not have either the annual precipitation or the soils to grow high productivity corn at low production costs.
    Likewise ethanol or bio-diesel will never completely replace hydrocarbon fuels. First there is no need to, because current technology can produce synthetic crude oil at prices near $90 BBL if local regulators will not actively stifle the operations.
    Ethanol is a very good amendment to gasoline, it increases its octane, stretchs the supply directly by substation and it allows lower quality raw gasoline to be used as transportation fuels without out expensive processing to improve their octane. This is also expands the supply by widening the range of raw fuel stocks that are cost competitive.
    It (E85 or high ethanol blended gasoline) are also a superior fuel in internal combustion engines when compared to straight gasoline, they burn cleaner, and make more power, the engines run cooler at a given power level, and allow use of very small displacement highly turbocharged engines that simply cannot run on common gasoline.
    Since E85 will tolerate boost pressures of 20-35 psi without detonation and burn cool enough that you don’t need exotic engineering or materials to keep from melting the engine it will make possible cars that at low throttle have the fuel consumption of a motor cycle but can make over 400 hp under wide open throttle for acceleration, with engine sized near 1 liter displacement.
    Too many people try to couch this discussion in either or terms — that is not reasonable. Each situation will define an ideal fuel and engine design for the task, and each local will find different bio based fuels that use otherwise waste streams like food waste or specialize crops ranging from high starch content corn, to algae based bio-diesel.
    It makes no sense to throw out the baby with the bath water and insist on exclusive use of any fuel or fuel source. Sound science devoid of political agendas clearly points to a mixture of many different fuel streams being the most cost effective and efficient means to achieve both strategic fuel self sufficiency and low impact transportation fuels that make effective use of existing infrastructure without creating new choke points for rare metals in batteries and electric motors that just move our strategic vulnerability from gasoline and diesel fuel to components for electric cars.
    Larry

  83. We would need to dam every river in the state to meet that “renewable” requirement unless “renewable” includes nuclear power with recycled fuel.

  84. CARB is a clear and present danger to the livelihood of people of California, it is unchecked bureaucracy gone mad.

    And is one of the things causing me to seriously consider moving away from California.

  85. Well, Grey, you’ve got me scratching my head as well.
    Average corn yield this year was approx. 155 bu/acre. Last year it was about 165 bu/acre. Let’s use 160 bu/acre. Poet gets 3 gal of ethanol from a bushel of corn. That’s about 480 gal/acre. BUT, you get about 20 gal of corn oil (for biodiesel,) and you get enough Feed Value back in your distillers grains that you’ve, in essence, only used about 60% of your livestock feed (that’s what field corn is – livestock feed.)
    So, you divide 500 by .6 and you come up with 833 gallons per acre. Oh wait, I’m forgetting about the 80, or so gallons of ethanol they will be getting from the cobs, and part (approx. 1/3) of the stover – And the aprox 6 Million BTUs of lignin for electricity generation yielded by the cellulosic process.
    Palm oil (used for biodiesel, not as a substitute for gasoline) yields, on average, about 600 gallons/acre.
    Andrew, I don’t give a whit about CO2, but if I did I would say that the CO2 that’s released from producing ethanol will go right back into growing the next year’s crop. No CO2 is “Added” to the atmosphere. When you burn fossil fuels you’ve taken carbon out of the ground (from whence it will Never return,) and released it into the atmosphere. Quite a different thing, I’d think.

  86. Toss long winded rationalizations around all you’d care to – the diversion of a staple pillar of the human food chain for automotive fuel has got to be the single dumbest idea concocted by humans lately. The effects, particularly in the third world, with precarious food supply issues as it is, has rendered fatal consequences, in addition to unjustifiable price increases for everyone, on a global scale.
    The biggest problem I have with rabid environmentalism is that it seems that the absolutely stupidest ideas or non-solutions are the ones that appear to be acceptable to those of that mindset – and again, almost invariably to the detriment of successfully seeking out workable, net gain for humanity innovation.
    This movement and mindset has virtually sabotaged useful investigation into the overall systemic mechanics of our climate, with the fixation upon CO2 and human activity, to the almost utter disregard of any other factors. Likewise, the push for ‘renewables’ has been more of a jihad against complex hydrocarbons (and to an extent nuclear), instead of a positivist search for viable alternatives. And no, the current ‘wind solutions’ are not viable, as much of Europe is discovering, but for which the light bulb has yet to illuminate for many in America. Quite simply because they’re doing it wrong, with frankly bad and inadequate designs, a lack of consideration for the entire energy cycle, and an insistence upon appearances over results.
    The ‘urgent discussions’ on these issues are trapped in a false ‘urgency’ created by those most impassioned about it, not actual circumstance, and as a result, we have a situation wholly the making of highly emotional and seemingly erudite utter morons.
    Thanks.

  87. Several years ago, while Craig Barrett was still CEO of Intel, a company founded and based in California, he stated in an interview that any CEO of a company that expanded a manufacturing facility in California should be fired by the company’s board of directors. That was at least 5 years ago and the state’s business climate has only become worse.

  88. Woe to we non-lunatic Californians. I’m close enough to a public employee pension retirement to be very very frightened about what is happening in this state.

  89. Christopher says: wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    “You have to understand. I dont even like Beck but he is correct is in his mantra. If you want change in a established country, you have to collapse the original system first. Its not some unknowing-bungling bureaucracy going awry here. Its a well thought out, well funded organization built with a purpose other than the one they front as being for. This group is designed to cause anger and dissatisfaction among the general population. After all Revolutions never occur when things are stable.”
    Christopher,
    Do all my previous post in this thread put together help you out in understanding the way things really are? I think not. You only have half of it.
    First of all, the system was designed to fail at some point in time. Yes, it is by design.
    The Hamiltonian monetary model always fails at some point in time. We have history that proves it out. That system fails every time.
    The founders of our country wanted to set up a system that would last a lot longer than the previous systems. It was the Jeffersonian model that revolved around a plan that would insure that the new model would not break down so easily as the previous ones.
    In order to understand the the monetary and governing model we use today, the best teaching tool I have found to date would be the Renaissance 2.0 videos. I would highly recommend you watch all 6 lessons.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/councilonsper#p/a/u/0/l37RhdFGVsM

  90. Social engineering by unelected bodies created by regulations that allow modification without recourse to voter influence. Growing citizen unrest, with ever higher utility charges, outlawing cheaper fuels, so that they can be exported and burnt by your overseas competitors, aided by liberal extorted (carbon) taxes that enable them to buy what was your coal (cheap energy source) at a price subsidized by your taxes and any wonder the anarchists (and others) are waiting in the wings, rubbing their hands with glee!!
    Welcome to my world in Australia duped by the myth of greening the world by bankrupting our industry! And all done with a straight face and the conviction they are saving the world by sacrificing the ability of those that could actually make a difference.

  91. Since November 2nd, I’m getting a 3x increase in SPAM inviting me to move to/incorporate my business in Nevada. Given what lies ahead for business in California, the idea has merit.
    Hard to think of a reason why you shouldn’t consider that. Perhaps a religious analogy?:
    Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell;
    I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
    C.T. Studd

  92. I have wondered if the green movement in California is from unions. Maybe it’s their way of getting non-union businesses to leave California so they can have a monopoly. Maybe while we are saying it’s bad news that businesses are leaving California they are saying it’s mission accomplished.

  93. James Barker says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    Maybe CARB can mandate buying the Spanish equipment at bankruptcy sales. Huge savings on hardware would make the costs somewhat better 🙂
    Apparently much of the Spanish and Greek wind-power equipment is broken and hard to maintain. Broken-down turbines would not be a bargain at any price!

  94. KenB says: Wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm
    “Social engineering by unelected bodies created by regulations that allow modification without recourse to voter influence. Growing citizen unrest, with ever higher utility charges, outlawing cheaper fuels, so that they can be exported and burnt by your overseas competitors, aided by liberal extorted (carbon) taxes that enable them to buy what was your coal (cheap energy source) at a price subsidized by your taxes and any wonder the anarchists (and others) are waiting in the wings, rubbing their hands with glee!!
    Welcome to my world in Australia duped by the myth of greening the world by bankrupting our industry! And all done with a straight face and the conviction they are saving the world by sacrificing the ability of those that could actually make a difference.”
    1m+
    [REPLY – Well, okay. though, as a lukewarmer, I don’t regard AGW as a complete myth. (Just a gross exaggeration.) All points of view are welcome, be they alarmist or skeptical. However, please be aware this blog is mainly concerned with the science, not politics. The political aspect does intrude, and cannot be avoided, but this is NOT a political blog. Please keep this in mind. ~ Evan]

  95. Please note: With or without gov’t subsidies, electricity from wind power always COSTS the same exorbitant, grossly uncompetitive amount. The only difference lies in who has to pay for it.
    True, our coal may run out in 200 years or so, whereas the wind will still be blowing. Fine. Maybe by then we’ll be able to afford such high-priced juice.

  96. “Addendum:
    Since November 2nd, I’m getting a 3x increase in SPAM inviting me to move to/incorporate my business in Nevada. Given what lies ahead for business in California, the idea has merit.”
    These are only signs of the beginning of the end.

  97. Kum Dollison says: November 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    “No CO2 is “Added” to the atmosphere.”
    So the land is tilled with oxen, the seeds are planted by hand and grown without fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides, then harvested by hand; you use hand pumps to extract the needed water from the ground (or use hand made clay catchments); peal, cut and mash it by hand and ferment it in hand made clay barrels; distill it using sunlight and magnifying glasses, bottle it with hand pumps. Carry it to the city on bicycles, and measure it out with a flask.
    You ignore the inputs, that it why it works in your mind.
    “No CO2 is “Added” to the atmosphere.”
    You are delusional.
    Kum you are a source of misinformation.

  98. Point made, what do “figures” mean. I dot the 18 gallons from
    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/biodiesel_sustainable.html
    Which seems a pretty comprehensive list.
    The pal oil I got from life, the figures quoted are usually for dura plants but the big plantations here use cultivars with at least double that yield, hence the 1340 gall. Two growers using and getting those yields control six million hectares.
    The point is the discrepancy in yield vital to simple economics.

  99. Got the difference, its the oil yield not the ethanol yield. Stupid me, go back to school. Stand suitably chastised.

  100. KenB says: Wrote
    November 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm
    [REPLY – Well, okay. though, as a lukewarmer, I don’t regard AGW as a complete myth. (Just a gross exaggeration.) All points of view are welcome, be they alarmist or skeptical. However, please be aware this blog is mainly concerned with the science, not politics. The political aspect does intrude, and cannot be avoided, but this is NOT a political blog. Please keep this in mind. ~ Evan]
    My Dear Evan,
    You know the two topics are not mutually exclusive.
    Walking and chewing gum at the same time is not that difficult.
    Thanks for letting me tell this story on this thread. It just all seemed to come together.
    Michael
    [REPLY – Yes, they are compatible (unfortunately!). So long as you are walking AND chewing gum, it’s probably not going to be a problem. Just bear in mind it’s a walking blog, not a gum-chewing blog. And we try to allow all points of view. Certain areas (especially regarding religion or certain pet conspiracy theories) are likely to get one snipped! But we maintain a far more openminded atmosphere than other climate blogs (especially the avowedly pro-AGW variety). ~ Evan]

  101. Geraldo Rivera is in trouble. I just got done watching a segment of his on FOX and it was about “Building What?” , building 7. He had the architects and engineers on his show and a parent who lost a loved one. It was about a 10 minute segment. 9/11 was an inside job and all that. Geraldo agreed we need a new investigation because things just don’t add up. Geraldo better watch himself.

