EPA’s E-15 ethanol plan rammed though – won't work in many cars

The folly of E15 anti-hydrocarbon policies

EPA’s E-15 ethanol plan is bad for our pocketbooks, environment and energy policy

Guest post by Paul Driessen

The Obama Administration’s anti-hydrocarbon ideology and “renewable” energy mythology continues to subsidize crony capitalists and the politicians they help keep in office – on the backs of American taxpayers, ratepayers and motorists. The latest chapter in the sorry ethanol saga is a perfect example.

Bowing to pressure from ADM, Cargill, Growth Energy and other Big Ethanol lobbyists, Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency has decided to allow ethanol manufacturers to register as suppliers of E15 gasoline. E15 contains 15% ethanol, rather than currently mandated 10% blends.

The next lobbying effort will focus on getting E15 registered as a fuel in individual states and persuading oil companies to offer it at service stations. But according to the Associated Press and Washington Post, Team Obama already plans to provide taxpayer-financed grants, loans and loan guarantees to “help station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years” and promote the use of biofuels.

Pummeled by Obama policies that have helped send regular gasoline prices skyrocketing from $1.85 a gallon when he took office to $4.00 today – many motorists will welcome any perceived “bargain gas.” E15 will likely reduce their obvious pump pain by several cents a gallon, thus persuading people to fill up their cars, trucks and maybe even boats, lawnmowers and other equipment with the new blends.

That would be a huge mistake.

E15 gasoline will be cheaper because we already paid for it with decades of taxpayer subsidies that the Congressional Budget Office says cost taxpayers $1.78 every time a gallon of ethanol replaced a gallon of gasoline. Ethanol blends get fewer miles per tank than gasoline. More ethanol means even worse mileage. People may save at the pump, but cost per mile will increase, as will car maintenance and repair costs.

Ethanol collects water, which can cause engine stalls. It corrodes plastic, rubber and soft metal parts. Pre-2001 car engines, parts and systems may not be able to handle E15, which could also increase emissions and adversely affect engine, fuel pump and sensor durability. Older cars and motorcycles mistakenly (or for price or convenience) fueled with E15 could conk out on congested highways or in the middle of nowhere, boat engines could die miles from land or in the face of a thunderstorm, and snowmobiles could sputter to a stop in a frigid wilderness.

Homeowners and yard care professionals have voiced concerns that E15’s corrosive qualities could damage their gasoline-powered equipment. Because it burns hotter than gasoline, high ethanol gasoline engines could burn users or cause lawnmowers, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers and other outdoor power equipment to start inadvertently or catch fire, they worry.

As several trade associations have noted in a lawsuit, the Clean Air Act says EPA may grant a waiver for a new fuel additive or fuel blend only if it has demonstrated that the new fuel will not damage the emissions control devices of “any” engine in the existing inventory. E15 has not yet met this requirement. EPA should not have moved forward on E15 and should not have ignored studies that indicate serious potential problems with this high-ethanol fuel blend.

Largely because of corn-based ethanol, US corn prices shot up from an annual average of $1.96 per bushel in 2005 to $6.01 in 2011. This year we will make ethanol from 5 billion bushels of corn grown on an area the size of Iowa. E15 fuels will worsen the problem, especially if corn crops fall below expectations.

Ethanol mandates mean more revenues and profits for corn growers and ethanol makers. However, skyrocketing corn prices mean beef, pork, poultry, egg and fish producers pay more for corn-based feed; grocery manufacturers pay more for corn, meat, fish and corn syrup; and families see prices soar for almost everything on their dinner table.

Farmers like pork producer Jim A were hammered hard. Over a 20-year period, Jim became a part owner in a Texas operation and planned to buy out the other shareholders. But when corn and ethanol subsidies went into effect, the cost of feed corn shot from $2.80 per bushel in 2005 to “over $7.00” a bushel in 2008. “We went from treading water and making payments, to losing $100,000 a month,” he told me.

His farm was threatened with foreclosure and the ominous prospect of having to make up the difference in a short sale. After “never missing a single payment to anybody” in his life, he almost lost everything. Fortunately, at the eleventh hour, a large pork producer leased the property, the bank refinanced his loans and Jim arranged a five-year lease. But thanks to ethanol he almost lost everything he’d ever worked for.

Even worse, the price of tortillas and tamales also skyrocketed, leaving countless poor Latin American families even more destitute. Soaring corn and wheat prices have also made it far harder for the USAID and World Food Organization to feed the world’s malnourished, destitute children.

Simply put, corn ethanol is wasteful and immoral. And yet E15 advocates want to go even further.

“For 40 years we have been addicted to foreign oil,” says Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Our nation needs E15 to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, keep gas prices down at the pump, and end the extreme fluctuations in gas prices caused by our reliance on fuel from unstable parts of the world.”

That’s nonsense. America is blessed with centuries of untapped petroleum resources that antediluvian Deep Ecologists, ideology-driven politicians and EPA officials, and subsidy-obsessed renewable energy lobbyists seem intent on keeping locked up, regardless of the negative consequences.

These oil and gas deposits cannot be developed overnight. However, 40 years is not overnight. Yet that’s how long America has kept Alaska’s ANWR coastal plain, most of our Outer Continental Shelf, and most of our western states’ public lands and resources off limits to leasing, exploration and drilling.

If we had started the process twenty, ten or even five years ago, we’d have enough oil flowing to slash imports and cut world crude and US pump prices significantly. If President Obama had approved the Keystone XL pipeline, within two years over 800,000 barrels of Canadian, Montana and North Dakota crude would be flowing daily to Texas refineries – with similar effects on imports and prices.

Developing these resources would also generate hundreds of thousands of jobs – and billions of dollars in lease bonuses and rents, production royalties, and corporate and personal taxes.

America’s surging natural gas production has already driven that fuel’s price from $8 to barely $2.00 per thousand cubic feet (or million Btus). That alone will persuade auto makers to build nat-gas-powered cars and trucks (and consumers to buy them), without massive new subsidy programs as advocated by T. Boone Pickens and assorted politicians. Natural gas can even be converted into ethanol (and diesel).

It will happen, unless Congress interferes – or EPA tries to regulate horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) into oblivion, and send natural gas prices back into the stratosphere.

Right now, we are burning our own – and the world’s – food, to fuel cars and trucks. And to grow corn, convert it into 14 billion gallons of ethanol, and ship it by truck or train, we are consuming one-third of America’s entire corn crop – and using millions of pounds of insecticides, billions of pounds of fertilizer, vast amounts of energy (all petroleum-based), and trillions of gallons of water.

Just imagine how those numbers will soar, if E15 is adopted nationwide – or if Big Ethanol’s big dream becomes reality, and motorists begin to burn “cheap” corn-based E85 in flex-fuel vehicles.

Will President Obama, Democrats and extreme environmentalists ever end their hatred of hydrocarbons, and their obsession with biofuels – and start embracing reliable, affordable energy that actually works?

__________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.cfact.org) and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

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stpaulchuck
April 24, 2012 5:08 pm

Well, there goes my food costs again. Of course food and ‘energy’ are not part of the CPI, and for very good (and obvious) reasons. Good, at least in the government’s view that is.

Alvin
April 24, 2012 5:09 pm

We have the most stupid government of all time. It is official.

Pablo an ex Pat
April 24, 2012 5:18 pm

It never ceases to amaze me that whatever the green lobby is in favor of is exactly 180 degrees off the right course of action to take. You have to give it to them if only for absolute consistency. Simple sounding solutions to complex issues have great appeal to Populists and they are always wrong.

starzmom
April 24, 2012 5:20 pm

I for one will avoid this like the plague. It cost $500 to repair our lawnmower (multiple trips to the repair shop and its a commercial grade mower) due to gasoline with 10% ethanol fouling the carburetor. Also, maybe some 2001 and forward cars can handle 15%, but some, like mine, are rated only for 10%. After the lawnmower experience, I will steer clear of this.
I don’t say it often enough, but thank you Anthony for all you do. You are my go-to website for all kinds of info and I learn something new everyday.

April 24, 2012 5:23 pm

Not good – my 2011 vehicle warns specifically not to use greater than 10% ethanol fuel.
From the manual:
Gasoline containing alcohol and methanol Gasohol, a mixture of gasoline and ethanol (also known as grain alcohol), and gasoline or gasohol containing methanol (also known as wood alcohol) are being marketed along with or instead of leaded or unleaded gasoline. Do not use gasohol containing more than 10% ethanol, and do not use gasoline or gasohol containing any methanol. Either of these fuels may cause drivability problems and damage to the fuel system.
Discontinue using gasohol of any kind if drivability problems occur.
Vehicle damage or drivability problems may not be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty if they result from the use of:
1. Gasohol containing more than 10% ethanol.
2. Gasoline or gasohol containing methanol.
3. Leaded fuel or leaded gasohol

Wonder where that “2001” date in the warning comes from?

Curiousgeorge
April 24, 2012 5:24 pm

This has some relationship to the Tip I posted about the draft National Sustainable Agriculture Standard. http://www.sustainableagstandard.org/ . Just a quick glance thru this will show that it is a strait jacket for farmers and others in the food chain. Obama made it known that he would push his agenda thru regulatory measures, and he wasn’t kidding.

Bill H
April 24, 2012 5:25 pm

Stupidty at its finest…
The Obama EPA is going to burn up older cars and kill them on pourpose.. one more move to kill the ability of normal people to survie and be far from the cities. this will force most ameroicans into cites where they will not need personal transportation..
one more noch in the UN Agenda 21 process…

April 24, 2012 5:27 pm

About half of the united States is private land. Even though the Administration restricts
the use of its half, the private sector can get us to 100%, or even to the point of exporting
crude oil, by say 2020. This is because of horizontal drilling and fracking, now really moving
in areas of oil-enriched shale. You know the story on natural gas, the same story. We are
about to export LNG, liquified natural gas. The same story, but 5-7 years earlier.

JohnD
April 24, 2012 5:29 pm

Oh sure, the EPA needs a LOT of pressure to implement crap like this. /sarc
And it’s not crony capitalism, it’s just plain cronyism. Never ceases to amaze me that capitalism is constantly blamed for policies and programs that are not capitalism. Oh well, that’s what leftist POS do.

April 24, 2012 5:36 pm

E15 should be good for the economy, well good if you manufacture gasoline powered outdoor equipment to replace all of the equipment that will barely run on the new fuel

Betapug
April 24, 2012 5:38 pm

The idea that you will be sold a “mystery mix” with an unknown (“up to x%”!!) dilution of gasoline with alcohol is astonishing. How about milk with “somewhere between 0 and 3.5% MF?
Why even bother to check the accuracy of the pump volume in this case.

Latitude
April 24, 2012 5:45 pm

Paul, two missing points…
…when energy prices go up…everything goes up, including rent
Corn for ethanol does not even have the restrictions as feed corn, much less corn for human consumption….that means more pesticides, more fertilizer, more heribcides, and more water…corn is a high water demand crop

Harold Ambler
April 24, 2012 5:45 pm

While finishing Don’t Sell Your Coat, I worked at a rowing center in Austin. For the record, I taught private rowing lessons, coached high school rowers, started a stand-up paddleboard program, and was one of several managers that ran the place. Keeping our fleet of coaches’ launches functioning was a sometimes monumental challenge, simply because of the water entering the fuel system due to ethanol. There’s nothing like pulling an outboard cord 70 or 100 times on the river during a windy afternoon to make one loathe ethanol. Additives help, but they’re a fair-sized pain.
Besides being a boondoggle based on bad science, one that enriches a few at the expense of the many, E15 will continue to erode the ability of water sport professionals at marinas, rowing centers like the one where I worked, camps and other locations go completely berserk with frustration. (Along with all the users of motors on dry land whose lives will needlessly be made more difficult.) Apart from that, it’s awesome.