  102. Terry Jackson says:
    November 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm
    “hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm”
    Larry, It is sad you can’t read. The actual post discussed your point :

    Well I will ignore the obnoxious attitude and ask for clarification, your response makes no sense. 80 proof alcohol is 40% alcohol mixed with 60% water. In a 12 gallon fuel tank with 2 gallons of E85 in it, you would have to add 3.5 gallons of water to the fuel tank to get to that water/alcohol concentration.
    In short you illustration example is so absurd it is worthless. E98 (denatured fuel ethanol) cannot even be sold if it holds more that 0.5% water, and most shippers will not accept a shipment that is over 0.4% because it is too close to the limit.
    The freezing point of a 40% ethanol / 60% water mixture is -10 Deg F, so even at that absurd water contamination level, icing in the fuel line would only happen on the coldest days, and as you mention the mixture would not even be flammable so no one would even think of trying to burn it. At reasonable water contamination levels achievable in the real world (ie teaspoons of water in a full tank of fuel) it is physically impossible in the continental U.S. to get fuel line icing with E85 unless you can show me any continental U.S. locations that have -100 deg F winter temps, and high enough humidity at the same time to put gallons of condensation in a fuel tank. Or drivers stupid enough to put the garden hose in the fuel filler long enough to put 3-5 gallons of water in the tank.

    You may be personally enamored of converting food to fuel, and you may make as many claims as your heart desires, but you can’t impose your alternate reality on the actual economic world.

    If you are willing to buy that red herring argument — go for it, but it is nonsense. Using feed corn to produce ethanol actually increases food output, because the co-products from ethanol production have more food value than the original corn due to the action of the brewing yeast. Those co-products (DDSG) are sold to cattle lots as a high quality livestock ration that produces more meat than if the original corn was fed to the cattle. That feed corn is also not directly used in human food products (ie is not turned into corn tortillas etc. it is a totally different corn variety than the corn used in corn meal, corn flakes, and other directly consumed corn food products.
    Larry

  103. The only hope CA has, is if the ‘fees’ CARB would impose fall under the recently passed Prop 26. That would force the polies to put their names on it.
    Bob

  104. This article is just one example why environmental law regulation has to be seriously and radically reformed, by scrapping the whole system and starting over again. The anti-growth, anti-technology, anti-human ideologues have taken over the process – in fact, they helped create the process. They want to send us back to the Dark Ages economically. And we the average American public have allowed them to do it. This issue goes far beyond conservation of resources and avoidance of harmful pollution, noble goals in themselves but perverted by those who would seek some abstract ideal of a pristine nature freed from the dead hand of mankind. Upping the ante only means that you get policies that are prohibitively expensive for marginal benefits, if any at all, with catastrophic results for people as well as the environment.

  105. Cornpatch, the really really stupid thing is that the cleanest source of energy, hydro, is not considered “a renewable resource” by the state of Kalifornia.

  106. Michael said on November 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm:

    Voters Approve Arizona Medical Marijuana Measure
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/13/voters-approve-arizona-medical-marijuana-measure-106158324/
    Sort of kinda rubs salt in the wounds of California, don’t you think?

    That’s okay, the pain will be enough for the entire state of Kalifornia to get a prescription. That’ll help them keep believing their state is a wonderful happy Green Utopia that can’t do wrong. ☺

  107. Ann r; the reason why they don’t want to call hydro a renewable resource is because the greenies want to disassemble all the hydro dams.

  108. BS Footprint says:
    November 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    “As California goes, so goes the nation.”

    The question is, where is California going?

    “Where are you taking me, and why am I in this handbasket?”

  109. Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm
    The thing is, Coal will get more expensive ….”

    Not for China–they’ve locked in their costs with a 20-year, million-ton-per-year deal with Australia.

  110. I seem to remember a Joe Jackson song from around the early 80’s that contained the line ‘…and the Californian sun turns your brains to scrambled eggs..’
    I think Joe now resides in New York. Nuff said.

  111. To Hotrod Larry and Kum –
    A study on E95 fuels versus diesel on big rig trucks was published November 10, 2010.
    Guess which fuel was cheaper and most efficient compared over 300,000 miles? http://e85poweredtrucks.com/
    And this was including a 51 cent a gallon Federal Alcohol subsidy – the engines required more maintenance, the fuel was much less efficient. Perhaps newer engines will perform better as these engines were a 1992 design and run for several years by ADM who produces E95 so one might assume it was likely an unbiased study since they were powering these trucks with their own fuel.
    Studies on farm tractors found the same thing.

  112. The solution to this nonsense is that everyone should have two votes.
    If you are in net receipt (more cash received than direct taxes paid) of government funds, then you lose one of your votes. It is the only real way to return governments to those who make wealth, as opposed to those who squander it, namely the bureaucrats.
    Clearly, the actions of CARB and the EPA are those of people who squander wealth in the name of trendy, unproven ‘science’. Once: a) the economic cost becomes widely understood, and b) there a general realisation these rules and regulations are achieving nothing, then this idiocy will be reversed. Unfortunately, by that time the damage will be done; but much worse is that the advocates of this idiocy will never be punished.

  113. There must be a full moon out or something.
    Both the Bio-Fuel Ethanol Cult (‘hey, let’s grow stuff to burn for energy rather than use the stores of perfectly good already-dead fossil fuels) … and … the InfoWars Alex Jones (‘9/11 was a inside job’) kooks making appearnces in the same thread.
    Delete this if you want, but please be on the lookout for this kind of subterfuge. They’ll seed the blog with Alex Jones garbage and accomplish what the AGW cult and all its lackeys could not: to turn WUWT into Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell which would destroy this place just the same.
    With the anniversary of Climategate looming, we should be riding high and on the offensive. We should not slip into the gutter.

  114. As a European bystander i can only tell you what we are noticing here . Living on the windy North Sea shoreline you only need your own eyes to see that approx 15% of the windturbines is always not functioning . The maintenance costs must outweigh the projected costs exponentially . At relative high temperatures there is a chance that the wingspeed is important , at relative low temperatures chances are limited that the wind-speed will provide enough energy to maintain a good power-supply , at very high temperatures generally there is very little wind and if the wind then really is starting to blow it may be more harmful for the equipment than beneficial for the energy – supply . At very cold temperatures when the energy is most needed there will too little movement to propell the windturbines . Only after making coal available to the general population the average life-expectation in holland rose from 45 years to approx 80 years nowadays . Of course you guys in California do not need heating so much , but stone-age hunters and gatherers were probably more adapted to our climate than turbo-prop greenees nowadays.

  115. Wayne Delbeke says:
    November 14, 2010 at 3:11 am
    To Hotrod Larry and Kum –
    A study on E95 fuels versus diesel on big rig trucks was published November 10, 2010.
    Guess which fuel was cheaper and most efficient compared over 300,000 miles?

    I am not a fan of E95 in compression ignition engines, wrong fuel wrong engine. Ethanol does not autoignite as easily as diesel as noted in the topic. They might find a way around that over time, but the diesel engine is fuel limited for power, not air limited so it is an inappropriate use of the fuel. It would be much better to run a smaller diesel engine on diesel with ethanol injection for situations that require brief high power operation.
    Diesel engines love alcohol injection and can make stupid power levels using it as a power adder in addition to the normal diesel fuel vs some half baked conversion. Direct injection ethanol engines can get the same thermal efficiency as diesel (about 40%) so that would be a more useful avenue to pursue in my opinion.
    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/presentations/gni-mjb-051303.pdf
    As I posted above there are suitable places for each type of engine (diesel, spark ignition, turbine etc.) but you should not try to force a square peg in a round hole and try to use an oxygenated fuel in a compression ignition engine.
    By doing so they are fighting two of the “advantages” of alcohol fuels in spark ignition engines due to the difference in how ignition is performed.
    A diesel engine accomplishes ignition by using high compression ratios to raise the incoming air charge above ignition temperature for the fuel. In a spark ignition engine one of the advantages of E85 and Alcohol fuels is their high heat capacity and latent heat of evaporation. That provides substantial charge air cooling that helps increase a spark ignition engines breathing efficiency by increasing charge are density. Since a spark ignition engine is air limited that results in increased power.
    In a diesel cycle engine using E95 that “advantage” of alcohol is a disadvantage directly competing with the necessary conditions for charge air heating, not to mention E95 does not auto ignite like diesel fuel does.
    The other advantage of alcohol based fuels in a spark ignition engine is that they are oxygenated and carry additional oxygen into the cylinder, this allows them to burn at much richer fuel air mixtures (lower oxygen demand) than gasoline, and wider flammability limits (fewer misfires able to run at much leaner mixtures) so you net more power by being able to burn more fuel with the available intake air charge. On a diesel engine this is not an advantage since a diesel engine always operates with excess air and is throttled by changing fuel rather than by limiting air flow.
    As above — square peg in a round hole.
    I do not advocate misusing a fuel just because it makes for good marketing. Especially when there are other biofuel pathways to produce direct replacement bio-diesel fuels. Save the alcohol for the spark ignition engines (or as a power adder) and use a proper fuel suited to diesel cycle ignition as the primary fuel in compression ignition engines.
    The injector problems are an example of the cleaning effect of ethanol. Not a fuel deficiency, but a simple matter of figuring out where the ethanol is scavenging the crud from and eliminating it.
    Larry

  116. We want our State back, and if that doesn’t work, we want to split the State into:
    Kalifornia and the State of Jefferson.
    Let the Greenies have the coasts and Flatramento they frolic in, we get the rest.

  117. Always thought too many whimpering people who complained about California politics were just too lazy to get up off their dufflebag and do anything but talk. The difference between the quick and the dead is action, not talk.

  118. “That feed corn is also not directly used in human food products (ie is not turned into corn tortillas etc. it is a totally different corn variety than the corn used in corn meal, corn flakes, and other directly consumed corn food products.”
    Larry,
    The price of corn is now tied to the price of oil. Even if the human consumption of corn remains constant, the price of corn will go up if there is an increase in the price of oil. This is what happened in 2006-2008. And we are seeing it again now. Besides, there is not enough land to produce enough ethanol to come even close to replacing oil or other fossil fuels. We have created the worst of both worlds. Higher food costs and no corresponding drop in fossil fuel consumption.

  119. It will be interesting to see how the CARB rules affects the California Ports. The cruise ship business is way down because of Mexico’s problems. The shipping business is facing the impact of the Panama Canal widening that will be completed in 2014. Eastern and southern US ports are already expanding in preparation for taking business away from California. Last week Felipe Calderon celebrated the opening of a new port of entry at San Luis near Yuma, Arizona that will allow cargo to avoid California altogether. Guymas, Mexico has quietly developed to allow container cargo to be unloaded from ships in the Sea of Cortez.

  120. Update to this post:
    Another commercial, also from the “Real California Milk” campaign, this time the words said 99% of California dairies are family owned. Beautiful. As often as I’ve heard complaints about Big Agriculture and corporations taking over farming and raking in the profits, that percentage doesn’t inspire confidence in the future of California dairy farming.
    Website: http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/
    This was found there: New Study: California Dairy Industry Responsible For More Than 443,000 Jobs – Three Percent of State’s Job Production
    It has these highlights:

    # The California dairy industry created 443,574 jobs in 2008 accounting for approximately three percent of the jobs in the state. This is more than either the iconic California wine or motion picture/television industries.
    # California’s dairy industry generated $63 billion in economic impact in 2008 as compared to $61.4 billion in 2007, a 2.6 percent increase overall.

    Illustrating a problem with wording on studies like these, the following is found in the “Study Methodology” section:

    The same study last conducted in 2007 showed California dairies created $61 billion in economic activity and 435,000 jobs for the state.

    Apparently for statistical purposes, jobs can be “created” anew every year. As California likes to lead the way, here there is more creative jobs reporting than found in the Stimulus Bill “success” figures.
    “Sustainability” gets a front page listing on the website. Also, from the linked study:

    And they’re doing so in a sustainable manner. California’s dairy producers are subject to the most stringent environmental regulations in the U.S.

    They sound very proud of that.
    There’s something curious at the bottom of the website’s pages.

    © 2010 California Milk Advisory Board, an instrumentality of the CA Dept. of Food and Ag.

    What sort of governmental creation is an “instrumentality”?

  121. 10,000 truckloads of goods go through Laredo Texas every single day now. They are already avoiding having anything to do with California.

  122. Rhoda R says:
    November 14, 2010 at 1:41 am
    Ann r; the reason why they don’t want to call hydro a renewable resource is because the greenies want to disassemble all the hydro dams.
    If you include hydro with the other renewables, electrical generation from renewables peaked in 1997. The boom in highly subsidized wind generation has been more than countered by the decline from peak annual output from hydro.
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html
    As to the prospects of converting transport to biofuels, in 2009 energy use for transportation amounted to 26951 Trillion Btus, the contribution from all biomass sources was 922 Trillion Btus.
    http://www.eia.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0201e.html
    Unless you can suggest a program to increase biofuel production more than 30 times beyond present levels, and though I haven’t done the actual calculation I suspect you’d run into a limit from feedstocks well short of that goal. Regardless of where you fall on the merits of biofuels as functional and economic fuels, there is little prospect of them filling more than a small supplemental role in powering the transport system and the mounting subsidy costs and environmental consequences makes even that contribution seem like a questionable policy choice.

  123. Dr A Burns says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    True. Wind power cannot possibly be that efficient, considering you must build a gas fired power plant of equivalent capacity simply to serve as backup when the wind isn’t blowing, AND to turn the turbines to maintain lubrication. Not to mention that installed wind capacity is only 10-25% utilized.

  124. In Europe and probably in US I think the subsidizes for ethanol are indirectly through the more generalized farming subsidize, as in you get paid not to farm or not to farm certain crops or to farm certain crops. What’s interesting is that the ones buying the sugar, corn or and what not, are also subsidize to make and produce the E85 or Bio Diesel and this even though the whole process from crop to produced product is spewing out loads of CO2 and that CO2 appear not to be included in the calculations for the whole scenario that E85 and Bio D are CO2 neutral.
    Another thing to note as well is the added CO2 emission from having to import more food in a time when the same hobnob hippies–who created this whole ethanol bs in the first place–want every one to eat primarily locally produced food. Talk about double paradox. First without even more subsidize locally produce spells expensive (which mean imported becomes cheaper) and second aren’t the people of what ever country we have to import from supposed to primarily eat locally produced food as well (and they have to pay higher prices as well since they compete with heavily subsidized, and therefor lucrative, ethanol or Bio D production at the same time they have to compete with lucrative export.)
    But of course the CO2 emission belongs to the exporting country in the statistics.

  125. On the price of coal and oil:
    The primary cause of relatively high coal and oil prices right now is world monetary policy. All of that money the world’s central banks are throwing around is going to go chasing after something. High prices are no more a sign of supply shortages than high prices for sugar, gold, silver, etc. are a sign of shortages of those commodities. “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” Milton Friedman.


  126. JP says:
    November 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Larry,
    The price of corn is now tied to the price of oil. Even if the human consumption of corn remains constant, the price of corn will go up if there is an increase in the price of oil. This is what happened in 2006-2008. And we are seeing it again now. Besides, there is not enough land to produce enough ethanol to come even close to replacing oil or other fossil fuels. We have created the worst of both worlds. Higher food costs and no corresponding drop in fossil fuel consumption.

    The price of grains has always been tied to the price of oil, transportation costs are critical to being profitable in any production process, especially any process that uses fuel extensively in the production process.
    In the 1970’s as a result of the sudden spike in oil prices, prices of grains went through the roof. The “high cost of grain” everyone complains about today is trivial compared to the cost of grain during the oil embargo days. That is why it is strategically critical that we have at least a minimum capability to have self sufficient energy. It has nothing at all to do with “green” agendas, it is a survival issue.
    http://www.inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Inflation_Adj_Oil_Prices_Chart.htm
    http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Corn/corn_inflation_chart.htm
    Everyone whines about the cost of corn today due to bio-fuels but if you have a clue about the inflation adjusted cost of corn, it was much more expensive back in the early 1970’s not because of bio-fuels, but due to oil costs.
    In 2008 dollars in, corn sold for $15.67/bu in 1974.
    Corns cost in 2008 was half as much at about $7.50 /bu.
    Biofuels have nothing to do with high corn costs and never did. It is a cost of energy problem and biofuels were introduced to try to reduce that problem.
    In the early 1970’s when the oil embargo first hit, and people were waiting in lines to buy gasoline, it was obvious that the cost of wheat and corn shot up due to the sudden spike in fuel and transportation costs. That drove the first moves into fuel ethanol to provide a local fuel production capability to cushion such price shocks in the future. Your gasoline costs today would be about $0.35 / gallon higher if we did not mix up to 10% ethanol in our gasoline. It both directly displaces gasoline by dilution and it is the most cost effective octane additive you can use short of TEL allowing lower cost gasoline cuts to be sold without additional expensive refining.
    Don’t fall for the marketing crap by Tyson and others who have a financial interest in ultra low corn prices.
    You don’t have to “replace oil” you only have to produce enough that we are not in a strangle hold situation to over seas oil supplies if they are drastically cut back. There are lots of ways to make ethanol, corn is only one of them, and only makes economic sense in certain parts of the country. You can make fuel ethanol from waste beer (Coors Beer does that to produce about 3 million gallons of fuel ethanol a year). You can make it from algae, you can make it from any source of starch or sugars including sugars that are not normally edible. Beets, potatoes, sugar cane, food waste, the list is endless.
    People need to quit falling for the propaganda pitched by speculators and food producers like Tyson that built their chicken empire on artificially low corn prices. They are finally having to pay fair market value for corn and they don’t like it.
    Food and energy are always intimately tied together and will remain so forever. We can however make at least a token effort to avoid having to make a choice between heating our homes or eating, and that path is to develop multiple production paths for transportation fuels so no one path becomes a critical failure choke point.
    The 1973 oil crisis was triggered by a price increase of 70% and a reduction in oil production of 5%. Ultimately oil costs rose by a factor of 4 from $3.00/bbl to $12.00/bbl due to these relatively small reductions in availability.
    The 1979 oil crisis was triggered by only a 4% reduction in oil production.
    0il price =energy cost = food production and transportation costs = food prices
    Any increase in fuel cost or reduction in transportation fuel availability always causes food prices to increase.
    Alternative fuel energy sources is the solution, not the problem! Food costs are a symptom of how critical our dependence on cheap energy is to a sound economy.
    For those of you who never had to stand in line for hours to buy gasoline or watch your fuel gauge needle bounce on the E while trying to find an open gas station, are getting duped by the same sort of manipulated data about biofuels that we see in CAGW propaganda.
    The saddest thing is most of you actually believe the ethanol subsidy goes to the ethanol producers. It does not! It goes to the company that blends the fuel ethanol with the gasoline (can you say oil companies?).
    It is called the blenders tax credit because it goes to the blender not to the farmer or the ethanol producer. Only a very small number of ethanol producers are smart enough to actually blend their own fuel ethanol with gasoline and sell it themselves, and many of them are finding that the oil companies are making it difficult to impossible for them to buy the raw gasoline used for that blending. You need to look for the shoes behind the curtain. Food costs vs corn for ethanol is a con job, and you are getting played by the same sort of cons used to promote wind energy and other renewable energy streams.
    Ethanol can and will compete with oil as a major blending stock for transportation fuels. It was the dominant transportation fuel until it was crushed by prohibition. It was government intervention that broke the fuel ethanol business in the first place and government intervention that has systematically prevented it regaining a fair playing field with oil.
    In spite of the fact that the blenders tax credit goes to the wrong people it still accomplished what was intended. It allowed ethanol added gasoline to be sold in large enough quantities to allow the industry to build out a brewing capacity that now is in the billions of gallons a year. In addition it is a zero cost subsidy to the tax payer because the ethanol production companies pay back more in taxes than is paid out in the blenders tax credit and the reduction in farm price supports payments (now that corn is selling a fair cost compared to production) has actually netted a reduction in total costs to the tax payer.
    Larry

  127. Re: Dr A Burns says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    Although $149 per mwh is in the ballpark for unsubsidized wind, $100 is way off the mark for coal even if utility transmission and distribution fixed costs are included. Take a look at current average wholesale electric power at the U.S. trading hubs. You’ll see that the current mix which is dominated by coal, natural gas and nuclear generation averages $40 to $45 per mwh.
    If you wish to see a real horror, take a look at unsubsidized, photo-voltaic solar generation. Spain and Germany are paying $400 to $560 (U.S.) per mwh AT THE PLANT FENCE! When Spain reduced their price to under $400 (in desperation) producers started going belly-up, unable to service their construction loans.
    The California Dream is an economic nightmare. Incoming Governor Moonbeam would do well to abandon the “Tooth Fairy Economics” of outgoing Governor Terminator and look at some real numbers before he proceeds with his plan to make California the “renewable energy capital of the entire world”.

  128. Claude,
    Those prices are from an EIA report for NEW generation costs. Consistent with your observations, the cost of existing generation is significantly lower since the capitol investment occurred in 1970s(ish) dollars. Off shore wind costs even more at about $195 per MwHr and, like you said, solar is ridiculously expensive at about 300 per MwHr and up.
    Many people don’t realize that as we build out generation infrastructure the price of electricity will go up. And the type of generation we build will just determine how much it goes up. This is an artifact of the regulatory structure the industry operates in. I personally think that nuclear would prove to be the cheapest if the capitol cost is levelized over the 40-60 year life of the plants BECAUSE the cost is all front loaded in today’s dollars. 20-60 years from now the power from those plants would look pretty cheap just as the power from plants built in the 70s looks cheap now. In the interest of full disclosure, I work for American Electric Power at a nuclear plant. Obviously, these opinions are mine not theirs.

  129. Re: Doug Badgero says:
    November 14, 2010 at 9:13 pm
    We’re pretty much singing the same tune. You are certainly correct in your distinction between “old” and “new”. Also in the interest of full disclosure, I spent 10 years with TVA designing both conventional and nuclear plants. I spent the next twenty plus years of my career developing, designing, owning (through my company) and operating alternate energy plants. I done my waltz down Wall Street; I know the technologies and I know the numbers. Now that I am retired, I can afford to be an uninhibited “truth teller”. Fashion aside, both wind and solar suffer “energy density” and “capacity factor” problems that doom them as viable alternatives (in a rational world) to fossil-fired and nuclear.
    I’ll end this by adding that wind farm operating costs are turning out to far exceed industry projections and I have yet to see the notorious degradation over time of PV cell performance taken into proper account.

  130. Thanks Hotrod (Larry) for some very informative and well thought out posts. Key is that biofuels replace fossil fuels even if only a percent. Total replacement is not necessary.
    Those complaining of not enough land need to look at the link i provided that gives clear yields per acre. They need to look at Brasil and its sugar plantations and the total area they use.
    A good example is New Zealand, they need only to use 30% of land set aside since 1998 to achieve full biofuel independence and not use any fossil fuels for transportation.
    Similarly, from reading these posts I feel solar panels should be stamped clearly with the full KWH that it took to manufacture them. Thus indication how long they need to be used to at least get that back An important element for users.
    Anthony has really set up a good information exchange here besides the Global warming fraud.

  131. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    JP says:
    November 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Larry,
    The price of corn is now tied to the price of oil. Even if the human consumption of corn remains constant, the price of corn will go up if there is an increase in the price of oil. This is what happened in 2006-2008. And we are seeing it again now. Besides, there is not enough land to produce enough ethanol to come even close to replacing oil or other fossil fuels. We have created the worst of both worlds. Higher food costs and no corresponding drop in fossil fuel consumption.

    The price of grains has always been tied to the price of oil, transportation costs are critical to being profitable in any production process, especially any process that uses fuel extensively in the production process.