April 24, 2012 5:47 pm

VACornell says:
“…the private sector can get us to 100%, or even to the point of exporting crude oil, by say 2020. This is because of horizontal drilling and fracking, now really moving in areas of oil-enriched shale. You know the story on natural gas, the same story. We are about to export LNG, liquified natural gas. The same story, but 5-7 years earlier.”
Obama just signed an Executive Order [which bypasses Congress] mandating a committee to “study” fracking. There is absolutely no doubt that his new committee will move to restrict horizontal drilling. Every action taken by this president is intended to make the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil, and cause the price of energy, as Obama promises, to “necessarily skyrocket”.
Horizontal drilling causes no environmental problems. The shale deposits are far below the water table, and new regulations requiring concrete seals virtually eliminate the possibility of gas leakage.
Remember that gasoline was $1.87 nationally the day Obama took office. There is no reason other than eco-politics that it cannot return to that price level. We have an upcoming election that will offer a stark contrast between the eco-lunacy of this administration, and having grown-ups run things for a change.

Randy
April 24, 2012 6:08 pm

ONE single tank of E-85 a year ago cost me an entire replacement of a fuel system in my classic ’78 Ski Nautique to the tune of 3 grand!!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.!!! Let’s double down and go for the rest of the motor next!!!!

Randy
April 24, 2012 6:09 pm

ps and a $800 4 barrel carburetor!

TomRude
April 24, 2012 6:11 pm

Did they not confirm mad cow in California?

gingoro
April 24, 2012 6:19 pm

Actually I like E10 in the winter time and sometimes go out of my way to buy it. During the winter the highs where I live are sometimes below -20C and the alcohol in the fuel keeps the fuel lines and the carb from freezing up.
Putting a good quality gas preservative into fuel for lawn equipment etc helps to prevent the seals in the carb etc from being eaten away. My lawn tractor was purchased new in about 2006 and needed a new carb the next year, just after the warranty expired, needless to say I was not very happy. Since then I have not had a problem.
DaveW

Harold Ambler
April 24, 2012 6:22 pm

That should read “E15 will continue to erode the ability of water sport professionals at marinas, rowing centers like the one where I worked, camps and other locations to do their jobs. It will also lead many of them to go completely berserk with frustration.”

April 24, 2012 6:23 pm

http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html?m=0
This discusses why the US must not use up domestic petroleum resources. Scroll down to “Energy Policy”, approximately mid-way through the article.
Roger Sowell

GeoLurking
April 24, 2012 6:24 pm

Hmm… how about that.
For the sake of argument, based on the 12 mo smoothed vehicle miles traveled data from RITA, August 2011 saw about 245,208,159,175 miles traveled in the US.
Again, for the sake of argument, lets say that those vehicles average 25 mpg. At the US average tax rate of 48.5 cents per gallon, Federal State and Local governments collected about $4,757,038,288. Provided it was pure gasoline.
At a thermal efficiency of 96.6%, E10 requires us to burn an additional 343,046,398 gallons of fuel, for an additional tax revenue of $166,377,502. Effectively at 24.16 mpg.
With E15, the increase in tax revenue is $96,748,345 over the E10, bringing the subsidized fuel boondoggle to $263,125,848 in taxes over regular gas. With that 25 mpg now only about 23.7 mpg.
… yeah. Clean air my ass.

Peterk
April 24, 2012 6:27 pm

why couldn’t they come up with a replacement for MTBE?

April 24, 2012 6:28 pm

“Even worse, the price of tortillas and tamales also skyrocketed, leaving countless poor Latin American families even more destitute”
The environmentalists could not be happier—starving to death is soooo natural. We were on the road to having no starvation on Earth, except in evil dictatorship countries, until ethanol raised the cost of all food stuffs, particularly corn, which put pressure on rice and grains prices.
Let’s see. Who supports this? Oh, our Undocumented Worker-in-Chief!

DaveG
April 24, 2012 6:35 pm

Perhaps this is a backward step to kick starting the economy, a massive repair bill to every company, man and woman who owns a car, truck or gas engine whatever.It’s time to upgrade my automotive skill’s for the next big thing. Obuma you a genius– NOT!

JC
April 24, 2012 6:53 pm

Burn whiskey, not dinosaurs!

April 24, 2012 6:58 pm

Reblogged this on TaJnB | TheAverageJoeNewsBlogg.

Resourceguy
April 24, 2012 6:59 pm

This should prove once and for all that there is no such animal as an energy policy in this country. There is only energy politics and an assortment of pretend half-hearted mandates, grants, and subsidy deals. Standing back and looking at the big mess shows that we are diverting motor fuel dollars to fund the urban planner political ecosystem and high speed rail. Renewable energy grants and loans were going far and wide without thought to the viable low cost leaders and their business plans. CNG-fueled vehicles coming new off the assembly line would make sense for individual cost minimizing decisions by consumers and small business but we have DOE and White House tactics of looking busy and sound bites instead of anything approaching strategy and least cost, least emission paths. You can tell Obama is just playing stand off games with various interest groups on nuclear, CNG, energy independence proponents, and many others. That in itself is another sign of energy political gamesmanship in place of policy. Looking through their distorted eyes at the White House, there are only large organized voter blocks in place of science, rationality, or least cost decision making by households and business sectors. That is a huge difference in perspective and helps explain outcomes for the mish mash of taxpayer-funded programs and mandates on consumers.

April 24, 2012 7:02 pm

Man!
Am I ever glad I converted to a flex-fuel diesel (yes, it will burn and has burned veggie-oil without modifications) mechanical-injection vehicle back in 2010. Mercedes Benz probably never envisioned there product running on veggie oil back in 1981, but I assure you they will.
The mower is electric; just make sure to NEVER blow the breaker (to the outlet) while the motor is under full load though (the full-wave diode bridge rectifier will __not__ withstand the ‘spike’ from the ‘load dump’ output from the motor as the magnetic field in the rotor collapses in that condition … ask me how I know first-hand about this!)
Now, the weed-eater, she’s still gasoline powered, but, I have seen advertised pre-mixed (oil and gas at the proper ratio) non-alcohol-containing weed-eater ‘fuel’ available for her …
.

April 24, 2012 7:09 pm

Roger Sowell says:
April 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm
http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html?m=0
This discusses why the US must not use up domestic petroleum resources. Scroll down to “Energy Policy”, approximately mid-way through the article.

Please, can we get a Cliff’s Notes version (think: Willis E.-type elevator speech)?
BTW, given what we now envision to hold in the ground, this is policy can and is doing more harm than good economically. For a modern civilization, energy is the ‘key’ to moving forward, to making ‘progress’ as the archaic saying would go.
.

April 24, 2012 7:20 pm

While using corn to make ethanol or ethanol to fuel machines is stupid, the whole corn-ageddon argument seem weak to me. The fact that food price crises always hit when oil prices are high seems far easier to explain by the fact that oil is used to harvest, refine, prepare and transport food. Wheat and rice and barley rise too. And since global pork production is continuing to expand it might be a tad unfair for pork producers to blame all their problems on ethanol.
Drop the fuel mandates, yes, and drop fines against foreign ethanol and let the bio-ethanol/biomass industries transfer to smarter sources and to more lucrative markets like replacing petrochemicals as sources for expensive chemical feedstocks. Then use the fossil fuels *as* fuels. We don’t need to throw out an industry just because government is interfering with it and we don’t need to give it sole blame it for problems which it has little impact on compared to other players.

Hoser
April 24, 2012 7:26 pm

For many years, various studies of the economics and efficiency of ethanol production have indicated it takes more than 1 gallon of gasoline to produce 1.5 gallons of ethanol from corn. The 1.5 gallons of ethanol is the energy equivlentof 1 gallon of gasoline. If these conclusions are still valid today, it means ethanol production doesn’t save us anything interms of foreign oil consumption. In fact, it costs us more, or at least fails to save us much at all.
http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Biofuels/U.S.-Ethanol-Policy-Contradicting-Every-Principle-of-Sound-Economics.html
Other problems with biofuels (2006 paper).
http://www.pnas.org/content/103/30/11206.abstract
Opportunity cost in land use.
http://gas2.org/2012/03/19/food-as-fuel-by-the-numbers/
Brazil’s production of ethanol works because sugarcane ethanol is more efficiently produced.
http://www.economist.com/node/21542431
Switch grass may be an alternative.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=grass-makes-better-ethanol-than-corn
Butanol may be a better alternative, but it has problems too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biobutanol
Oregon State analysis of biofuel economics
http://arec.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/faculty/perry/qadocument5.pdf
From the other side, their counter-argument.
http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/Issue_Brief_Ethanols_Energy_Balance.pdf
It seems to me because we can’t grow enough corn to replace gasoline, and because it makes food more expensive, we need to abandon the corn ethanol experiment, except as it has been practiced in Kentucky.
http://www.knobcreek.com/lpa

April 24, 2012 7:29 pm

As GeoLurking pointed out above, this is a double whammy, because the more alcohol in it, the more gallons I have to buy. My 2001 Jeep Cherokee gets 4 or 5 miles fewer per gallon when using gas with ethanol in it. I first discovered that by accident when gassing up part of the time with premium at a little mom & pop station. When we go to Oklahoma these days, I try to be as empty as possible on crossing the border so I can fill up with fine pure gasoline. Wish there were some place closer, I would drive farther to get alcohol-free gas.

Chris Nelli
April 24, 2012 7:30 pm

Never should have banned MTBE, the best fuel additive that man could invent. Further, it is made from methanol and butane, two sources that come from gas, not oil (methane to methanol, and butane from natural gas liquids).

Peterk
April 24, 2012 7:42 pm

I drove a Z-4 for a few years and when they banned MTBE and was forced to use an ethanol blend I definitely noticed a drop in fuel mileage

Olaf Koenders
April 24, 2012 7:46 pm

In Australia we have 95 octane 5% Ethanol and 98 octane 10% (E5 and E10 respectively). Standard unleaded at 91 octane and the E5 run almost the same, but since the octane is higher in E5, I can advance the timing a bit to offset any reduced horsepower. But E10 – in every single motor I’ve run it gets roughly 10% REDUCED mileage – regardless the bullsh*t they advertise for 98 octane “fuels”, such as cleaner, more power etc. Note this also goes for 98 octane fuels WITHOUT ethanol. Notably, none of my motors were specially configured for higher octane.
I could only imagine the disadvantage of E15 if I ever saw it. There are lots of “octane boosters” on the performance market misleading people. Don’t people understand that higher octane fuels burn slower and create less power for the same engine? This is why LPG at around 110 octane gets low performance. The only reason light aircraft avgas is 130 octane is to reduce the possibility of freezing at altitude (I think- correct me if I’m wrong).
As we can see though, ethanol and its subsidies, is better saved for the bar..

Otsar
April 24, 2012 7:46 pm

To Tom Rude,
I think she was just visiting California to push E15.