    Oil costs in transportation affect all goods, corn and food products were specifically impacted because of ethanol. See: Calming ethanol-crazed corn prices
    With alternative fuel in the limelight, the cost of corn has skyrocketed, but experts say the free market should keep food prices in check.
    By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    January 30 2007: 3:54 PM EST

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/30/news/economy/corn_ethanol/index.htm
    With regard to claims that ethanol is not being subsidized, the Washington Post noted: “The Congressional Budget Office this month estimated that, all told, the costs to taxpayers of replacing a gallon of gasoline with one of corn ethanol add up to $1.78. ” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/23/AR2010072304345.html
    In addition, mandates to use ethanol are themselves subsidies.
    As for mileage, edmunds.com notes:

    One other fact about ethanol is that it is about 30 percent less energy efficient than gasoline. so diluting gas with ethanol reduces the fuel efficiency of vehicles that burn the blended fuel.
    We hear lots of anecdotal evidence that vehicles that were getting 20 miles a gallon on regular grade gasoline without ethanol typically lose about 2 mpg with an E10 blend.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/09/e15-backers-say-analysis-shows-higher-ethanol-levels-wont-harm-older-vehicles.html
    If ethanol is as an efficient and economical fuel as its advocates say it is it won’t need subsidies or mandates to compete in the market.
    Also of interest: “New Perspectives on the Energy Return on (Energy) Investment (EROI) of Corn Ethanol: Part 1 of 2” http://netenergy.theoildrum.com/node/6760

  132. The state of the State of California reminds of the The Gipper saying ‘the scariest thing I ever heard was someone from the Government saying “Can I help you?”‘

  133. ********
    Claude Harvey says:
    November 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm
    Fashion aside, both wind and solar suffer “energy density” and “capacity factor” problems that doom them as viable alternatives (in a rational world) to fossil-fired and nuclear.
    ********
    As a former power-plant engineer, that about sums it up for me, too.
    The amount of resources supporting solar & wind generation should be proportional to their subsidy-free potentials — generously a few percent of the pie. Nuclear & clean-coal should be the top of the list.

  134. The Gipper, heh…. gosh, people.
    Alpha Kappa Psi
    http://www.akpsiok.com/about.php
    Famous Brothers include: Sam Walton, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon
    These quail hunting buddies maybe envisioned themselves as rich aristocracy or possibly even royalty? They obviously helped each other out.
    What fool would trash our trade agreements that had protected our businesses for 200 years? Then give preferred trading status to Communist China?
    They’d be what used to be the Whigs. We had the Jeffersonian ideal of an egalitarian agricultural society, advising that traditional farm life bred republican simplicity, while modernization threatened to create a politically powerful caste of rich aristocrats who threatened to subvert democracy. These proto-republicans took us away from the Jeffersonian path. Whigs demanded government support for a more modern, market-oriented economy, in which skill, expertise and bank credit would count for more than physical strength or land ownership. Modernization wasn’t all bad, but the greed to follow was/is a significantly costly side effect. They actually made the rich ultra-liberal possible, as well as career politicians. Whereas before someone served a term or two and returned to the farm.
    That is why I vote Constitution Party. I see them as a small candle in the darkness, in the tunnel of the stupidity from both sides.

  135. David M Brooks says:
    November 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Reference your comments above:
    Pump price reduction due to fuel ethanol added:
    http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/DBS/PDFFiles/08wp467.pdf
    Fuel economy does not necessarily drop due to added ethanol in gasoline. Energy per unit volume of fuel does not track with fuel mileage. Fuel mileage depends on the overall effeciency of the engine to extract useful work from the fuel, and that depends on both the physical design of the engine/car but most importantly on how the engine management system adapts to different fuels. This study show that higher ethanol fuels can get better fuel mileage on high ethanol blends compared to gasoline.
    Reduction in fuel mileage is not a characteristic of the fuel, but due to how the engine management system is designed on cars not optimized for using oxygenated fuels. Note the Toyota Camray in this study got better fuel mileage on high ethanol fuel (30% ethanol) than on straight gasoline.
    http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/ACE_Optimal_Ethanol_Blend_Level_Study_final_12507.pdf
    Ethanol subsidy and tax
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/2010Apr14_Growth_Energy_Submission.pdf
    Current corn production exceeds demand even after ethanol demand is met. There is no corn shortage.
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/2010Apr29_NCGA_Submission.pdf
    Larry

  136. David M Brooks says:
    November 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Followup on your links posted above. Your second link to the Washington post refers to this CBO document.
    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/114xx/doc11477/11477_Summary.pdf
    The CBO is required by law to only address the specific issues placed in a request for their evaluation by members of congress. As a result CBO reports can be biased even before they are written, by how the request is worded. As specifically noted in that document, they completely ignore all the secondary tax revenues from ethanol production and in doing so totally ignore all the tax revenues generated by the ethanol production and distribution process and all the salaries paid in that industry. Since that is the counter value that makes the blenders tax credit zero cost, they are specifically disregarding all those revenues and not including them in the account.
    They also use the flawed approach of computing “gasoline equivalent energy” for ethanol on the false assumption that the volumetric energy content of a fuel directly correlates to either fuel mileage or efficiency.
    It does not!
    By way of example we can look at actual measured energy per mile figures from my first E85 conversion in a 2002 Subaru WRX. I measured my fuel consumption for over a year, recording every tank of fuel and the distance traveled and came up with these final figures.
    OEM gasoline configuration on a new car.
    Gasoline mileage @ 125,000 Btu/ gallon / 24 mpg = 5208 BTU/mile
    My E85 conversion, changing only the fuel injector size to provide the proper fueling for E85.. With the larger injectors flowing 30% more fuel, on straight E85, I got the following numbers:
    92% of gasoline mileage or 22 mpg resulting in — E85 90,500 BTU/gallon/22 = 4114 BTU/mile.
    As you can see, even though my fuel flow increased by 30% over the stock fuel flow to achieve proper fuel air mixtures. E85 actually used less energy to go a mile. This was due to the increased power the engine made and its ability to pull loads at lower engine rpm that would lug the gasoline engine and force me to shift down (to pull hills for example).
    At the fuel prices that existed at that time, it cost me approximately 12 cents per mile to use gasoline and 10 cents per mile to go a mile on E85.
    In addition to all that, the car also made more power (I bought it as a performance car and enjoy flogging it). From the factory, on gasoline, the car delivered 170 hp to the wheels here at 6000 ft elevation on gasoline. With that simple conversion changing only the fuel injectors flow rate, peak power at the wheels went up to 202 hp.
    Using E85 does not need to reduce fuel mileage near as much as the production FFV’s do, if properly tuned. Since the major manufactures have no reason to optimize for ethanol added fuels, home experimenters like me easily out perform the factory FFV’s in all respects.
    By the way for those that care, this WRX easily passed Colorado’s IM240 emissions test on this E85 conversion, where they place the car on a dyno and test emissions while the car drives a standard test cycle of acceleration and cruise to simulate normal driving.
    Larry

  137. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 15, 2010 at 10:25 am
    David M Brooks says:
    November 15, 2010 at 8:45 am
    Reference your comments above:
    Pump price reduction due to fuel ethanol added:
    http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/DBS/PDFFiles/08wp467.pdf

    Iowa State, non-peer reviewed publication, claims up to 40 cents a gallon cost reduction in gasoline prices due to ethanol based on a time-series model–not buying it.

    Fuel economy does not necessarily drop due to added ethanol in gasoline.

    .
    Perhaps. But it does in the actual vehicles on the road.

    Ethanol subsidy and tax
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/2010Apr14_Growth_Energy_Submission.pdf

    Advocate advocating for subsidies and tariffs, and a tariff is another form of subsidy.

    Current corn production exceeds demand even after ethanol demand is met. There is no corn shortage.
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/2010Apr29_NCGA_Submission.pdf

    Another advocacy group, note from the table in the testimony, that while total corn production has increased very little in the last few years, corn for ethanol has increased significantly, by 38%. That is enough to affect food prices.

    Followup on your links posted above. Your second link to the Washington post refers to this CBO document.
    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/114xx/doc11477/11477_Summary.pdf
    The CBO is required by law to only address the specific issues placed in a request for their evaluation by members of congress. As a result CBO reports can be biased even before they are written, by how the request is worded.

    You present pro-corn advocacy sources as evidence and then suggest the CBO is providing a biased analysis, but provide no evidence of that. Note from the CBO report:

    The costs to taxpayers of reducing consumption of
    petroleum fuels differ by biofuel. Such costs depend
    on the size of the tax credit for each fuel, the changes
    in federal revenues that result from the difference in
    the excise taxes collected on sales of gasoline and biofuels,
    and the amount of biofuels that would have
    been produced if the credits had not been available.
    The costs to taxpayers of using a biofuel to reduce gasoline
    consumption by one gallon are $1.78 for ethanol
    made from corn and $3.00 for cellulosic ethanol. The
    cost of reducing an equivalent amount of diesel fuel
    (that is, a quantity having the same amount of energy
    as a gallon of gasoline) using biodiesel is $2.55, based
    on the tax policy in place through last year.
    B Similarly, the costs to taxpayers of reducing greenhouse

    That does not include the costs of state level tax incentives, nor the costs to consumers of mandates, nor the cost to consumers of damage to older vehicles and off-road engines which were never designed to use ethanol as a fuel.
    Ethanol has a place, but it should find it without subsidies and mandates.

  138. David M Brooks says:
    November 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Iowa State, non-peer reviewed publication, claims up to 40 cents a gallon cost reduction in gasoline prices due to ethanol based on a time-series model–not buying it.
    Fuel economy does not necessarily drop due to added ethanol in gasoline.
    Perhaps. But it does in the actual vehicles on the road.

    Don’t resort to appeal to authority. It is abundantly clear that some of the biggest crap published recently has been peer reviewed. The peer review process has been shown to be horribly corrupt and self serving and in no way guarantees quality in the output.
    If you have a problem with the data presented in the report please tell us what it is, but trying to dismiss it by saying it is not peer reviewed simply will not fly on this forum.
    Your assertion that their conclusions are wrong does not wash with the real world experience of the 1970’s and 1980’s when ethanol was added to gasoline specifically to reduce costs at the pump — which it did.
    Gasohol (as it was called at the time) was several cents a gallon cheaper than straight gasoline. Accounting for inflation 5-10 cents a gallon cheaper in 1973 would correspond to 25-50 cents a gallon in 2010, which brackets their numbers quite well. When any commodity is in short supply and prices are increased due to that shortage any means that increases available supply will drive down prices.
    Would you care to submit data to backup your assertion that added ethanol added to gasoline must always increase fuel consumption given I have shown controlled tests that show there is no direct correlation between increasing ethanol percentage and increasing fuel mileage? In fact the correlation can be negative where cars can get better fuel mileage on high ethanol blends than they do on low or no ethanol gasoline blends.
    You are confusing “does” and “should”. Yes I agree Detroit FFV’s get crappy fuel mileage on E85 and high ethanol blends. That is because they are:
    A.) Incompetent engineers and cannot develop systems as efficient as home hobby conversions.
    B.) It is not cost effective to get EPA approval for the engine modifications necessary to achieve reasonable fuel efficiency on high ethanol blends
    C.) They are converting them to use E85 to get CAFE allowances only and there is absolutely no reason to expend engineering talent, and research on optimizing E85 performance when it will gain them nothing financially.
    I am inclined to believe B. and C. are far more likely than A.

    Advocate advocating for subsidies and tariffs, and a tariff is another form of subsidy.

    Another advocacy group, note from the table in the testimony, that while total corn production has increased very little in the last few years, corn for ethanol has increased significantly, by 38%. That is enough to affect food prices.

    Are you actually saying an advocate should not be expected to present the best evidence they have to support their position, and that the anti-ethanol advocates do not do the same? Being opposed to ethanol is an advocacy position also, to presume otherwise is absurd. If advocacy is a test for validity, your sources are no more valid than mine.
    If the intent of expanding the fuel supply with ethanol is to reduce dependence on foreign energy suppliers, are you saying it makes sense to you to allow Brazil to crush our ethanol industry with state subsidized sugar cane ethanol, in an economy that uses near slave labor methods and simply switch our dependence from the middle east oil fields to the sugar cane fields of Brazil?
    Are you actually asserting that you have no problem with Brazilian ethanol producers getting U.S. tax breaks intended to help build out our ethanol infrastructure to increase our fuel security?
    You have to look at these issues strategically.
    1. A decision has been made to provide a blender tax credit to encourage the oil companies to use ethanol blended into gasoline to stretch fuel supplies and reduce our exposure to external manipulation of our fuel supplies by other countries.
    Right or wrong that is the method that has been chosen.
    If that is the case, do you allow external suppliers to rip off the American tax payer and at the same time compete unfairly with the U.S. Ethanol industry.
    Brazilian ethanol is a state supported export, but you want American companies to compete with that unfair trade situation unprotected?
    Sure it would be nice if all tax breaks and subsidies world wide for all forms of energy were stripped away and everyone competed on a completely level playing field. Large oil companies would have to raise private armies and navies to protect their oil shipments and would have to take on 100% of their exploration risks with no rapid depreciation or other benefits and this would be uniformly applied to every oil company and country in the world.
    Sorry charlie — not going to happen. The ethanol subsidies are paying their way, as the government gets back more tax revenues from the ethanol producers and their workers and secondary suppliers, than they pay out in blending tax credits. They are also achieving their intended goal of helping to give investors enough confidence that new ethanol production can actually be sold, resulting in a new industry which keeps transportation fuel dollars here at home rather than shipping that income overseas.
    You spend one dollar on overseas oil and your out a dollar and get a dollars worth of fuel. You spend that same dollar here at home for local production of fuel and you not only get back one dollar worth of fuel but that dollar rolls over in the economy about 6x as it moves from seller to producer to secondary supplier to wage earner to a final long term investment like buying a car. At each step of that process it is taxed at about 15%-20% as income then taxed again at point of sale, all of which goes back to local state and federal tax revenue. Net result the economy sees $6.00+ of economic activity and the various governments that paid out various tax incentives get back more tax revenue than they gave up to provide the incentive.