Camburn
April 24, 2012 7:53 pm

Boy….do the folks who posted above need an education.
1. Ever heard of DDG’s? DDG is the by product of corn distilation. IT is a MUCH better feed than corn. The conversion factor, which means weight gain when fed, is higher.
2. The price of corn and the price of groceries. Ahem…..that corn flakes box has a whole 4.7 cents……..yes cents of corn in it. You could double the price of corn and that box would contain a whole 10 cents worth of corn. Did you know that the BOX costs more than the corn IN the box?
3. Ethanol. IF you live in a northern climate, you will love ethanol. NO more calls from the wife that the car froze up.
4. I have used ethanol for 20 years. I have never had an engine failure in those 20 years. IN fact, I never had fuel injector problems as the ethanol keeps them clean.
5. Please do research. It costs over 5.00 to raise a bushel of corn. Thank goodness for the ehtanol market. IF we didn’t have one, we would have unemplyment running over 10% in the USA for starters. And I guarantee you your food would be a WHOLE lot more expensive. $3.00 corn means no more farmers. The few that would survive would be CERTAIN to make a profit.
I won’t even get into how much per gallon it saves and the effect it has on average retail prices of gasoline.
Why do you think gas is cheaper now than diesel? Even tho diesel is cheaper to make??????
Folks…….please read.
Disclaimer. I am a farmer, but I no longer grow corn. I grew corn for 30 years, and the current price structure is not profitable over time.
Also….a quick question. Since when has wheat been made into ethanol? The op-ed writer somehow got that product in there as well.

Camburn
April 24, 2012 7:55 pm

OH ya…..I also drive my vehicles till the engine stops. 300,000 miles plus on the last 3.
Tell me again how I am suppose to be having so much trouble???????

April 24, 2012 8:25 pm

How the hell else can they get farmers to vote for them. It is crass politics and absolutely nothing else.

April 24, 2012 8:28 pm

I drive a 2001 Jeep. It isn’t supposed to burn ethanol. Same with the newer ones.

April 24, 2012 8:30 pm

Corn-to-ethanol refineries should be required to burn their product to produce all their energy requirements: electricity, steam, heat, and all transportation for corn and the ethanol. At the farm, also.
Then they can sell what’s left over. (there won’t be any to sell)
Oil refineries have no problem doing this and did so for decades.
@_Jim: sorry, I’m on a smart phone so am asking you to take the time to read the one paragraph identified above. The shortest version is our domestic oil is a strategic resource. It is unwise to waste it.

tokyoboy
April 24, 2012 8:33 pm

“rammed through” instead of “rammed though” ?

April 24, 2012 8:57 pm

Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Why do you think gas is cheaper now than diesel? Even tho diesel is cheaper to make??????

EPA mandated low-sulfur requirements for diesel as a motor fuel?
The increased cost happened just a year or two back due to new requirements:
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/dieselfuels/index.htm
http://www.clean-diesel.org/highway.html
“All highway diesel must be ULSD 12/01/10”
Sulfur was reduced from 500 ppm to about 15 parts per million (ppm).
Yes, indeed, please ‘read’.
.

Bill Tuttle
April 24, 2012 9:05 pm

EPA should not have moved forward on E15 and should not have ignored studies that indicate serious potential problems with this high-ethanol fuel blend.
Never make the assumption that the EPA is anything other than a revenue gathering machine. I dealt with EPA and DEP bureaucrats for five years, and the only connection any of them had with “science” was the Batchelor of Science header on their Business Administration diplomas.

April 24, 2012 9:30 pm

Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

5. Please do research. It costs over 5.00 to raise a bushel of corn. Thank goodness for the ehtanol market. IF we didn’t have one, we would have unemplyment running over 10% in the USA for starters. And I guarantee you your food would be a WHOLE lot more expensive. $3.00 corn means no more farmers. The few that would survive would be CERTAIN to make a profit.

I’m having trouble with this one … it looks like a variation of the “Broken Window Fallacy” in the way of paying subsidies and redirecting resources (which might otherwise be used for growing foodstuffs, and this includes fuel and fertilizer required for the ‘fuel’ crop) under direction/force of arbitrary law e.g. gasohol fuel mandates (but I can’t be sure, it’s late and I’m tired).
.

GeoLurking
April 24, 2012 9:31 pm

My apologies.
I was so incensed at the blatant screwing of the US economy, that I misspoke.
I stated:
“…With E15, the increase in tax revenue is $96,748,345 over the E10, bringing the subsidized fuel boondoggle to $263,125,848 in taxes over regular gas. With that 25 mpg now only about 23.7 mpg.…”
This is accurate… what I left off was that using those numbers, the total revenue from gas taxes will climb to $5,020,164,136 for Federal State and Local government, as opposed to the $4,923,415,790 that is currently collected.
per month

Mike Smith
April 24, 2012 9:32 pm

Farm subsidies combined with the EPA. What could possibly go wrong?

April 24, 2012 9:41 pm

Conoco service stations do not sell fuel with Ethanol in it.That is why I now avoid all stations that is not a Conoco station.

April 24, 2012 10:07 pm

“Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Boy….do the folks who posted above need an education.
1. Ever heard of DDG’s? DDG is the by product of corn distilation. IT is a MUCH better feed than corn. The conversion factor, which means weight gain when fed, is higher.
2. The price of corn and the price of groceries. Ahem…..that corn flakes box has a whole 4.7 cents……..yes cents of corn in it. You could double the price of corn and that box would contain a whole 10 cents worth of corn. Did you know that the BOX costs more than the corn IN the box?
3. Ethanol. IF you live in a northern climate, you will love ethanol. NO more calls from the wife that the car froze up…”

So, just because it hasn’t happened to you, that means it never happens?
I’ve burned up two 2-cycle motors using the mandated ethanol blend gas. One was a 200 horsepower boat engine. The cost to rebuild was greater than the total value of the boat. I had to sell it for parts
I’ve rebuilt both of my chainsaws several times and I’ve had to put in new gaskets into the carb each year… That is, till I found out 3 years ago that I couldn’t use ethanol blend gas in them. I only rebuilt my weedwacker twice, but then I’m not real thrilled about wacking weeds.
You tell us that it’s great to use ethanol blend gas in the winter? Ethanol absorbs moisture right from the air. When it absorbs enough water it separates out from the gasoline and sits underneath the gasoline. The colder the temperature, the easier hydrated ethanol will separate out. No engine likes to run on ethanol and water, well people might like to, but reciprocating engines don’t. Got any paper filters filtering your gas line? The alcohol water mix will swell the fibers and slow down your fuel flow, even if you manage to get real gas flowing again. If the temperature is cold enough, the ethanol water mix forms a slurry from the water freezing (very small ice crystals). The trouble is, the ice crystals can get filtered and clog the filter. http://bluewaterboatservices.com/ethanol.
Alcohol provides an octane boost to gasoline. When the alcohol phase separates out, the remaining gasoline does not have the octane rating your engine needs anymore. Keep running it and you’re looking at engine damage from the incorrect detonation of the gasoline (knocking).
A farmer for over 30 years huh? Every farmer I’ve known usually has their own gas storage tank installed so they can fill their equipment without dragging five gallon plastic tanks around. Ethanol blended gas, mostly because of it’s tendency to phase separate and otherwise oxidize has a very short shelf life. 90 days max. thirty years ago, you could order your storage tank filled and used that same gas all year. Not so with ethanol blends. http://www.fuel-testers.com/expiration_of_ethanol_gas.html.

“…The energy value in a gallon of ethanol is less than in a gallon of gasoline. While exact difference in gas mileage will probably vary somewhat, it is expected that a gallon of ethanol will only do about 70% of the work of a gallon of gasoline…”

From: http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-339.pdf. So yes, you will need more E10 gas to go the same distance as plain gas.

“…Federal government policy is to stimulate ethanol production and thus provides a $0.51 per gallon subsidy to blenders of ethanol. This $0.51 per gallon is about $1.35 per bushel of corn used. There are other federal ethanol subsidies primarily targeted at initial production years and smaller plants. The national Energy Bill passed in the summer of 2005 mandated the use of at least 7.5 billion gallons of biofuels by 2012, a level that will be exceeded in 2007. Some states also have a state subsidy for ethanol production, and still other states provide financial incentives to ethanol producers such as support for infrastructure development and job training assistance.

So what you’re saying is that you think it’s terrific that we pay more per gallon of gas and that we also pay taxes so that we can also pay the subsidies for using the ethanol.
My GMC truck manual (2000 Sierra) advises me to avoid ethanol blended gas if possible. If not possible than to make sure I never use gas with more than 10% alcohol. My current boat engine also advise me to never use gas with any alcohol in it. And as I found out, none of my yard equipment is supposed to use ethanol blended gas. If you’ve never had a problem, you really need to thank your supreme being for being so nice to you.

Doug in Seattle
April 24, 2012 10:07 pm

It hard to conclude other than these loons intend to destroy our existing system one piece at a time.

April 24, 2012 10:19 pm

“Roger Sowell says:
April 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm
Corn-to-ethanol refineries should be required to burn their product to produce all their energy requirements: electricity, steam, heat, and all transportation for corn and the ethanol. At the farm, also.
Then they can sell what’s left over. (there won’t be any to sell)
Oil refineries have no problem doing this and did so for decades.
@_Jim: sorry, I’m on a smart phone so am asking you to take the time to read the one paragraph identified above. The shortest version is our domestic oil is a strategic resource. It is unwise to waste it.

My emphasis added. Damn right! But that also means that we should use it, but just to use it wisely.

April 24, 2012 10:21 pm

sunsettommy says:
April 24, 2012 at 9:41 pm
Conoco service stations do not sell fuel with Ethanol in it.That is why I now avoid all stations that is not a Conoco station.

Even stations in areas ‘not in attainment’ (of EPA air quality requirements) where Reformulated Gasoline is mandated?
I would not at first blush think that was possible (like in the DFW area in Texas where we are ‘not in attainment’).

Ethanol also can replace Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a fuel additive derived from natural gas used to increase gasoline’s octane rating and prevent engine knocking. In 2006, several major oil companies announced that they would replace MTBE with ethanol in all of Texas’ “non-attainment” cities – areas that have failed to meet federal standards for ambient air quality. These include Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Beaumont-Port Arthur, San Antonio and El Paso. MTBE replacement alone will create a demand in the state for 400 to 500 million gallons of ethanol per year.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/renewable/ethanol.php

Philip Bradley
April 24, 2012 10:24 pm

What’s a few million acres of tropical forest lost and more than a few million of the world’s poorest living their short lives in hunger, when you are saving the planet.
And if you want to stop the pain at the pump, promote natural gas vehicles. NG price in the USA is about a quarter of petrol/diesel.

Jan K Andersen
April 24, 2012 10:31 pm

Thank you mr Driessen for a very informative aricle. I think you ar absoloutely right that it is a huge mistace to use corn for methanol production. But what about the claims that it should be possible to use straw and other non-food resources as source for methanol production?