    You present pro-corn advocacy sources as evidence and then suggest the CBO is providing a biased analysis, but provide no evidence of that.

    No you obviously missed the whole point — I told you exactly what the problem was with the CBO report. Like all CBO reports it can only address the specific question and assumptions it is asked to address. Just because a source is advocating a position does not necessarily make their data bad. The folks opposed to fuel ethanol are just as biased and are also advocating a position, are you proposing that every source you have cited is also useless?
    You can’t have it both ways, your sources are also advocating a position. If you have a problem with the data presented, tell us where the data is wrong. I have already shown you how I think the prevailing anti-ethanol advocacy groups are misrepresenting the case and providing bad data. They are making blanket assertions that simply fail to match the facts or the historical record.
    If adding ethanol to gasoline did not increase availability and reduce prices I would not have been buying ethanol added gasoline 38 years ago when we were forced to drive miles out of our way to find gas stations that still had fuel to sell. Due to the 4 x increase in oil prices at the time, everyone was price shopping gasoline and gasohol was always a few cents cheaper than gasoline in spite of the limited ethanol production capacity and technology of the time.
    I have shown you that both my car, and production cars used in controlled studies can and do get higher fuel mileage on some blends of ethanol.
    I have shown that fuel mileage absolutely does not track with the volumetric energy content of the fuel but it depends on the engine management system used.
    That proves that the reduced mileage of FFV’s is not due to the reduced volumetric energy content of ethanol, but due to improper engine management and lack of incentive for manufactures to optimize engines for oxygenated fuels.
    Larry

  139. “”””” philw1776 says:
    November 13, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    Further proof that yes, California is indeed the Lindsay Lohan of states. NFW we in NH are gonna bail these fools out financially either. “””””
    Well Phil the feeling is mutual. Considering how your State is politically situated it would appear that you have had a hand in the status quo.
    So we will promise to not help bailing (literally) when the sea level rises back there.
    Anyway; with so few people we would hardly expect your State to offer any aid; we wouldn’t call on Rhode Island or Delaware either; we have shopping malls bigger than those States. I believe Delaware can fit in 12 different non-overlapping places in Alaska’s Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge; and I lost count of how many times Rhode Island would fit. How did those places ever get to be States anyway ?

  140. “”””” Kum Dollison says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm
    Corn ethanol subsidies (the $0.45/gal blenders credit) end on Jan. 1st. “””””
    Well that is great; that must mean that ethanol producers have demonstrated that they are economically and energetically viable without any subsidies.
    So I’ll be ready and waiting to fill my tank up with cheaper ethanogas and get better gas mileage to boot.

  141. Don’t resort to appeal to authority. It is abundantly clear that some of the biggest crap published recently has been peer reviewed. The peer review process has been shown to be horribly corrupt and self serving and in no way guarantees quality in the output.
    If you have a problem with the data presented in the report please tell us what it is, but trying to dismiss it by saying it is not peer reviewed simply will not fly on this forum.

    You are right that crap can get through the peer-review process, and the fact that a study is not published in a peer-reviewed journal doesn’t mean that it is bad, and the fact the paper is not published is only one of my objections. As for the peer-review process it at least means that people besides the authors have looked at the study, maybe asked some questions, the authors will be asked to declare conflicts of interest, and may be required to provide other researchers with data and methods so that the study could be replicated. None of that took place here.
    As for potential bias, one of the reasons I am dubious about the study is that it is Iowa State, in terms of energy policy they are likely to be corn advocates. In a multi-variate times series study of the type that you linked to there are plenty of opportunities to bias the outcome, even without a deliberate intent. Note that the Center has a budget of $4 million, 85% funded by grants and contracts–the funding organizations or companies are not listed. The authors cite earlier studies that are contrary to the authors’ conclusions, and are themselves surprised by the apparent magnitude of the 30 to 40 cent a gallon savings to consumers. With gasoline prices between $2.50 and $4.00, and if the ethanol were used in E10, then that would imply the ethanol was provided for free.

    Your assertion that their conclusions are wrong does not wash with the real world experience of the 1970′s and 1980′s when ethanol was added to gasoline specifically to reduce costs at the pump — which it did.

    Ethanol was added to gasoline due to lobbying and political pay-offs by Archer Daniels Midland, which received lucrative subsidies. That’s the “real world.”

    Would you care to submit data to backup your assertion that added ethanol added to gasoline must always increase fuel consumption given I have shown…

    I didn’t say “always” increases fuel consumption, just for the actual vehicles on the road. Here’s some data from Consumer Reports:

    Aug. 31, 2006, 6:25 p.m. EDT
    Flex-fuel fans beware
    Consumer Reports says mileage takes a hit with ethanol blend
    By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Sport-utility loyalists may be four-wheeling through the wrong mud bog if they think ethanol-friendly SUVs will cut gas costs and help the U.S. curb its dependence on foreign oil, according to a Consumer Reports study released Thursday.
    The consumer watchdog publication ran a battery of tests on the 2007 Chevy Tahoe flexible-fuel vehicle, which can run on either E85 — a mixture consisting of 85% ethanol — or gasoline, and found that the SUV’s mileage dropped from 14 mpg to 10 mpg on E85.
    The decline could be expected in any flex-fuel vehicle, the report said, because ethanol has a lower energy content than gasoline.
    Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that ethanol has 75,670 BTUs per gallon instead of 115,400 for gasoline, which means that you would have to burn more fuel to generate the same amount of energy

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mileage-takes-a-hit-with-ethanol-blend-use-report
    I would believe that a modern engine optimized for ethanol would get the same miles per Btu from ethanol as a modern engine optimized for gasoline does from gasoline. I would be very skeptical that a vehicle optimized for ethanol burning ethanol would get more miles per gallon than a vehicle optimized for gasoline burning gasoline , given the disparity in Btus per gallon, even given your anecdotal evidence. If you’ve been able to build such vehicles perhaps you are wasting your time posting here and should be pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity.

    Are you actually asserting that you have no problem with Brazilian ethanol producers getting U.S. tax breaks intended to help build out our ethanol infrastructure to increase our fuel security?

    No, I would eliminate the tax breaks for all.

    Sure it would be nice if all tax breaks and subsidies world wide for all forms of energy were stripped away and everyone competed on a completely level playing field.

    Almost, but not exactly right–what would be nice if all energy sources in the US market had the same tax treatment, no subsidies, and no mandates.

    Large oil companies would have to raise private armies and navies to protect their oil shipments…

    I thought the Navy stopped running convoys in WWII. Petroleum companies receive no special protection, most of US petroleum consumption is sourced from the United States itself or near neighbors, Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. Even if the US greatly reduced its oil consumption, there is no reason to believe that defense spending would decrease.

    …and would have to take on 100% of their exploration risks with no rapid depreciation or other benefits and this would be uniformly applied to every oil company and country in the world

    All US taxpaying firms can deduct their expenses, write-off bad investments, and accelerated depreciation is the norm, it is not some special subsidy for Big Oil.
    And there is no need to enforce a uniform standard on “the world,” nothing that Iran, Russia, Mexico, etc. do with their petroleum industries means that the US consumer and taxpayer should be forced to support uneconomic industries like ethanol, wind, solar, etc.
    That fact these “alternative energy” industries depend on mandates and subsidies to exist means that they are wasting scarce economic resources, that investors could have allocated more efficiently to meet consumer needs. If these alternative energy sources were efficient and saved resources they wouldn’t be “alternative” and they would be competitive in the marketplace. Resources spent in these industries represent waste, not greenness.

  142. Larry makes some very good points which need to be emphasized. However , he needs to check the rhetoric such as Brazilian slave labour and put the same effort into checking his facts there as he has done in the USA.
    Reading his posts, I think that he needs to write a book on the subject, covering the matter globally with the same diligence.
    Points to clearly note
    1. Every dollar spent on home grown bioenergy is a dollar import saved
    2. Every dollar spent on biofuels is a dollar not spent on fossil fuels
    3. Every home dollar circulates through the local economy
    4. Every gallon of biofuel bought reduces the total demand for fossil fuels.
    Whilst these can apply to say wind energy, the efficiency of wind energy is so low plus it has hidden subsidies such as back up power, that dont apply to biofuels, so that those benefits are negated.
    Another point that he made is that the production of ethanol actually increases the volume of animal feed available.
    It seems to me that we have a good balance of biofuels available, ethanol in less warm climates and biodiesel in warmer. This gives a good global spread and enables the productive use of a vast swaths of marginal lands. Increasing biofuel production also reduces demand and thus prices for fossil fuels.

  143. Sorry I was distracted.
    Further points to note are the so called hidden energy or woe betide CO2 inputs of biofuels. This again is misrepresentation. The growing and harvesting is undertaken with biofuelled vehicles. No hidden input there. Similarly the processing generally uses or aims to use all the biowaste as process fuel.
    Thus we have a very efficient closed system.
    Fertilizers and such, well yes but they can and are being reduced or completely negated.

  144. “”””” Andrew30 says:
    November 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm
    Kum Dollison says: November 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    “No CO2 is “Added” to the atmosphere.”
    So the land is tilled with oxen, the seeds are planted by hand and grown without fertilizer, herbicides or pesticides, then harvested by hand; you use hand pumps to extract the needed water from the ground (or use hand made clay catchments); peal, cut and mash it by hand and ferment it in hand made clay barrels; distill it using sunlight and magnifying glasses, bottle it with hand pumps. Carry it to the city on bicycles, and measure it out with a flask.
    You ignore the inputs, that it why it works in your mind.
    “No CO2 is “Added” to the atmosphere.”
    You are delusional.
    Kum you are a source of misinformation. “””””
    Now everybody knows that burning ethanol or any bio-fuel will put CO2 in the atmosphere.
    And we have it on good peer reviewed authority, that any man made or anthropogenic CO2 put into the atmospehre will remain there for 200 years; some say for thousands of years.
    So it doesn’t matter that growing corn or other plants for bio-fuels takes CO2 out of the atmospehre; so did whatever was growing there prior to planting the bio-crops.
    So if you have to wait for 200 years or more for the bio-fuel CO2 to leave the atmosphere; you haven’t gained a thing over burning a fossil fuel.
    All I care about is how soon I can put it in my tank and how cheap will it be.
    As I recall, the grand Prix cars that ran on high alcohol fuels had very poor fuel economy; that is they used a lot of gallons of fuel to go a shorter distance; so even if they had power; they had to carry a bigegr gas tank load.
    The 1.5 litre 135 degree Vee-16 Centrifugal supercharger BRM engine of the early 1950s used high alcohol fuels; it had such a high supercharger pressure, that it almost equalled the actual geometric compression ratio of the engine. At its peak in about 1954 the supercharger pressure was about 5.6 ATA; I think the compression ratio was only about 6:1 The optimum RPM for letting out the clutch to take off was about 7,000 RPM (crankshaft). The drive shaft was a 2:1 reduction taken from the center of the crankshaft. Talk about a fantastic engine; that was it. Too bad it wasn’t fuel injected; but had ordinary (semi) carburettors. !.95 inch bore and 1.90 inch stroke as I recall; 91 cubic inches and about 700 max horsepower in 1954. Had a ferocious torque curve that increased torque with engine RPM because of the centrifugal supercharger, at a very steep rate; so if the wheels started to slip, the RPM went up and so did the torque so you couldn’t 4-wheel drift the damn thing.
    But it sure made one hell of a lot of noise going down the straights.
    In the 1930s Alpha Romeo also built a 135 degree Vee-16 but it was 3.0 litres, and unsupercharged. Both of them were twin overhead camshaft hemi head designs.