Pat Moffitt
April 24, 2012 10:34 pm

Paul,
We need to tie all this insanity together. Ethanol production in 2011 consumed some 40 million acres using about 6 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer. This fertilizer runoffs into the Mississippi River according to EPA creating a New Jersey size dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. (since there is an awful lot of fish and shrimp in the dead zone they must be zombies) In EPA terms one Iowa size area of ethanol destined corn creates one NJ sized Gulf dead zone.
EPA to “save the Gulf” is considering regulations requiring drastic nitrogen reductions of 45% or higher for the entire Miss. River drainage Basin. EPA admits they have no idea how to achieve a 45% reduction without getting us off of meat and other high nitrogen food crops, passing on billions of costs to upgrade treatment plants and new emission controls on fossil fuel NOx.
EPA is similarly pushing smart growth in attempt to limit our sprawling development habits which to date have eaten up about 3% of the land in the US. EPA scolds us that the 66million acres we use for our homes and businesses is unsustainable. Yet they seem happy about ethanol consuming 40 million acres and no end to the growth in sight. We can expect to see ethanol consume more land than all our urban and suburban developed areas in a few years! Homes Bad- Ethanol Good.
So I guess we all have to live in high-rise housing so that EPA can direct more land towards ethanol production that raises the cost of fuel and food. The high costs of corn also will see land pulled out of CRP to produce more corn- hurting wildlife in the process. The large fertilizer needs for corn based ethanol increases the nitrogen loadings to surface waters which allows EPA to declare nitrogen TMDLs for all waters draining into the Gulf of Mexico- expanding its power exponentially. And we will have to listen to increasing calls to go meatless because the nitrogen signature is too high. That is if we have enough money to buy meat and pay for the treatment upgrades.

drwilliams
April 24, 2012 10:42 pm

I have never seen a more fact-deficient illogical rant published on this site, nor such a series of comments in the same vein. Study some history and economics. If you want 1970’s prices on corn, sign up to accept 1970’s wages. If you like MTBE, move to a state that followed the oil companies lead and used it to meet the oxygenated fuels mandate to clean up the air, and now have MTBE in their water. The next time you swallow a line about alcohol damage to engines, ask why 99% don’t have a problem. If you think the U.S. should feed the world with cheap corn, why shouldn’t the Middle East be subsidizing them with cheap oil? If you think you know what’s in your gasoline, can you explain which of the 20+ grades of EPA-approved regular gas you are buying, according to the seasonal requirements in your area.

April 24, 2012 10:46 pm

Ethanol-ers, is this correct?
The energy of ethanol relative to gasoline:
A. 76,000 = BTU of energy in a gallon of ethanol
B. 116,090 = BTU of energy in a gallon of gasoline
C. A / B = .655 ~ 2/3 GGE of energy in a gallon of ethanol. (GGE =Gallon Gas Equiv.)
D. B / A = 1.53 = Gallons of ethanol with the energy of 1 gallon of gasoline.
As this applies to mileage, Ethanol proponents may claim it doesn’t hurt mileage, but this has to go against physics. E85 MPG rating figures, with all other factors being equal (e.g. engine compression ratio), should achieve about 2/3 of the MPG rating for straight gasoline. This seems to be borne out looking at the EPA’s figures for the ethanol mileage tests as they show to be 2/3 of the MPG for gasoline only.
ref
.

Dr. Dave
April 24, 2012 10:58 pm

It appears atheok answered Camburn quite effectively. I have been studying the ethanol debate for several years (and not just the talking points put out by the ethanol industry). Every point Camburn made was either incorrect, misleading or immaterial. Everybody knows that there’s only about a nickel’s worth of corn in a box of cornflakes. Most of the expense is transportation, processing raw corn into palatable ceral, packaging and marketing. The problem is the cost of feedstock to grow meat (the most efficient form of protein for human consumption).
A couple other quick points. The octane rating of a fuel is just an arbitrary measure to compare the fuel to the properties of pure octane (an eight carbon satuaruated hydrocarbon). Fuels with higher octane ratings don’t necessarily contain more energy. High octane fuels are necessary for high compression engines (general aviation engines are high compression). Burning high octane fuel in an engine not designed for it will not produce added performance and may even result in diminished performance.
Ethanol essentially replaced MTBE as an oxygenator in fuel. There was never really anything wrong with MTBE other than it stinks and tastes bad. It’s not particularly toxic. The fact that it ended up in some water tables is not the fault of the MTBE per se but rather old, leaking storage tanks. Most cars on the road today utilize electronic fuel injection. In these vehicles an oxygenator is not really even needed.
Everyone who feeds at the ethanol trough seems to loathe liberty and the free market. End the subsidies and the mandated use and let’s see if this, now mature, industry can survive. If it can’t survive without taxpayer money or government mandated demand, it is a non-viabale technology.

Paul Westhaver
April 24, 2012 11:31 pm

CO2…
Ethanol is has about 1/2 of the energy of octane… that is you need 2X as much ethanol to develop RPMs and Torque at the wheels of your vehicle.
Ignition and combustion control systems know this and accordingly will put more fuel through the combustion chamber to allow you to drive as if nothing has changed.
The trouble is you will require 7% more fuel to make up for 15% ethanol.
The CO2 production does not change since, any way you slice it, you need to produce enough CO2 and H2O for propulsion and it really doesn’t matter if come from propane, methane, octane or ethane.(ethanol).
The seeming advantage is the reduction is SOx and NOx which is ok with me. Just don’t tell me that CO2 production is reduced. That is neither true nor required, Furthermore, the EPA should get out of the CO2 business.

Brian H
April 24, 2012 11:45 pm

Alvin says:
April 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm
We have the most stupid government of all time.

Never attribute to stupidity what is more parsimoniously explained by malice.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 24, 2012 11:58 pm

My what an interesting collection of misstatements, outright lies and outdated info presented as fact. You don’t suppose the author is trying to hype his books do you?

Ethanol collects water, which can cause engine stalls. It corrodes plastic, rubber and soft metal parts. Pre-2001 car engines, parts and systems may not be able to handle E15, which could also increase emissions and adversely affect engine, fuel pump and sensor durability.

Yes ethanol absorbs water — just like the gasoline dryer you pay extra money for from the autoparts store to prevent gas line antifreeze. It absorbs water and carries it out of the fuel tank preventing rust. In modern sealed fuel systems ethanol cannot absorb significant amounts of moisture from the air, and it actually removes water from the fuel system.
Yes it corrodes some plastic, rubber and soft metal parts. Gasket materials and plastics that have not been used in properly designed fuel systems since the 1970’s.
The soft metal parts they are referring to are soft metals like zinc that have not been used in modern fuel systems for decades. Modern cars designed (and warranted to run on 10% ethanol) will have no problem with 15%. In fact most modern cars will run just fine on a 30% or higher blend of ethanol based on actual testing, not some based on the opinion of someone with an ax to grind. Ethanol actually cleans out the fuel system. Some modern cars actually get better fuel mileage on high ethanol fuel blends than they do on straight gasoline, and the certainly make more power.
What cause causes many of the problems mentioned above is the general level of ignorance about fuel ethanol. People are getting ripped off by auto garages who are either through ignorance of malicious intent hitting them with bogus repairs that are not needed. They are using ethanol as a handy scape goat for their screw ups and an excuse to sell parts.
The stalling and other problems mentioned are due to ethanol cleaning out all the crap left by straight gasoline due to the accumulation of tars and partially oxidized gasoline heavy ends. All you need to do is replace the clogged fuel filter and the problem goes away. The City of Denver went through this in the 1970’s when they first introduce ethanol added gasoline to the police car fleet. Replace all the fuel filters after they collected the crud from the gasoline and no more problems.
We have been driving on ethanol added gasoline here in Denver for decades ( required by law in 1988 to reduce emissions) Yes that’s right the ethanol reduced emissions rather that increasing them.In fact that is why it was mandated to meet EPA emissions requirements — specifically winter CO levels.
In fact one of the ways to get cars that have trouble passing the IM240 dyno emissions test here in Colorado to get a clean test is to add 2-3 gallons of E85 to the fuel tank. In many cases the added ethanol it improves combustion enough for the owner to avoid expensive repairs to get a clean emissions test.
In actual controlled tests, added ethanol caused very small changes in fuel mileage typically a only about 1.5% reduction in fuel mileage for E10 blends. In properly run tests it is hardly measurable.
http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/ap/down/oxyfuelstudy.pdf

Peterk says:
April 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm
why couldn’t they come up with a replacement for MTBE?

They did it is called fuel ethanol, much less toxic, does the same job, easy to produce with existing infrastructure.
The assertions it might damage current cars is pure nonsense. In the 1970’s Brazil demonstrated that cars with unsophisticated fuel systems of the period could run on 22% ethanol blends with no problems. That is why they standardized on a low ethanol blend of about 20% (it varied over time) to allow older cars to run on the new ethanol blended fuel.
Modern cars with electronic engine management can adapt to much higher ethanol concentrations automatically with no harm to the engine or fuel system or emissions.
In much of the US we have been driving on ethanol added fuel for over 24 years (first mandated by law in 1988 here in Colorado in the winter pollution season.) It was voluntarily used even prior to that due to its lower cost per gallon, before the oil companies cornered the blending market.
I don’t like mandates any more than most of you do, in fact I would like to see the EPA get out of the way and let me put any fuel I wanted in my gas tank. If they did, I would use a blend of 60% fuel ethanol as that is usually the sweet spot where there is minimal fuel mileage loss and maximum gain in power and best cost of fuel per mile.
Don’t blame the “tax credits” they were phased out last year when the blenders tax credit was allowed to expire at the end of 2011.
Guess what high ethanol fuel blends are still cheaper than gasoline in spite of the elimination of that blenders credit. The suppliers are working a lot harder to make their price spread but is achievable with modern ethanol production methods.
At my local station that pumps E85, last week E85 was selling for $3.49 while regular gasoline was selling for $3.95. At that price spread they are just reaching the break even point where cost per mile is the same for both fuels. In the case of cars that require premium fuel the E85 is an outright steal, as it is a 112 octane fuel for less than the price of regular gas.
Yes some small engines had problems — but they were self inflicted wounds due to poor design and a failure of the manufacture to pull their head out of a dark place between their legs. Anyone with a brain would not have used incompatible gaskets and designs for small engines sold in a country where ethanol added fuel has been required by law in some locations for a generation. Small engines are very easily converted to run on ethanol added fuels with trivial changes in the fuel system. I know several folks that run them on E85 so E10 and E15 would be a no brainer for any competent engineer who was not trying to save a nickel on each engine sold or rip off his customers for expensive repair parts to fix a problem that never should have happened in the first place.
I have run 3 different cars on high ethanol blends, none of them were designed for E85 no changes in the fuel system or engine management or any kind. An 86 and 88 and 2000 model year car, and I know literally hundreds of other folks who have done exactly the same thing.
Don’t tell me what fuel to use in my car, just give me a blender pump and let me burn any mixture I want of ethanol and gasoline. In locations where blender pumps are available the most popular blend is 60% ethanol. Now why would that be if it was so destructive to older cars?
Why would a few gallons of E85 get a marginal car past a dyno emissions cycle if it increased emissions? Simple it does not increase emissions or degrade emissions equipment.
Larry

April 25, 2012 12:07 am

Ethanol attracts water? Then why is the water removal stuff you put in your tank 100% Ethanol? If you took a bottle of 190 proof alcohol and stuck it in a closet for five years, how much water would it attract? Seems to me that the real argument is that Ethanol burns hotter, is corrosive to parts and costs more. Not that it attracts water.