  145. Grey Lensman says:
    November 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm
    Larry makes some very good points which need to be emphasized. However , he needs to check the rhetoric such as Brazilian slave labour and put the same effort into checking his facts there as he has done in the USA.

    Lets be clear I did not say they “used slave labor” I stated that they used near slave labor — poorly worded perhaps, but I think a fair statement as I was referring to a farm harvest economy built on the backs of some 500,000 impoverished cane cutters barely surviving on piece work wages that typically come to about $1.35 an hour in extremely poor work conditions. Many of them suffering lung fibrosis as a result of their work in the fields. There were 312 worker deaths reported between 2002 and 2005 and 82,995 work related injuries reported. Not exactly what Americans would consider acceptable work conditions.
    The point being that the Brazilians have an unfair cost of production advantage because they use harvest labor that is so poorly paid that it would be impossible for U.S. companies to compete even with mechanized cane harvest, since current mechanical harvest technology causes increase crop damage compared to hand cutting and lower actual yield from the field.
    Perhaps that is why Brazil’s Ministry of Labor has an anti-slavery division that goes on raids to free agricultural slave labor.
    As reported by By Kevin G. Hall of Knight Ridder Newspapers reported in Sept 2004:
    ” Earlier this year, however, the government acknowledged to the United Nations that at least 25,000 Brazilians work under “conditions analogous to slavery.” The top anti-slavery official in Brasilia, the capital, puts the number of modern slaves at 50,000. “
    I would offer this CNN report as evidence that my statement was not just rhetoric but a well demonstrated fact that abusive labor practices are rampant in Brazil and part of the reason they can produce sugar cane ethanol at such low prices.
    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-09/world/brazil.slavery_1_slave-laborers-debt-bondage-anti-slavery-international?_s=PM:WORLD
    Or this report from the Joseph Korbel school of international studies at the University of Denver.
    http://www.du.edu/korbel/hrhw/researchdigest/slavery/agriculture.pdf
    Larry

  146. Larry, thank you for your clarification. I felt it stemmed from a US perception that anything less than USD10 per hour was slave labour. Its a sad fact that the vast bulk of the world exists on far far less than that.
    Thus bio-fuels with community pricing structures help get both work and dollars into peoples pockets as well as help build viable communities. The problem is the Corporation and its profit/stakeholder creeds. Thats why wind power cannot work.
    Look forward to reading your book

  147. George E. Smith,
    Plants grow, they take in CO2 from the atmosphere. They die. They rot. They release the CO2 back into the atmosphere. Instead of waiting for them to rot, we process the starch, and, or cellulose, and release the CO2 into the atmosphere, ourselves. What’s so hard to figure out about that?
    And, you think that is the same as digging up coal, or oil, and burning it? Really? Peer Reviewed, huh? Whatever.
    Let me give you a hint. You get more than enough corn oil from an acre to run the tractors, trucks, and trains in farming, and transporting the ethanol.
    The cellulose from the cobs returns, well more than enough bio-gas from the lignin to power the process, produce the fertilizer to raise the crops, and supply excess electricity.
    The manure from the cattle fed with the DDGS is also available for anaerobic digestion to produce methane, and have an excellent dry fertilizer left over, Or the DDGS can, themselves, be used as an excellent fertilizer, and insecticide.
    But, what the hey? I’m just a Delusional, Misinformationalist.

  148. I should have said, “Cobs, and 1/3 of the Stover.” That’s what Poet, and, now, Dupont-Danisco are using.

  149. Just some anecdotal evidence to add to the discussion.
    I own a Ford FFV truck. On E10 I average about 19MPG, on E85 I average 16.5MPG. I didn’t do any controlled studies, nor did anybody pay me (I take donations 😉 I run my truck under all sorts of load conditions, and those are my numbers. E85 maybe cheaper per gallon, but I have to buy more of it to go the same distance.
    My personal opinion, is that the E85 business is a load of hogwash, and once you add in all the additional and REOCCURRING costs (including CO/CO2) I don’t see the point of it.

  150. Kum Dollison
    But, what the hey? I’m just a Delusional, Misinformationalist.
    Yes . Nice to have admitted it .
    Yes, Greg, but it has an extremely high Octane rating (114 vs RBOB’s 84.) As a result, the newest engines such as G.M.’s 2.0 L TDI (in the 2012 Buick Regal achieve virtually the same mileage as straight gasoline.) It’s possible that when the new Delphi Heated Injectors hit the market in the fall of 2012 E85 in such an engine might get Better mileage than straight gasoline.
    You are also badly ignorant of basic physics .
    Power and energy are 2 very different things .
    The specific energy of Ethanol is 24 MJ/l
    The specific energy of E85 is 25,7 MJ/l
    The specific energy of E10 is 33 MJ/l
    The specific energy of pure gasoline is 35 MJ/l
    As you nicely see , the energy content of a liter of fuel decreases by 50 % when the ethanol content goes from 0 to 100 % .
    So with an engine optimised for gasoline and an engine optimised for pure Ethanol so that the efficiency is equivalent , the mileage of a pure ethanol engine will be 50 % less than a pure gasoline engine .
    This is just trivial energy conservation law that you cannot fight against .
    Saying anything else is indeed delusional misinformation .
    The Ethanol used as fuel will be better than gasoline the day when the price of gasoline per liter will be about 50% more than the price of ethanol without subsidies .
    This day is not today and it will not be in 2012 either .
    But when it comes , everybody will begin to use ethanol because it will simply be everyone’s interest .
    Then there is another major issue – energy efficiency of Ethanol production from field to wheel .
    This is much debated and many papers are written about that because it is indeed not obvious if the energy used to produce Ethanol and byproducts is more or less than energy contained in Ethanol and byproducts .
    A paper (source is government so it is biased but it gives other references whith other conclusions for those interested) is here : http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/AF/265.pdf
    While this energy balance seems positive for sugar cane in Brazil , it is doubtful for corn in US .
    The least that can be said is that here , like in climate “science” there is no consensus and that controversial hypothesis about byproducts are dominating the picture .
    Of course the energy balance doesn’t say anything about profitability where the question is no more energy but whether producing ethanol competitively can make profit .
    The answer to this last question is a resounding no everywhere but in Brazil and that’s why big corporation producing ethanol in US and Europe are getting taxpayer’s money by truckloads .
    And even that did not not prevent bankrupcies and closures of Ethanol plants when the price of gasoline went down and the subsidies didn’t increase .
    For the long term the only remaining question is the energy balance for other sources than sugar cane .
    If it is positive then it will be one day economically profitable .
    If it is not then there is a fundamental physical as well as economical problem .

  151. “”””” hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 15, 2010 at 9:43 pm
    Grey Lensman says:
    November 15, 2010 at 7:14 pm
    Larry makes some very good points which need to be emphasized. However , he needs to check the rhetoric such as Brazilian slave labour and put the same effort into checking his facts there as he has done in the USA.
    Lets be clear I did not say they “used slave labor” I stated that they used near slave labor – poorly worded perhaps, but I think a fair statement as I was referring to a farm harvest economy built on the backs of some 500,000 impoverished cane cutters barely surviving on piece work wages that typically come to about $1.35 an hour in extremely poor work conditions. Many of them suffering lung fibrosis as a result of their work in the fields. There were 312 worker deaths reported between 2002 and 2005 and 82,995 work related injuries reported. Not exactly what Americans would consider acceptable work conditions. “””
    I’m not one to make light of overworked people.
    So you are saying that with a farm worker population of 500,000 there were 104 deaths each year for those three years.
    So how many migrant Mexican (long time legal and illegal) farm workers die each year in just California’s Central valley; say just between Modesto and say Bakersfield ?
    I’m familiar with the area between Fresno and Visalia; and I would not be surprised to hear that 100 die each year in just that area; and there’s nothing like 500,000 of them in the area; not even 1/10th of that.
    I’m also familiar with what those people get paid; the legal ones; long time resident US citizens who migrate along the entire west coast; make more money than the Cesar Chavez United farm Workers Union members; and they have better work conditions than the Union workers; their employers (often Armenian Family Farmers) value their work and treat them well.
    The illegal ones can only get work , by working for their Coyote masters; and those Coyotes come in every minority ethnic stripe; and oppress their own kind. The key feature of those kind of jobs is that word “illegal”. Those jobs are only available for “illegales”, and the moment they get amnestised and become legal they will lose those jobs; which will then go to a new flood of illegal workers.
    As for alternative fuels. An aquaintance of mine lives with his wife on a small farm over in Nevada; he’s far to smart to live in California. He runs his farm including his tractor equipment on fuel he concocts from the used fat from a donut shop in the local town. I have no idea how he gets around various laws and such; but he has lived thatw ay for years. If the donut shop goes belly up because kids will be forbidden to eat donuts; then I guess he will have to think of something else.
    It’s great that he can do that; there’s not enough donut shops to provide fuel for all of us.
    But more power to you ethanol fans; have at it; just don’t ask me to subsidise it; I don’t eat donuts either. And it’s good that you can run your operations entirely on your own fuel output; that leaves more fossil fuel that is available to the rest of us.

  152. I’ll tell you what is “Delusional.” Trying to make mileage calculations w/o taking into consideration the “Burn Characteristics” of the fuels involved, and ignoring Real World Empirical Evidence.

  153. And, if “Brazilian Cane” Ethanol is so hot, maybe you can explain why we’re “Exporting” American Corn Ethanol (Unsubsidized) to Brazil, and beating Brazil’s pants off in the Global Marketplace.

  154. TomVonk says:
    November 16, 2010 at 5:25 am
    Kum Dollison

    You are also badly ignorant of basic physics .
    Power and energy are 2 very different things .
    The specific energy of Ethanol is 24 MJ/l
    The specific energy of E85 is 25,7 MJ/l
    The specific energy of E10 is 33 MJ/l
    The specific energy of pure gasoline is 35 MJ/l
    As you nicely see , the energy content of a liter of fuel decreases by 50 % when the ethanol content goes from 0 to 100 % .
    So with an engine optimised for gasoline and an engine optimised for pure Ethanol so that the efficiency is equivalent , the mileage of a pure ethanol engine will be 50 % less than a pure gasoline engine .
    This is just trivial energy conservation law that you cannot fight against .
    Saying anything else is indeed delusional misinformation .