ZootCadillac
April 25, 2012 12:28 am

Not exactly addressing the points in the post as I’m in the UK and this is not directly an issue for us. Our farmers can’t afford to run any part of their agriculture business without subsidies so we are already paying taxes to keep the dairy, meat and cereal industries afloat. We don’t have the land to divert any of it to major biofuel production.
What does amuse me though is the recent trend for Americans to complain about their gas prices when they have had it so good for decades. Our gas prices have always, always increased at a similar rate for as long as I can remember and it has seemingly little to do with the price of world crude. Oh for sure when there is an oil scare and crude prices rise then the forecourts are quick to hike up the prices but sure as eggs is eggs, when the prices settle in the global market you can be damned sure the fuel price to the user never returns to it’s previous value.
Currently the average cost of a litre of fuel is £1.40. That’s £6.30 a gallon and at the current exchange rate that’s just a little over $10 a gallon of unleaded fuel at the pump. 63% of which is taxes (duty) to government revenue. Oh how I’d wish for your fuel woes. The last time we paid for gas what you are paying today was 15 years ago in 1997. I’d take your gas prices in a heartbeat even at today’s levels. Shame there’s not a bridge over the Atlantic, it might be worth driving over to fill up. /sarc
It’s killing heavy fuel users in industry such as the obvious, haulage, and as a result it directly affects the prices of just about every other commodity we consume in the UK.
It kind of makes me wish that ethanol or other biofuels were a credible alternative. (sadly not the case if only because it requires nearly 30% more energy to create than it produces at end product and any CO2 emission reduction is outweight by the CO2 released during the milling process ) Instead it’s another pie in the sky job creation scheme to placate the green vote.
One thing the greens might want to consider is the fact that more and more rainforest in Brazil and Asia is being cleared in order to grow food crops that the US is no longer exporting due to turning over so much land use to fuel crop in a grab for the subsidies. It’s not as sustainable as you might think.

climatereason
Editor
April 25, 2012 1:05 am

Really sorry to hear of your surging gas (petrol) prices to over $4 a gallon. We’re at over $10 a gallon in the UK but think how green we are. Broke yes, but the green ness more than compensates and obviously our govt will use the tax raised very wisely on building thousands more ultra efficient wind turbines.
tonyb

jv
April 25, 2012 1:14 am

Wish I lived some where that I could get E15. Sports cars love ethanol.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 1:36 am

Yet another attack on ethanol riddled with half-truths, unsupported attacks and outright errors. It is at best a political rant, complete with the requisite tear-jerking foreclosure story, absent of all supporting facts or documentation and in my opinion has no place at a science and fact based site like WUWT.
If this was a AGW proponent writing this – a story with wild assertions wholly unsupported by facts – the author would be immediately and strongly taken to task.
LET ME SAY FIRST I AM A STRONG ADVOCATE OF DRILLING FOR AND USING OUR FOSSIL FUELS. I AM CURRENTLY RESEARCHING INVESTMENT IN PROJECTS IN THE BAKKEN OIL REGION.
That said renewable fuels – of all types – are an important part of our future.
As to the unsubstantiated claims:
1.) Older engines – It has been well known for many years that older cars, small engines and older boats are not appropriate users of ethanol based products. Not a thing has changed. Many older vehicles of all types have been running E10 for years with little negative long term effect, nor significant long term maintenance cost. I also find the claims that a 10% ethanol blend destroyed engines, carb’s etc specious. Ethanol CAN damage some, primarily fuel system, components – but they are things like filters, hoses, old fiberglass marine fuel tanks and some old plastic parts – almost always on OLD equipment and vehicles. The majority of the damage is, as several noted, corrected by the initial repairs, when upgrading to newer quality fuel system parts.
And most small engine manufacturers products over the last 5 years ARE fine running ethanol blends – one example: http://ethanol.husqvarna.com/ .
Husqvarna actually recommends using 89, not 87, octane E1o fuel in their equipment – proving false the authors heated rhetoric about “burning” and catching fire.
2.) Subsidies – The blenders credit subsidies were eliminated last year. The authors continued use of this red herring shows a complete abandonment of any attempt to provide factual, relevant, accurate information or insight. The OLD subsidies have NOTHING to do with TODAYS fuels – they no longer exist.
3.) Mileage – more claims that are all but false. Simple science shows the lie:
Straight gasoline = 114,000 btu/gal
Straight ethanol = 76,000 btu/gal
Straight ethanol (E100) has 33% less energy than straight gas
Those are the inflated numbers ethanol alarmists use – but we do not use straight gas or straight ethanol.
The science shows E10 has 110,000 btu/gal (114k*.9+76k*.1) and E15 has 108,300 btu/gal … E10 has just 3.3% less energy and E15 just 5% less energy than straight 100% gasoline.
Many people are extremely surprised to read fear-mongering claims about lower MPG etc, as in the story above, and then find out the difference in E10 is a paltry 3% lower mileage. Which is offset by as the author admits lower prices.
Well then – E85 must certainly be terrible then, being 85% ethanol?
Nope … E85 has 81,700 btu/gal – appx 28% less than 100% gas (and appx 25% less than E10).
I just paid $2.88 for E85 vs $3.68 for E10 – or appx. 21% less. Using straight science – the btu/gal difference – there is a 5% premium for me to use E85 – and that is with the 45 cent blender credit gone.
But in reality my 2003 Tahoe got 15.4 mpg on last tank E10, and 12.3 mpg on last tank E85 – I got 20.13% lower fuel economy but paid 20.82% less.
That ethanol costs more because of lower mileage is in reality largely a fallacy. Using ONLY the science of the energy differential, and not taking into account that many engines perform better than the base science – using ethanol blends uses a few percent more fuel to get the same energy as gas – but ethanol blends, as even the author notes cost less.
The remaining claims are equally misleading and in many cases outright false – as is the claim in a comment about Net Energy balance.
4.) Corn Yields – corn yield increases have made up much of the additional crop use of corn for ethanol – increasing from just over 100 bushels per acre in the early 1990’s to almost 150 bushels per acre today. Yields are predicted to reach 190 bushels per acre by 202 – a further 29% increase. http://www.farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2012/02/the_historic_pattern_of_us_cor.html
We have plenty of corn – over last several years the USDA and EIA reports show we met 100% of the domestic demand, exported all that others wanted and still had excess to add to the reserves.
5.) Poor pig farmer Jim – more untruths yet here. We used 5 billion bushels of corn to make 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2011. As part of that process nearly 1/3 of the corn used was returned to the market in the form of high quality distillers dried grain animal feed – almost 40 million metric tons in total, along with nearly .1.5 billion pounds of corn oil.
Farmer Jim had far, far worse problems on his Texas pig farm than corn prices if he lost the farm.
5.) Subsidies and taxes – a comment makes note of the additional taxes raised on the increased fuel used with an ethanol blend. A whole whopping 3% – 5% more fuel depending on whether we use E10 or E15. But he also ignores that the higher corn prices received by the farmers for their crops has a large positive effect on other government farm subsidies – reducing the subsidy, insurance and other governmental crop protection costs significantly.
6.) Price/Cost – corn is a COMMODITY – it is subject to laws of supply and demand, but also to speculation. The positive side is that many farmers are finally able to make more consistent, modest profits. Having many farmer friends I challenge each person here to stand up and say these hard working people are not entitled to a decent living – which farming often does not provide.
As others have noted the cost of corn is a tiny fraction of the cost of products that use corn. Even with a box of Corn Flakes – the corn cost is little more than 1-2% of the retail price.
I largely agree with the last 8 paragraphs in the article – but by then they have little meaning after the unsupported and inaccurate attack prior.
Ethanol – especially corn ethanol – is only a PART of a renewable energy strategy. Renewable energy should – must – be in addition to a proper fossil fuel program.
Ethanol – including that from corn – is a stepping stone – a gateway to the future renewable fuels that we will eventually need.
It is neither immoral or wasteful – and those that try to make that claim as with this author – especially when they make inaccurate, misleading and wholly unsubstantiated claims – do far more damage than good.
In my personal opinion they are no better than the worst of the AGW alarmists – their actions are much the same.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 1:50 am

We need to tie all this insanity together. Ethanol production in 2011 consumed some 40 million acres using about 6 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer. This fertilizer runoffs into the Mississippi River according to EPA creating a New Jersey size dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. (since there is an awful lot of fish and shrimp in the dead zone they must be zombies) In EPA terms one Iowa size area of ethanol destined corn creates one NJ sized Gulf dead zone.
EPA to “save the Gulf” is considering regulations requiring drastic nitrogen reductions of 45% or higher for the entire Miss. River drainage Basin.

Sorry – but yet another silly ethanol attack that ignores simple reality.
The ethanol antagonists pontificate on how terrible it is we are using food to make fuel. That we should be using good ‘ol corn to make tortillas and not fuel.
And then these same folks trot out the fertilizer, water etc etc attacks – that nasty ol ETHANOL corn is purely evil.
Just one little bitty problem. CORN IS CORN!
If you stop using corn for ethanol and use it instead as advocated by the alarmists for food – YOU ARE STILL GROWING THE SAME CORN on the SAME land using the SAME fertilizer, water etc.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 2:11 am

I would also point out I largely agree with many, if not most of CFACT’s positions and mission statement.
Which I believe is all the more reason that inaccurate, unsubstantiated and often simply false rhetoric as written here is so wrong. It significantly damages other credible work they may be doing.
Ethanol is far from a perfect solution – but it IS a true renewable fuel that is available now. The increasing use of ethanol will see technology continue to improve, and will see the all important distribution system infrastructure built out.
Ethanol is NOT a mature product and certainly not a mature technology. Distribution is limited, and without a mature robust distriibution infrastructure its use and growth will be artificially limited.
Continuing in building out that infrastructure will provide the distribution (and demand) platform for enhanced and improved technologies down the road. Cellulosic ethanol for one, along with isobutanol which is currently showing good promise, with a recent study showing it has benefits of ethanol without many of the negatives. Some ethanol plants are already being converted now.
Little of this activity would be occurring if there was not a foreseeable real demand.

Don Keiller
April 25, 2012 2:12 am

You think gas prices are high in the USA?
Try the UK. It is not $4/gallon (I wish it were!), it is $10/gallon.
Some 75% of this is tax. We have fuel tax on top of the base price, then another 20% “value Added tax” (VAT) on top of the new price (base price plus fuel tax).
In effect we are paying a tax on a tax!
Then the idiots in Government wonder why the economy is not recovering.

Bill Tuttle
April 25, 2012 2:36 am

Brian H says:
April 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm
Never attribute to stupidity what is more parsimoniously explained by malice.

Far more appropriate than Hanlon’s original aphorism.

Bill Tuttle
April 25, 2012 3:00 am

Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Thank goodness for the ehtanol market. IF we didn’t have one, we would have unemplyment running over 10% in the USA for starters.

For starters, the “official” smoke-and-mirrors unemployment rate may only be 8.2%, but the actual rate (the BLS U6 index) is 14.5%.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm
So, how’s that argument for the bennies of ethanol run again?

DirkH
April 25, 2012 3:01 am

Here in Germany Gasoline is 1.70 Eur a liter at the moment; and E10 (90% gasoline, 10% ethanol) is 4 cents cheaper. So it’s still a rip-off: ethanol contains 30% less energy so the 10% mix contains 3% less energy a liter than pure gasoline; and should cost 1.7*3 = 5.1 cents less.
Well, it should cost even less still due to the possible problems with water accumulation, that could become a problem in winter. Maybe not such a grave problem but an aspect that reduces the competitiveness of the product so should result in less demand and lower price.
The oil companies count on people just going for the cheaper price per liter. The mainstream news don’t report about the energy content.
My car runs on it without problems, but I’m not happy with the price/performance ratio of the product.

MattN
April 25, 2012 3:42 am

Anyone else remember “gasahol” from the 70s? Didn’t work then, not going to work now.
Stop trading oil for food…

tango
April 25, 2012 3:47 am

I wonder what ethanol tastes like I hope it is good for you because all the farms will be growing corn or suger cane for ethanol

Camburn
April 25, 2012 5:06 am

Ya know, in thinking last night why Mr. Watts would let drivel like this be posted on his wonderful site, I have come to a conclusion. He allowed this op-ed to demonstrate what a non-fact based piece establishes. The author of this op-ed distorts facts, surely has no clue what he is writing about, yet his words see the light of day and are accepted by some.
Kudo’s to you Mr. Watts for doing this. You have demonstrated what is wrong with a lot of the op-ed pieces written to support the GAWG senerio. Outcomes based on falsified facts, solutions based on inuendo and all contradictory in themselves.
Thank you for demonstrating this.