    Yes, you would be correct if you qualifications were correct (possible), but they are not.
    First and most important. The volumetric energy content of the fuel does not matter, what matters is how much useful work you can produce from the energy contained in the fuel. This is where everyone misses the boat and goes off on a wild goose chase.
    Useful work extracted from the fuel is the only thing that matters for fuel economy and that depends on a lot of other issues than just the fuel energy available to burn.
    There are fundamental differences in how spark ignition 4 cycle internal combustion engines perform on pure hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline) and high ethanol content fuels. These differences are inherent in the different characteristics of the fuels.
    A typical highly developed gasoline engine has a thermal efficiency of around 33%, turning that fraction of the fuel energy released into work.
    As pointed out in an earlier post:
    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/presentations/gni-mjb-051303.pdf
    Optimized ethanol fueled engines have already reached thermal efficiencies of 41%. This is done by using very high compression ratios which dramatically improve thermal efficiencies of all otto cycle engines. These are compression ratios that are simply impossible on conventional gasoline and barely achievable on very expensive racing gasolines. This is why high performance gasoline engines can produce more power on high octane gasoline, it allows the engine to run higher compression ratios (among other things).
    In addition to the thermal efficiency of the actual combustion process there are other aspects of the engines operation which are more efficient with alcohol based fuels due to their higher heat capacity/latent heat of evaporation. As a result of those differences between gasoline and high ethanol content fuels you get other operational advantages.
    Higher degree of fuel cooling of the intake air which increases maximum charge density due to a cooler intake air charge.
    Higher intake air charge cooling effect on the intake valve, which allows the engine to operate at higher heat load without melting the valve, or decreasing its strength so much that exotic metals are used. This also scavenges what in a gasoline engine would be waste heat that went into the cooling system and brings it back into the combustion chamber.
    Due to the high cooling power of the latent heat of evaporation of the fuel in a high ethanol fuel engine, the compression stroke is more isothermal. More of the heat of compression is used to vaporize the fuel rather than increase cylinder pressure. This results in a reduction in work to compress the intake air charge and a cooler air charge at peak compression. This reduces heat loss to the cooling system, reduces heat load on the engine for a given power level and increases the delta T from the cold to the hot side of the heat diagram.
    High ethanol fuels also produce more moles of exhaust gas for a given amount of intake air when burned than gasoline, which changes the shape and duration of the pressure in the cylinder. Although peak cylinder temperatures are slightly lower (EGT – exhaust gas temperature) typically drops about 200 deg F. you get more work out, because this allows the engine to work harder without causing heat damage. It also results in a higher average cylinder pressure throughout the power stroke. (pressure does not drop as rapidly as it does on a gasoline fueled engine as the piston descends the cylinder due to higher latent heat of the exhaust gas ).
    The net result of that is that a given engine fueled with a high ethanol fuel blend will accept load at lower rpms than the same engine will on gasoline. This means the driver can spend less time in lower gears, can shift up earlier and has less need to down shift for hills. Users of E85 conversions report that on gasoline, their car would constantly down shift to pull hills on certain stretches of road where once converted to E85 the car was perfectly happy to simply pull the hill in a higher gear, and engine rpm would not drop enough to trigger a down shift. Likewise users towing heavy loads that used to cause over heating could now easily pull the load without causing any heat issues or down shifting to ease the work load on the engine. Engine rpm (ie gearing) is a major factor in fuel mileage. Any change that allows the engine to perform fewer revolutions to cover the same ground will reduce fuel consumption per mile.
    There is a lot more to fuel mileage per gallon than the raw energy content of the fuel burned. It includes changes in the thermal efficiency of the engine and secondary effects like changes in driver behavior due to the increased willingness of the engine to accept load due to the better low rpm behavior of E85 and its higher average cylinder pressure, and behavior under load allowing it to use higher gearing more often.
    The high cooling power of high ethanol blends also allow the engine to run at leaner fuel air mixtures under load, that if used on gasoline would melt pistons or valves. The wider flammability limits of ethanol also reduce misfire (which all engines have to some extent), so you get some “free power strokes” that would not happen on gasoline.
    High ethanol fuel blends also burn considerably faster than gasoline at max power rich mixtures which results in more efficient use of the energy released, as it more closely approximates the ideal instantaneous energy release of an ideal engine, and less energy is thrown away by fuel still burning when the exhaust valve opens as can happen on gasoline fuels which cannot evaporate and burn in the time available before the exhaust cycle ends.
    Net result is that computing fuel efficiency based only on the raw stored chemical energy of the fuel is a fools errand. You have to consider the entire operating system and the many small effects that stem from changes in fuel behavior.
    Last but not least the higher exhaust gas volume of high ethanol fuels is very turbocharge friendly causing them to spool the turbo quicker improving drive-ability and improving throttle response. They also reduce heat load on the turbocharger hot side turbo helping to keep the turbo within design temperature limits at high power operation.
    The ideal optimized FFV in my opinion would be small displacement turbocharged engine with variable boost capability that tailored the peak boost pressure to the fuel used. On high ethanol fuel blends it would run boost pressures as high as 35 psi, and on straight gasoline would run lower boost to prevent engine damage of about 14 psi. It would get high efficiency on both fuels by working them at their respective operational limits. Due to its low displacement would use very little fuel at highway cruise when you only need 15 -20 hp to maintain highway speed but could develop 300-400 hp for acceleration on demand.
    You can believe the theory or the folks that have actually played with high ethanol fuel blends. I have never met a person with a performance car that has ever been disappointed after converting to E85. Most of them get more power and cheaper fuel costs per mile, engines that don’t over heat under hard use and are generally more user friendly than a high strung gasoline engine operating on the edge of destruction.
    Pay your money and take your choice.
    Larry

  155. Kum Dollison says:
    “I’ll tell you what is “Delusional.” Trying to make mileage…” & etc.
    ‘Delusional’ is a type of crazy, no?
    What is insane is burning food for automotive fuel in a world where over a billion people subsist on less than a dollar a day, when there are billions of barrels of untapped fossil fuels readily available. Food prices have risen rapidly since ethanol was mandated, resulting in riots from Mexico to Bangladesh.
    Crazy, nuts, delusional, insane, wacko. Take your pick.

  156. The Starch in that Yellow Field Corn was going to feed cattle, to be eaten by “Rich” people. It wasn’t going to anyone making “$1.00/day.”
    Mexican Tortillas are made from “Mexican White Sweet Corn.” Mexican White Sweet Corn sells, totally independent of, and for a whole lot more than U.S. Yellow Field Corn.
    The Demonstrations in Mexico came about as a result of a corrupt, and inefficient Mexican Agricultural, and Food Industry. The answer, as it turned out, was the importation, a few months down the road, of Cheap U.S. Yellow Field Corn. This was, in turn, I suppose, incorporated into the Tortillas that were exported back to the U.S., taking pressure off of the White Sweet Corn Prices.
    After the speculation bubble in 2008 Corn Prices continued to drop while ethanol production continued to increase. By the way, ALL of the New ethanol plants being built, now, and in the future, are to use Cellulosic Feedstocks.

  157. Kum Dollison,
    You need to understand the economic principles of marginal cost and substitution. Protests over rapidly rising food prices since the introduction of ethanol have occurred worldwide, not just in Mexico. Why do you think the price of sugar has risen sharply beginning at the time ethanol legislation was being proposed?
    If ethanol was a good idea, the market would have brought about the switch without requiring heavy taxpayer-funded government subsidies.

  158. Smokey, your Sugar chart begins in 1999. IIRC, it was Dec. of that year that Oil was selling for less than $10.00 bbl. Today, Oil is selling for $82.26 bbl. This, in spite of the fact that we’re producing considerably more oil today than we were then.
    It’s called “5% Annual Growth in Emerging Markets (China, India, Brazil, etc,)” Smokey.
    I’ve already explained Mexico, and Tortillas. In Egypt the Bakers went on strike. In India, and China the government instituted “Export” Controls. Australia had a severe drought. So did Argentina, I believe.
    In the U.S. a bunch of Wall Street Speculators thought the Iowa/Northern Midwest Floods had wiped out the Corn Crop. I cautioned everyone who would listen that the farmers would replant with fast-growing seeds, and, likely, produce a normal crop. Which they did.
    A year later, corn was back to $3.30/bu.
    Correlation is Not “Causation,” Smokey. Watching the Climate Wars should have taught you that.

  159. Kum Dollison,
    Why try to conflate the price of sugar with a barrel of oil? You can’t eat oil. The rest of your examples amount to the same kind of cherry-picking.
    My response was to suggest that producing more fossil fuels makes much more sense than using food in place of gasoline. Your opinion is obviously different.
    I recommend that you put the keyword “ethanol” into the WUWT search box, and get up to speed. There’s a lot of good info there. The bottom line is that if ethanol needs huge government subsidies, it is a bad idea. Here’s a quick econ [my minor] refresher for you:
    1. Government is force

    2. Good ideas do not have to be forced on others

    3. Bad ideas should not be forced on others

    4. Liberty is necessary for the difference between good ideas and bad ideas to be revealed
    Subsidies are government force and almost always a bad idea, because they mis-allocate resources by subverting the free market.

  160. “”””” hotrod ( Larry L ) says:
    November 16, 2010 at 9:42 am
    TomVonk says:
    November 16, 2010 at 5:25 am
    Kum Dollison
    …………………………
    There are fundamental differences in how spark ignition 4 cycle internal combustion engines perform on pure hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline) and high ethanol content fuels. These differences are inherent in the different characteristics of the fuels.
    ………………..
    Optimized ethanol fueled engines have already reached thermal efficiencies of 41%. This is done by using very high compression ratios which dramatically improve thermal efficiencies of all otto cycle engines. These are compression ratios that are simply impossible on conventional gasoline and barely achievable on very expensive racing gasolines. This is why high performance gasoline engines can produce more power on high octane gasoline, it allows the engine to run higher compression ratios (among other things).
    So Larry, I have a question; and perhaps you have the answer since you know a lot about ICEs.
    I don’t know if it is current law (EPA regulations) but I know it used to be; that it was illegal to sell a passenger automobile in the USA that would NOT run properly on regular (87 Octane) gasoline. Now manufacturers could suggest or even “recommend” that you use “premium” gas; 91 Octane; but they could not require it; for any model they sold in the USA.
    The reason for this restriction was to specifically eliminate high compression ratio engines; and the reason for that desired end result was that the very high peak burning Temperatures and pressures inside high compression ratio engines are the very conditions that cause the engine to burn the air itself and create NOX. The nitrogen in NOX is not an impurity or additive in the fuel; it is simply the atmopspheric nitrogen the engine ingests.
    Theoretically; you could eliminate the fuel, whose only purpose is the heat the working fluid (the air), and provide the heating energy with say a laser; assuming of course you can find a laser wavelength that would be strongly absorbed in pressurized hot air; and such an engine will still create NOX if it is high enough compresssion ratio and operating Temperature.
    So that was the argument given for eliminating high compression ratio engines. The hot Porsche and other sporty cars all recommended using 91 octane premium; but they could not require its use; the car had to run just fine on 87 octane. Like I said I don’t know if this was changed.
    One reason the hot car makers recommended premium fuel was that it would help them maintain the myth that their cars would go 50,000, or 100,000 miles without any service. Using 91 octane fuel would delay the onset of knocking, as carbon built up in their engines.
    Now I understand perfectly how high compression leads to higher thermal efficiency; if you can use high octane fuel to prevent knocking. High compression engines also generate much higher peak bearing loads, than do lower compression engines; and supercharged engines operate with lower bearing loads than high compression non-supercharged engines.
    So now what is the story for alky burning engines; how do they get around the NOX problem; or do they use cat converters to fix the NOX problem.
    The high compression engine also because of its higher thermal efficiency, generates less waste heat; so it needs less radiator cooling; and supercharged engines are a real cooling problem. And of course I understand how you can drive the Kompressor off a turbo in the exhaust.
    The Wankel engine went down the tubes because of thermal efficiency concerns since it is difficult to get a high compression ratio as I understand. Well maybe that is all changing with flex fuels.