Bill Tuttle
April 25, 2012 5:38 am

In EPA terms one Iowa size area of ethanol destined corn creates one NJ sized Gulf dead zone.
First wunna youse guys dat sez dat’s an appropriate measurement fer a dead zone gets it inna kneecaps…

Bill Tuttle
April 25, 2012 6:08 am

A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 1:36 am
– I got 20.13% lower fuel economy but paid 20.82% less.
[ … ]
– using ethanol blends uses a few percent more fuel to get the same energy as gas.

If using E10 reduced your mileage to 80% of what you got using gasoline, then it appears that you used quite a bit more than “a few percent more fuel” to get the equivalent amount of energy.
Of course, that just may be my Scottish genes kicking in…

klem
April 25, 2012 6:15 am

Excuse me, but according to Wikipedia ethanol contains only 61% of the energy of gasoline. The more ethanol you put into my fuel, the more watered down it becomes. It will effectively make a gallon of gas even more expensive because I will be buying fuel with fewer btu’s per gallon.
It also means that I will need to put the throttle down slightly further to maintain my speed while driving, thereby burning fuel slightly faster than if I were burning pure gasoline.
The oil companies are going to make more money per gallon with ethanol added than without. This should make them very happy.
I used to think the greenies hated oil companies, but now I think they maybe ‘paid by big oil’.
Read about ethanol here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

April 25, 2012 6:36 am

I have have successfully dealt with the small engine damage issue by putting shut off valves in the fuel lines and running the engines out of fuel after use. Storing them with empty carburetors. But inspect the fuel line and valve periodically and replace when necessary.

adolfogiurfa
April 25, 2012 6:43 am

Ethanol is CHEAPER. Does this mean that fuel will be cheaper?. Not at all, that´s the “trick”, the same as “Hide the decline” ( in volume, as ethanol evaporates easily).

April 25, 2012 7:01 am

I see all the supporters of protectionist government welfare farming (corn ethanol) are out again. If their fuel was so superior it would never have needed the government mandates, subsidies and tariffs. Protectionist policies and government welfare checks are only needed for things that are NOT economically viable. Thankfully the worthless ethanol tax credit and tariff expired this year,
After Three Decades, Tax Credit for Ethanol Expires (The New York Times, January 1, 2012)
Now the mandate needs to be abolished. If E85 is such a superior fuel let the market decide.
Myth: Ethanol is Great (Video) (5min) (ABC News)
The Peer-Reviewed Literature is devastating to Ethanol Supporters:
Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 127-134, June 2003)
– David Pimentel

Several studies suggest that the $1.4 billion in government subsidies are encouraging the ethanol program without substantial benefits to the U.S. economy. Large ethanol industries and a few U.S. government agencies, such as the USDA, support the production of ethanol. Corn-farmers receive minimal profits. In the U.S. ethanol system, considerably more energy, including high-grade fossil fuel, is required to produce ethanol than is available in the energy ethanol output. Specifically about 29% more energy is used to produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy in a gallon of ethanol. Fossil energy powers corn production and the fermentation/distillation processes. Increasing subsidized ethanol production will take more feed from livestock production, and is estimated to currently cost consumers an additional $1 billion per year. Ethanol production increases environmental degradation. Corn production causes more total soil erosion than any other crop. Also, corn production uses more insecticides, herbicides, and nitrogen fertilizers than any other crop. All these factors degrade the agricultural and natural environment and contribute to water pollution and air pollution. Increasing the cost of food and diverting human food resources to the costly inefficient production of ethanol fuel raise major ethical questions. These occur at a time when more than half of the world’s population is malnourished. The ethical priority for corn and other food crops should be for food and feed. Subsidized ethanol produced from U.S. corn is not a renewable energy source

Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 14, Number 1, pp. 65-76, March 2005)
– David Pimentel, Tad W. Patzek

Energy outputs from ethanol produced using corn, switchgrass, and wood biomass were each less than the respective fossil energy inputs. The same was true for producing biodiesel using soybeans and sunflower, however, the energy cost for producing soybean biodiesel was only slightly negative compared with ethanol production. Findings in terms of energy outputs compared with the energy inputs were: • Ethanol production using corn grain required 29% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Ethanol production using switchgrass required 50% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Ethanol production using wood biomass required 57% more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel produced. • Biodiesel production using soybean required 27% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced (Note, the energy yield from soy oil per hectare is far lower than the ethanol yield from corn). • Biodiesel production using sunflower required 118% more fossil energy than the biodiesel fuel produced.

Ethanol From Corn: Clean Renewable Fuel for the Future, or Drain on Our Resources and Pockets?
(Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 7, Number 3, pp. 319-336, September 2005)
– Tad W. Patzek et al.

It is shown here that one burns 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent in fossil fuels to produce 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent as ethanol from corn. When this corn ethanol is burned as a gasoline additive or fuel, its use amounts to burning the same amount of fuel twice to drive a car once. Therefore, the fuel efficiency of those cars that burn corn ethanol is halved. The widespread use of corn ethanol will cause manifold damage to air, surface water, soil and aquifers. The overall energy balance of corn conversion to ethanol demonstrates that 65% of the input energy is lost during the conversion. Carbon dioxide sequestration by corn is nullified when corn ethanol is burned, and there will be additional carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and sulfur oxide emissions from the fossil fuels used to produce the ethanol.

A First-Law Thermodynamic Analysis of the Corn-Ethanol Cycle
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 15, Number 4, pp. 255-270, December 2006)
– Tad W. Patzek

This paper analyzes energy efficiency of the industrial corn-ethanol cycle. In particular, it critically evaluates earlier publications by DOE, USDA, and UC Berkeley Energy Resources Group. It is demonstrated that most of the current First Law net-energy models of the industrial corn-ethanol cycle are based on nonphysical assumptions and should be viewed with caution. In particular, these models do not (i) define the system boundaries, (ii) conserve mass, and (iii) conserve energy. The energy cost of producing and refining carbon fuels in real time, for example, corn and ethanol, is high relative to that of fossil fuels deposited and concentrated over geological time. Proper mass and energy balances of corn fields and ethanol refineries that account for the photosynthetic energy, part of the environment restoration work, and the coproduct energy have been formulated. These balances show that energetically production of ethanol from corn is 2–4 times less favorable than production of gasoline from petroleum. From thermodynamics it also follows that ecological damage wrought by industrial biofuel production must be severe. With the DDGS coproduct energy credit, 3.9 gallons of ethanol displace on average the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline. Without the DDGS energy credit, this average number is 6.2 gallons of ethanol. Equivalent CO2 emissions from corn ethanol are some 50% higher than those from gasoline, and become 100% higher if methane emissions from cows fed with DDGS are accounted for. From the mass balance of soil it follows that ethanol coproducts should be returned to the fields.

E85 and fuel efficiency: An empirical analysis of 2007 EPA test data
(Energy Policy, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp. 1233-1235, March 2008)
– Matthew C. Roberts

It is well known that ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline. Differences in engine design and fuel characteristics affect the efficiency with which the chemical energy in gasoline and ethanol is converted into mechanical energy, so that the change in fuel economy may not be a linear function of energy content. This study analyzes the fuel economy tests performed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on 2007 model year E85-compliant vehicles and finds that the difference in average fuel economy is not statistically different from the differential in energy content.

Food Versus Biofuels: Environmental and Economic Costs
(Human Ecology, Volume 37, Number 1, pp. 1-12, February 2009)
– David Pimentel et al.

The rapidly growing world population and rising consumption of biofuels intensify demands for both food and biofuels. This exaggerates food and fuel shortages. The use of food crops such as corn grain to produce ethanol raises major nutritional and ethical concerns. Nearly 60% of humans in the world are currently malnourished, so the need for grains and other basic foods is critical. Growing crops for fuel squanders land, water and energy resources vital for the production of food for human consumption. Using corn for ethanol increases the price of US beef, chicken, pork, eggs, breads, cereals, and milk more than 10% to 30%. In addition, Jacques Diouf, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, reports that using food grains to produce biofuels is already causing food shortages for the poor of the world. Growing crops for biofuel not only ignores the need to reduce fossil energy and land use, but exacerbates the problem of malnourishment worldwide.

Effects of US Maize Ethanol on Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Estimating Market-mediated Responses
(BioScience, Volume 60, Number 3, pp. 223-231, March 2010)
– Thomas W. Hertel et al.

Releases of greenhouse gases (GHG) from indirect land-use change triggered by crop-based biofuels have taken center stage in the debate over the role of biofuels in climate policy and energy security. This article analyzes these releases for maize ethanol produced in the United States. Factoring market-mediated responses and by-product use into our analysis reduces cropland conversion by 72% from the land used for the ethanol feedstock. Consequently, the associated GHG release estimated in our framework is 800 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule (MJ); 27 grams per MJ per year, over 30 years of ethanol production, or roughly a quarter of the only other published estimate of releases attributable to changes in indirect land use. Nonetheless, 800 grams are enough to cancel out the benefits that corn ethanol has on global warming, thereby limiting its potential contribution in the context of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

April 25, 2012 7:03 am

atheok says:
April 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Roger: @_Jim: sorry, I’m on a smart phone so am asking you to take the time to read the one paragraph identified above. The shortest version is our domestic oil is a strategic resource. It is unwise to waste it.

Diversion, dodge, straw-man argument; no one is discussing ‘wasting it’ but rather using it …
In case you guys missed it (for all I know you may be liberal arts majors??):
a) car, trucks and buses are more fuel efficient than they have ever been (on account of computerization, better designs, better production methods using CNC et al of engines and powertrains),
b) we’re in the midst of an economic depression the likes of which we have certainly never seen nor seen in this country since the Great Depression; energy prices directly affect everything.
c) we have a real problem in being competitive in this world (producing and selling things), in part, because of the cost of raw material, processed materials (priced metals lately?) as well as finished goods; referring back to b) above this also relates to the cost of energy.
d) I repeat what I wrote in my first post on this subject (since I contend one of your basic assumptions is in gross error): given what we now envision to hold in the ground, this is policy can and is doing more harm than good economically. For a modern civilization, energy is the ‘key’ to moving forward, to making ‘progress’ as the archaic saying would go.
.

April 25, 2012 7:16 am

Yes, Ethanol can damage engines,
Can E15 Gasoline Really Damage Your Engine? [Yes] (Popular Mechanics, December 21, 2010)
Ethanol Fact and Tip Sheet (PDF) (BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine)
Ethanol fires are also harder to put out,
Ethanol Fuels Fire Concerns (Fox News, February 26, 2008)
The Trouble With Ethanol (Industrial Fire World)

April 25, 2012 7:18 am

Randy says:
April 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm
ONE single tank of E-85 a year ago cost me an entire replacement of a fuel system in my classic ’78 Ski Nautique to the tune of 3 grand!!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.!!! Let’s double down and go for the rest of the motor next!!!!

While I don’t envy you the repair costs, I’m certainly jealous of the boat. What a gorgeous craft, and nothing better for skiing. As aggravating as the repairs may be, it’s worth it for that boat.
Now get upset at the station or marina that sells the E85 without sufficient warning.