  161. “”””” TomVonk says:
    November 16, 2010 at 5:25 am “””””
    Mother Gaia to Tom Vonk !!
    Say Tom,
    A while back you presented a couple of guest papers (as I recall) covering a “proof” that CO2 could NOT warm the atmosphere.
    I believe the gist of your presentation was that under the stated condition of “local thermal equilibrium” the nitrogen or oxygen in the atmosphere delivered “heat” to the CO2 just as much as the CO2 delivered to the N2 or O2; so there was no net warming.
    Well as you know, I have a thermometer in every single atom or molecule; so I know the Temperature of every single one of them.
    You humans define Temperature in terms of the mean kinetic energy of a whole bunch of molecules; which range over a distribution that is of Maxwell-Boltzmann form. Due to an argument by GE Smith; the time averaged kinetic energy of any single molecule is the same as the mean energy of the large assemblage; which is how I know the Temperature (eventually) of every single one of them.
    Now LTE presumes that everything is at the same Temperature (in the closed system) so in your gas mixture containing CO2, the Temperatures of the CO2, and N2, or O2, and anything else are all the same.
    So your postulate is correct, in that all of the molecules of whatever species interract with each other and exchange energies; but each and every one of them has the same Temperature; which means over some reasonable time frame the time averaged energy of each molecule is the same; regardless of what species of molecule.
    There would seem to be no controversy here; and I’m sure that Smith for one; agrees with that postulate.
    However that is also moot; because of the requirement for LTE, which can only exist in a closed system.
    But in the earth atmosphere I do not have a closed ssytem; and energy can be injected into any group of molecules; and I can keep track of exactly where it goes.
    In particular LWIR thermal Radiation photons in the range of 13.5 to 16.5 microns, can enter the region; and get captured by CO2 molecules; which then move to an excited state; the so-called bending mode of vibration.
    Now none of this escapes my attention; and any one of those CO2 molecules that is thus excited; now has a different and higher Temperature after it captures one of those photons. The other gases N2 and O2 are unaffected by those LWIR photons; but the condition of LTE is now violated, and the system is no longer in equilibrium.
    BUT ! pretty soon that CO2 molecule is going to undergo collisions with the N2, and O2, or Ar, and even with H2O molecules; and that excess energy that the CO2 molecule got from the captured photon, is going to get spread around among all the other molecules until even I can’t tell where it all went; except the temperature of the whole collection has gone up just a scoche; and the mean KE of each molecule regardless of species, is now higher than before.
    So your postulate is of course correct; but only while the system IS in LTE, and the introduction of additional energy to the system; however accomplished, will disrupt that LTE condition until that new energy is passed around to to all the molecules in the system.
    Energy losses that might occur as a result of spontaneous thermal radiation according to the BB law, will also be equilibrium disruptive until molecular collisions spread out that lost energy as well.
    Think of it this way; if you leave the poker in a bucket of water; the whole system will come to thermal equilibrium at some common Temperature. If you then put the poker in the fire; and get it red hot; and then put it back in the bucket of water; the thermal equilibrium will be broken; and the new introduced energy will be spread around until the bucket of water and the poker reach a new and presumably higher common Temperature. You can’t put the water from the bucket in the fire, without putting the fire out; but you can communicate heat to it via the intermediary ; aka the poker.

  162. George E. Smith says:
    November 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t know if it is current law (EPA regulations) but I know it used to be; that it was illegal to sell a passenger automobile in the USA that would NOT run properly on regular (87 Octane) gasoline. Now manufacturers could suggest or even “recommend” that you use “premium” gas; 91 Octane; but they could not require it; for any model they sold in the USA.

    Yes to my knowledge that is correct all cars must have a “limp home” mode that allows them to run on regular fuel even though they might recommend premium fuel (like my WRX does). They do that by running a stupid rich fuel air mixture (for cooler combustion) and modify the ignition timing to allow it to run on the low octane fuel without detonation (knocking). The engine design I mentioned would handle this easily as it would simply drop boost pressure if it detected knocking. Most modern engine management systems actively monitor for knocking and pull timing and richen the fuel mixture as needed to stop it in time to protect the engine (most of the time).
    If the driver insists on abusing the engine in spite of running low octane fuel it will eventually cause engine damage (usually a broken piston ring land).
    NOX is not a major issue with ethanol fuels due to their cool burning combustion. NOX formation requires high cylinder pressures and temperatures and the 200 degree F drop in EGT usually solves the problem. In fact E85 and ethanol are often used to “assist” a car that is just slightly failing NOX limits on Colorado’s IM240 test. Toss in 2-3 gallons of E85 and retest and they frequently will pass.
    All modern cars control NOX with catalytic converters — the so called 3 way cats, have one matrix to control unburned HC another to complete combustion of CO and a third to control NOX.
    Larry

  163. “”””” NOX is not a major issue with ethanol fuels due to their cool burning combustion. NOX formation requires high cylinder pressures and temperatures and the 200 degree F drop in EGT usually solves the problem. In fact E85 and ethanol are often used to “assist” a car that is just slightly failing NOX limits on Colorado’s IM240 test. Toss in 2-3 gallons of E85 and retest and they frequently will pass.
    All modern cars control NOX with catalytic converters — the so called 3 way cats, have one matrix to control unburned HC another to complete combustion of CO and a third to control NOX.
    Larry “””””
    Thanks Larry. I’m still a bit puzzled as to how you get the thermal efficiency up while keeping the burning Temperature down; but I’m more than happy to take your say so; since you evidently have put a lot of time into this issue and technology. There was a time; when I knew all about hot cars and what made them tick; and zoom too. I actually went to school with a chap by the name of Bruce McClaren; well he was two years behind me; and his dad was a racing enthusiast. Bruce won a racing scholarship, as a result of his performance in one of the NZ Grand Prix races; and that sent him to England for a year with the Cooper Team; who were then on top of the heap with their Formula three racers; built with a one lung Norton or similar 500 CC rear motorcycle engine. And he eventually went on and got his engineering degree from the UofA; my alma mater. A chap by the name of Denny Hulme followed Bruce to Europe later on the same sort of scholarship deal. I know Bruce died in a crash; but I don’t recall what happened to Denny; but he had a successful F-1 career.

  164. Sorry I did not think of this during my earlier post, but indirectly your question on NOX points to another ethanol urban legend.
    Many web sources mention that ethanol added fuels cause engines to run “hot” due to the leaning out of the fuel air mixture. This is obsolete information and only applies to pre 1989 cars with carburetors. Those cars would lean out the fuel air mixture and would run a bit hot, but modern EFI (electronic fuel injection) engine management systems constantly monitor the fuel air mixture on the fly through their O2 sensor and continuously attempt to reach ideal fuel air mixture for low emissions. This is typically between 14.7:1 and 15.2:1 on gasoline, or the equivalent mixture for E85.
    The sensor actually reports fuel air mixture as lambda which is 1/(the stoichiometric fuel air mixture of the fuel). For practical purposes lambda does not care what fuel you are burning, although technically there is a slight fuel dependency if the fuel differs substantially from the typical carbon hydrogen ratio of gasoline components. For ethanol added fuels, that difference is irrelevant.
    On my WRX it cruises at 1.0 – 1.02 lambda and makes best power between 0.76 and 0.82 lambda on E85.
    That said, the active adjustment of the fuel air mixture only occurs during “closed loop” operation when the O2 sensor is consulted for fuel air mixture information. In “open loop” such as at WOT most engine management systems ignore the O2 sensor and just consult a look up table to determine fuel supply. As a result running a non-FFV on E85 or a high ethanol fuel blend will cause the fuel air mixture to lean out under WOT.
    The good news is that in the real world this is not a problem because no one stays at full throttle on the roads for more than a few seconds, and the very high octane of the ethanol blends and their high cooling power protect the engine. The modern 3 way cats can easily deal with this brief period of lean combustion and higher NOX output so actual tail pipe emissions hardly change.
    As mentioned many people take advantage of ethanol cool combustion and clean burning to sneak past emissions tests by spiking their fuel tank with a couple gallons of E85, which will frequently get a near miss fail to change to a pass on the emissions screening.

    Thanks Larry. I’m still a bit puzzled as to how you get the thermal efficiency up while keeping the burning Temperature down; but I’m more than happy to take your say so; since you evidently have put a lot of time into this issue and technology.

    There are several factors involve most of which are not intuitive, and that is why it is so hard to get many people past the popular misconceptions.
    A typical gasoline engine only turns 33% of the stored fuel energy into useful work, the remainder 66% is dissipated as waste heat to the cooling system and out the exhaust pipe. Much of that waste is due to “negative work” the engine has to do to function. It only takes very small changes in that waste energy to usable energy spread to completely compensate for the difference in volumetric fuel energy.
    A typical gasoline engine will make maximum power and torque if peak cylinder pressure occurs at about 12 degrees past top dead center as the piston just begins it motion down cylinder. Too early and you get huge bearing loads and detonation due to very high cylinder pressures. Too late and the piston is moving down the cylinder so fast that the burning process cannot maintain high cylinder pressures when the piston/connecting rod have ideal angles with the crank shaft.
    To get that timing right, the ignition fires at anywhere from 15 – 40 degrees before the piston reaches the top of the cylinder in gasoline engines, so burning of the fuel air mixture actually begins when the piston is still trying to compress the fuel air mixture. This puts a lot of “negative work” into the system as the burning fuel air mixture tries to push the rising piston back down the cylinder.
    E85 burns much faster than gasoline at high power fuel air mixtures so you can get away with less ignition advance, and since ethanol boils at 173 deg F, the evaporative cooling that occurs as the fuel air charge is compressed, is spent evaporating fuel (producing a very effecient burning fuel air mixture) not increasing pressure in the cylinder. Gasoline on the other hand has much lower heat capacity and latent heat of evaporation and some of its components will not boil until they reach temperatures over 380 deg F.
    As a result you have lower cylinder pressures during the compression stroke (less negative work and less heat loss to the cooling system) and then once the faster burning ethanol fuel ignites, it quickly builds pressure at the correct time to get maximum leverage on the crank shaft without needing excessive ignition advance.
    Also due to the higher heat capacity of the combustion gases, pressure drops more slowly as the piston descends the cylinder. The net result is more area under the pressure time curve even though the peak pressure is lower.
    That is a highly simplified explanation but it is that sort of subtle changes in how the engine produces and loses energy in the combustion process that make E85 such an excellent fuel.
    Most modern engine management systems have approximately +/- 25% fuel trim authority built into the engine management system and will automatically compensate for any change in the fuel that needs less change in fuel air mixture. FFV’s simply widen that tuning range to +/-40% or so, and include a means for the engine management system to guess what fuel you have in the tank.
    E85 is typically rated at 105 octane by the conventional octane rating methods, but the motor octane test is not appropriate for ethanol fuels and gives lower numbers than it should, because it requires intake air temperatures that are unreasonable for alcohol fuels and their high cooling power due to evaporation.
    The real world “road octane” of common pump E85 is widely believed to be in the 112- 120 octane range because to get the same performance level from the engine you need to burn gasoline of that high octane and tune accordingly.
    When I was actively drag racing my WRX, I was getting detonation on 110 octane racing gasoline that cost $5.00 a gallon, at 16 psi peak boost, but can run straight pump E85 (costing $1.79/gallon at the time) at 27 psi peak boost without any detonation. Some folks run 30-35 psi boost on E85 with no detonation.
    It is a very forgiving performance fuel if the fuel air mixtures are anywhere near correct.
    Larry

  165. Smokey, no fair.
    You linked to the Sugar chart, and asked why sugar went up. I merely pointed out that the low point on your chart coincided with the low point for Oil, and that the high point occurred within a couple of months of the High in oil.
    Most analysts point to the rapid economic growth in Non-OECD Countries as the primary causative factor in the Growth of Commodity Prices. I don’t think what I did was “cherry-picking.”

  166. Minor correction :
    The sensor actually reports fuel air mixture as lambda which is 1/(the stoichiometric fuel air mixture of the fuel).
    Should read:
    The sensor actually reports fuel air mixture as lambda which is
    (measured fuel air mixture)/(the stoichiometric fuel air mixture of the fuel).
    Good summary here — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-fuel_ratio

  167. Kum Dollison says:
    November 13, 2010 at 8:10pm
    “I was looking at Appalachian Anthracite. I believe it’s what is traded on the exchanges. I believe it’s up somewhere over $60.00/ton, right now.
    In any case, it will go up more than wind does, I betcha.”
    There is a reason Appalachian Anthracite is trading at over $60/ton. There simply is not that much of it left. Look at the map shown in the link below. See the two little green blobs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Those are the only two places that produce Anthracite coal in the US and it’s SO2 content is 1.5 times the sulfur content of Powder River Basin coal. Anthracite coal production is approximately 1.5% of the total US production.
    http://www.teachcoal.org/aboutcoal/articles/coalreserves.html

  168. “”””” Norman says:
    November 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm
    I’ve had asthma for thirty-odd years. I find the sulfurous smoke from fireworks and from my black powder rifle to be soothing to my lungs and sinuses.. These people really need to get out more. And run with a better crowd. “””””
    However, isn’t it also true that Apalachian Anthracite is also a “low sulphur” coal when you rate the sulphur per BTU rather than per ton. The Western so-called low sulphur coals are actually higher sulphur per BTU, is my recollection.

  169. “”””” hotrod (Larry L) says:
    November 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm
    Sorry I did not think of this during my earlier post, but indirectly your question on NOX points to another ethanol urban legend. “”””
    Thanks; yes I recall that negative work part because of ignition before TDC. And of course the whole idea of dual ignition; specially in large capacity engines (like an RR-Merlin for example) was to speed up the flame propagation; by launching it from two locations instead of one.

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