April 25, 2012 7:28 am

Paul Westhaver says:
April 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm
CO2…
Ethanol is has about 1/2 of the energy of octane… that is you need 2X as much ethanol to develop RPMs and Torque at the wheels of your vehicle.
Ignition and combustion control systems know this and accordingly will put more fuel through the combustion chamber to allow you to drive as if nothing has changed.

My simple little Coleman 1500 Watt generator doesn’t have an ‘Ignition and combustion control system’, instead I now have to partially set the choke to get the engine to run where it will accept full load without ‘surging and stumbling’, otherwise, it seems to run lean …
Something else the Ethanol-ers overlook: distribution facility ‘mixing’ accidents, where an incorrect amount of Ethanol (usually much higher concentrations doh!! of Ethanol are added to the base gasoline) before transport (and ‘splash’ mixing) by the truck to the retailer’s tank … this has resulted in a series of damaged customer’s cars.
An article looking back in history on this ‘tragedy’ appearing in Business Week awhile back:
Ethanol: A Tragedy in 3 Acts
by Ed Wallace
.

April 25, 2012 7:33 am

Camburn says
5. Please do research. It costs over 5.00 to raise a bushel of corn. Thank goodness for the ehtanol market. IF we didn’t have one, we would have unemplyment running over 10% in the USA for starters. And I guarantee you your food would be a WHOLE lot more expensive. $3.00 corn means no more farmers. The few that would survive would be CERTAIN to make a profit.

Whatever is not economically viable should not be produced and those who cannot compete should be unemployed. The companies that can produce something the market wants will stay around and prosper. It is absolutely illogical that when you free up all the farm land that is being used to grow “fuel” to now grow food will somehow make the cost of food more expensive. Farmers are not entitled to any price for what they produce beyond what the market decides. If you don’t like it don’t farm. The socialist farmers (CCF) moved to Canada in the 1930s please join them.

I won’t even get into how much per gallon it saves and the effect it has on average retail prices of gasoline.

It doesn’t “save” anything. It makes gasoline more expensive otherwise there would not be a need for a mandate to force it to be blended and sold.

Why do you think gas is cheaper now than diesel? Even tho diesel is cheaper to make??????

It has nothing to do with Ethanol.

Bill Wood
April 25, 2012 7:38 am

Back in the middle of the twentieth century street hot rods often ran 100% alcohol. Converting to alky required and getting the anticipated performance boost meant a significant compression increase or supercharging to make use of the increased octane. The primary requirement was to drill out the jets on your three Stromberg carburetors to greatly increase fuel flow. Mileage was horrible, but performance was outstanding. This did not catch on with the general motoring public.
I have noted the label on my two cycle snowblower that warns “Do not use fuels with more than 10% ethanol”. Toro probably had a reason for this guidance. I believe the best environmentalism is to maintain existing devices and inferstructure and not waste the resources required to replace what works until it is no longer repairable. The idea that we should scrap all our older cars, snowblowers, boats, etc. is the fantasy world of those that can afford to turn “durable goods” into “consumables”.

April 25, 2012 7:43 am

Don Keiller says:
April 25, 2012 at 2:12 am
You think gas prices are high in the USA?
Try the UK. It is not $4/gallon (I wish it were!), it is $10/gallon.
Some 75% of this is tax.

Is this a good example of self-immolation or what? Please, do not ask for a medal (or any other avenue of commendation) for such brave acts; we see this as some sort of ‘European centric’ dementia and we have our own cases to deal with (based primarily in Washington, DC as well as other (usually) urban centers of progressivism).
In any case, it is not our (the US’s) fault; suggest you pay closer attention at election time, or invoke our solution (we had a ‘War of Independence’ once upon a time as a certain King George the 3rd sought taxation at/under unendurable circumstances).
.

Dr. Bob
April 25, 2012 7:48 am

Oxygenated fuels were originally mandated as a means of reducing CO and HC emissions from carbureted engines. These were phased out by the early 1980’s. Cars with feedback emissions control systems overcame the issues with “running rich”, which was just an issue of tuning the car properly versus changing the fuel carbon and energy content with an oxygenated fuel.
The advent of effective catalytic converters further reduced the impact of oxygenates on emissions. There were no changes in emissions for 100% hydrocarbon fuels or oxygenated fuels. This statement is based on work done by the excellent scientists at UC Riverside in their CE-CERT lab. Modern cars no longer need oxygenated fuel, but it is still mandated.
Originally, oxygenated fuel was made by blending methyl tert-butyl ether into the fuel. This was a high octane blend component that mixed well with gasoline and was actually mandated by the federal government to be added to gasoline in non-emissions attainment areas (but to little or no effect). However, there were concerns about underground tank leaks allowing water soluble MTBE into groundwater. Lawsuits, mainly from Santa Monica if I remember correctly, caused MTBE to be phased out and replaced with EtOH. This was due to heavy lobbying by ADM and Cargil. At one point, I understood that ADM had the most lobbyists in DC of any single company. Lots of money to be made if your product is mandated to be used!
So now we have E10 mandated, with no impact on either energy security or atmospheric emissions. And they want to mandate that we use more of this fuel because the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated that we produce 16 billion gal of corn EtOH and 16 billion gal of cellulosic ethanol, but there is no home for it in the fuel market. EtOH reached the so-called blending wall last year at about 12 billion gal of corn EtOH. OOPS. A mandated production volume with no market to put it in. So you have to expand the market.
The ethanol producers whine that E85 pumps are not at every station, so they want to government to help them sell their product with $10-30K cost per pump per station. In what world does the Federal Government help market a product that cannot be otherwise sold. Only in the world of EtOH. In those markets in the upper mid-west where E85 is readily available (the Corn Belt), its sales are dismal. Only 2% of ethanol is sold as E85. The consumer response to the opportunity to buy this product is dismal. No one wants it. So to make the EtOH producers happy (political payback is most likely the reason), the Feds need to spend taxpayers money to install equipment to sell something that the taxpayers don’t want. Now that is good use of our tax dollars.
Ethanol has been mandated, protected by tariffs, and subsidized, yet it is still marginal as a profitable product. Time to end this government interference in private enterprise.
Multiple peer reviewed articles have shown that at best ethanol is energy and CO2 neutral. But run-off from the fertilizers necessary to get the massive corn yield per acre are causing eutrophication of our rivers, lakes and the Gulf of Mexico (the massive dead zone of the mouth of the Mississippi is attributed to fertilizer runoff from farms upriver).
Government forcing of markets has never worked in the past and is not working now.
Bob

April 25, 2012 7:52 am

A. Scott says:
5.) Subsidies and taxes – a comment makes note of the additional taxes raised on the increased fuel used with an ethanol blend. A whole whopping 3% – 5% more fuel depending on whether we use E10 or E15. But he also ignores that the higher corn prices received by the farmers for their crops has a large positive effect on other government farm subsidies – reducing the subsidy, insurance and other governmental crop protection costs significantly.

There shouldn’t be any government farm subsidies or government involvement in farming at all. All government welfare to farmers should be eliminated. I always laugh at the so-called “independent”
farmer crying about not getting enough government handouts.

6.) Price/Cost – corn is a COMMODITY – it is subject to laws of supply and demand, but also to speculation. The positive side is that many farmers are finally able to make more consistent, modest profits. Having many farmer friends I challenge each person here to stand up and say these hard working people are not entitled to a decent living – which farming often does not provide.

Who cares if it is subject to speculation? Did you fail economics 101, speculation reduces price volatility. No one is entitled to anything they did not earn and if your friends received government welfare then they did not earn it. If someone thinks farming does not provide a decent living then they should not be farmers and those that can farm profitably should do so instead. If that means big agro-businesses, great. I want my food produced efficiently and cost effectively.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 7:52 am

This is absurd. ADM uses Corn to make ethanol and Corn is one of the most energy intensive crops. It has a longer growing cycle, depletes the soil, and requires petrochemical fertilizers.
I thought Congress just eliminated subsides for ethanol production? What’s up with this?

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 7:55 am

I left a comment over on “Global Warming, Science or Politics” about the history and Big Picture (Agenda 21) of this movement. This latest move by the EPA is just another step along the path to force us into the New Feudalism. Neo-Feudalism. Peonage. UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development taken to its logical culmination. Remember, Revolution is bad for business.
WHAT IS UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 21? The United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, (ICLEI) the local manifestation of Agenda 21 is now running the planing boards of most cities, town and counties. They call it Smart Growth The “Revolution” has already taken place and we have lost all the battles. The poison is now manifest from townhall to Washington D.C.
A key point of Agenda 21 is removing private ownership of land and homes. Instead of attacking ownership directly the attack is on transportation or roads or local building codes. This makes resistance very hard. Without cars and the local roads we drive on to get to and from work “private ownership of land” becomes unattainable by all but the very wealthy who can afford private aircraft.

Your home is their castle in the future if Chris Dodd gets his way with his Livable Communities Act. Senator Dodd says participation in the program will be voluntary but with federal money available to communities who enforce the new standards, it really becomes not so voluntary. Towns will be blackmailed into compliance. http://takingourcountryback.net/issues/agenda-21/what-is-agenda-21/

States get about half their moneys from the Federal government and not directly though tax dollars. This is the hold the Federal government has over the states. Collapse the economy, double the money supply and states and local communities have no choice but to take the bribes from the Feds.
A good video with clips from various speakers. Agenda 21 For Dummies
A video of a Liberal democrat, Rosa Koire talking at a Tea Party meeting is excellent once you are over the shock of a Liberal and the Tea Party agreeing.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 7:58 am

klem says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:15 am
Excuse me, but according to Wikipedia ethanol contains only 61% of the energy of gasoline. The more ethanol you put into my fuel, the more watered down it becomes. It will effectively make a gallon of gas even more expensive because I will be buying fuel with fewer btu’s per gallon.
It also means that I will need to put the throttle down slightly further to maintain my speed while driving, thereby burning fuel slightly faster than if I were burning pure gasoline.

First quoting wikipedia for anything related to fuel ethanol is like quoting Bevis and Butthead. They are notoriously biased in their information on all controversial topics and their fuel ethanol related articles are right at the top of that list. Just like the global warming articles factual updates to their biased pages would be erased almost as fast as the changes were made by “keepers of the faith” who would not allow correct information to be posted.
Your 61% value is correct however so is the 66% energy value. One is for the comparison on a mass basis (kg for kg of fuel) and the other is a volumetric comparison ( liter for liter). The important point how ever is that mass or volumetric energy comparisons are irrelevent. What is important is how much of that energy the engine can extract from the fuel as useful work. The spark igniton internal combustion piston engine throws away about 66% of the fuels thermal energy. About 1/2 of that (1/3 of fuel energy) goes out the exhaust pipe as heat and the remaining 1/3 of the wasted fuel energy goes to the cooling system. Fuel mileage does not track with volumetric or mass fuel energy — it corresponds with net energy recovery.
Since ethanol gasoline blends are inherently more efficient fuels that straight gasoline they often get better absolute fuel mileage when measured in terms of how much fuel energy is consumed to go a certain distance. The mass basis energy comparison is (27 MJ/kg Vs 44 MJ/kg) 61.36%, the volumetric fuel energy comparison is (21.3 MJ/l Vs 32 MJ/l) 66.56%.
In the real world that energy difference is unimportant due to ethanol gasoline blends being superior fuels for internal combustion engines than either fuel alone.
Back in 2002 Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Michigan-Dearborn did a study on small engines running on ethanol blends (yes martha they were successfully running small engines on these fuel blends 10 years ago). Three fuels were used in the tests: 87 Octane unleaded gasoline (E-0), 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol (E-10) and 15% gasoline and 85% ethanol (E-85).

The results showed that the E-10 and E-85 fuels improved energy conversion efficiency but the specific fuel consumption increased when the engine was run on E-85.

Since ethanol blends have different energy contents than gasoline it is more convenient to compare engine performance on an energy basis than on mass basis. Over most of the engine load the difference in energy consumption between pure gasoline (E-0) and gasoline with 10% ethanol (E-10) is very small. But the 85% ethanol blend (E-85) does produce improved specific energy consumption, as shown in the figure.
Fig.

[img]http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/2247/figure1umreport.png[/img]
As you can see even on small engines with unsophisticated fuel and ignition timing control ethanol gasoline blends are more efficient fuels using less fuel energy to accomplish the same work effort.
On my first E85 conversion I carefully measured net fuel energy used per mile and found that it took noticeably less fuel energy to do the work of going a mile on E85 fuel than on straight gasoline. Based on long term fuel consumption vs miles traveled the numbers worked out as follows.
gasoline mileage Gasoline 125,000 Btu/ gallon / 24 = 5208 BTU/mile
My old setup, @ 92% of gasoline milage or 22 mpg
E85 90,500 BTU/gallon/22 = 4114 BTU/mile
This is why assertions of fuel consumption based purely on fuel energy content are not only false but intentionally misleading, and if done knowingly are out right lies.
Larry

John from CA
April 25, 2012 8:01 am

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:01 am
============
Thanks, excellent comment which lead me to your site. The Skeptical Science article is great.
Looking forward to reading more.

April 25, 2012 8:09 am

How much should you pay for E10 and E85? *
If regular gas is $3.00 a gallon you should pay:
. . . . . $2.90 a gallon for E10 (10% ethanol).
. . . . . $2.13 a gallon for E85 (85% ethanol).
Note: adjusting for lower energy content to yield the same fuel quantity per mile driven; can’t escape physics, the same amount of ‘work’ (literally: heat produced during combustion to create pressure to force a piston ‘down’ each ‘power’ stroke on a reciprocating internal combustion engine) must be done regardless of fuel used.
The formula is: For EX, where X is the percent ethanol
. . . . . Ethanol price should = Gasoline price times (100 – X + X / 1.52) / 100
Notice that 100 – X is the percent of gas and X / 1.52 is the percent of ethanol adjusted down by about 2/3 due to lower energy content per reference volume unit.
* Adapted from: http://zfacts.com/p/436.html
.
Editorial portion of post:
So, who is ‘making out’ here Ethanol-ers ?
Is paying __the same price__ for a gallon of product that requires a purchase of 1.52 times (as would be close to the case for E85 fuel) as much straight gasoline really ‘cheaper’ looking at this math? (The answer on the surface looks like “no” BTW.)
(_Jim scratches head in wonderment on the economics of all this)
.

April 25, 2012 8:12 am

@_Jim, please take the time to read the article. Waste is the proper word.
There is a good reason much of the US is off limits to drilling. Drill Baby Drill is Dumb Baby Dumb.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 8:15 am

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am
Agenda 21
==========
Gail, that doesn’t make sense. The UN can’t dictate jack in the US. Land ownership in the US runs with Allodial Title its related rights. No one has the right to dictate farming practices in the US.
The UN can go fish abroad.
Global Weirding in Politics seems to be rampant these days.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 8:18 am

Bill Wood says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:38 am
Back in the middle of the twentieth century street hot rods often ran 100% alcohol. Converting to alky required and getting the anticipated performance boost meant a significant compression increase or supercharging to make use of the increased octane. The primary requirement was to drill out the jets on your three Stromberg carburetors to greatly increase fuel flow. Mileage was horrible, but performance was outstanding. This did not catch on with the general motoring public.

The modern equivalent is the use of E85 in high performance engines, and this has definitely caught on. There has been a rapid adoption of E85 for use in highperformance applications, and performance enthusiasts who actually have tested the fuel instead of believing many of the bogus misinformation about fuel ethanol love it, and spend their own money out of their own pockets to convert their cars to run on the fuel because it so dominantly superior to even $8.00 – $12.00/gallon racing gasoline.
Hotrod magazine did an article on the fuel several years ago where they did back to back tests using gasoline and E85. (they would not have done the article if there was no demand for the information).
http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/hrdp_0801_e85_ethanol_alternative_fuel/viewall.html
A couple quotes from the article:

However, we are not going anywhere near that pie fight. This is HOT ROD. Lucky us: We get to bypass all the left-wing poppycock and right-wing folderol and focus on this issue solely as it relates to hot rodding. The bottom line here is that ethanol looks like a pretty darn good performance fuel.

Just for fun, Urban then bolted up his standard turbocharger combination, a Garrett GT42 blower and Precision Turbo air/water intercooler, to the well-worn test mule. Still running 10.2:1 compression and E85, at 13 psi of boost the engine made an easy 833 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm and 850 hp at 5,900 rpm. You will note there are no comparable test results for pump gas with this combination. “There’s no sense even trying it with this boost and compression,” Urban says. “You just can’t do this with pump gas.” With its knock-stifling 105 road octane, E85 is a pump fuel that performs like race fuel. “I love this stuff,” Urban says. “It’s high-octane fuel for everyone, 105 you can buy on the road.”

I have never met a highperformance car owner who has made the conversion and not fallen in love with the fuel and its higher performance and lower operating costs. When I first made the move to E85 I dropped my cost per mile from 12 cents per mile to 10 cents per mile and got a substantial performance boost, cooler running engine, and a happy wallet. The conversion cost paid for itself very rapidly, as simple conversions only cost about as much as a night out at a good restaurant. In my case I increased my power output by 11% and cut my fuel costs by about 17%.
Larry

April 25, 2012 8:22 am

Gail Combs says on April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am:
I left a comment over on “Global Warming, Science or Politics” about the history and Big Picture (Agenda 21) of this movement. This latest move by the EPA is just another step along the path to force us into the New Feudalism. Neo-Feudalism. Peonage. UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development taken to its logical culmination. Remember, Revolution is bad for business.
WHAT IS UNITED NATIONS AGENDA 21? The United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, (ICLEI) the local manifestation of Agenda 21 is now running the planing boards of most cities, town and counties. They call it Smart Growth The “Revolution” has already taken place and we have lost all the battles. The poison is now manifest from townhall to Washington D.C.
A key point of Agenda 21 is removing private ownership of land and homes.

Can you make reference to an actual part, paragraph or sentence in the UN Agenda 21 document that lays all this out instead of a reference to a 3rd party (and possibly misleading and artful) ‘interpretation’? It’s possible that I may have missed where you linked to the primary document in question here today or in the past; I would hate to see a lot of ppl get ‘wound up’ without seeing first-hand the document detailing the purported erasure of personal property ownership.
.

FactChecker
April 25, 2012 8:36 am

@_Jim
The website is here
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml
It makes for some interesting reading.

more soylent green!
April 25, 2012 8:37 am

Here’s is a great example of the fallacy of picking winners and losers.
Winner — Big Agriculture
Winner — the Farm Vote
Winner — Politicians who can collect more campaign contributions
Winner — Lobbyists
Winner — Environmentalist groups
Losers — All taxpayers and consumers worldwide
Losers — Poor people in underdeveloped countries who can’t afford more expensive food
Unaffected — Big Oil.

Resourceguy
April 25, 2012 8:38 am

The pro-ethanol comments make some good points in their misguided attempts to defend. 1) There is no need to renew the ethanol subsidy because the corn yields went up and the corn will be planted anyway, 2) the negative effects of corn prices on other farm and food mfg. sectors is not as well documented and displayed than they should be, and 3) propping up the gallon-age consumption of demand that is taxed on a per gallon basis serves to keep tax revenues up (for other diversionary games away from highway repair funds) while effectively accomplishing the holy grail of all liberals in raising the gasoline tax. Also, the move ahead on E15 by EPA is in part a compromise to work on technical benefits to the ethanol lobby while temporarily suspending (not fighting for) the subsidy. This serves all the nefarious interests during the election run up and after that the ethanol lobby will regain its subsidy and in the presence of the E15 mandate. Enjoy you piggies but just don’t call it good public policy by any stretch of the imagination. Just don’t come back and tell me a taxpayer-funded ethanol pipeline network is justified!

April 25, 2012 8:46 am

Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says April 25, 2012 at 8:18 am:

I have never met a highperformance car owner who has made the conversion and not fallen in love with the fuel and its higher performance and lower operating costs. When I first made the move to E85 I dropped my cost per mile from 12 cents per mile to 10 cents per mile and got a substantial performance boost, cooler running engine, and a happy wallet. The conversion cost paid for itself very rapidly, as simple conversions only cost about as much as a night out at a good restaurant. In my case I increased[ed] my power output by 11% and cut my fuel costs by about 17%.

A crank, and possibly a camshaft change all for the cost of ‘a night out at a good restaurant.’?
Where do you eat?
Even a ‘head’ change can’t be that cheap … I don’t plan on making those kinds of changes to the old L99-equipped V8-engine in the Caprice to accommodate E85; what do you do when lower octane fuels like E10 or straight UL gasoline are used?
(I’m crassly assuming you raised the compression ratio and jockeyed with the ‘advance’ (in/with the computer/ignition/fuel controller via the many kits/firmware/software now available) to achieve these incredible performance and economy figures.)
Will the vehicle pass the emissions standards for the class and model year? I have to get the L99-engined ’94 Caprice run on the dyno each each year for the emissions test, since it it’s not OBDII equipped.
.

April 25, 2012 8:57 am

FactChecker says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:36 am
@_Jim
The website is here
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml

Paragraph or part please that addresses the ‘home and land grab’ issue?
This should not be a hard thing, since everybody is ‘talking’ about it and seemingly up in arms too.
(My experience has been that most people simply do a ‘hand wave’ in the general direction of the UN site and can’t locate or point to the specifics of this issue in the docs rather they just want to beat up on the ‘bogey man of the day’ and fall in line following the mad crowd on an issue.)
.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 9:00 am

FactChecker says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:36 am
@_Jim
The website is here
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml
It makes for some interesting reading.
===========
Interesting reading is an understatement.
REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
(Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF ALL TYPES OF FORESTS
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-3annex3.htm
RIO DECLARATION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf151/aconf15126-1annex1.htm
CSD Sessions
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/csd/csd_index.shtml

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 9:11 am

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:52 am
…There shouldn’t be any government farm subsidies or government involvement in farming at all. All government welfare to farmers should be eliminated. I always laugh at the so-called “independent”
farmer crying about not getting enough government handouts….
________________________
Poptech most farmers do not get subsidies. Those are only for “Commercial” products like cotton, wheat, corn, soy. Vegetables, fruit and meat has no subsidies at all. The subsidy money actually ends up in the pockets of Monsanto who supplies the seed and Cargill, ADM… who buy the farm product BELOW the cost of production. ( The grain was then sold overseas and used to bankrupt third world farmers )

A href=”http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/FarmBill101Report.pdf”>Farm Bill 101 Report
Because a few agribusiness and grocery companies control almost all of the power in the food system, they can pay farmers a low price at one end of the food chain and charge consumers a high price for their groceries at the other. Since the mid-1980s, the cost of a typical basket of groceries, adjusted for inflation, has risen relatively steadily…. An updated analysis by USDA found that in 2011, farmers only received 13.9 percent of total food retail sales. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized that highly concentrated economic power allows the largest companies to capture the majority of the value from food transactions.

These are the facts no one ever bothers to tell the public.
Agriculture contributes more than $950 billion — 16 percent — to the GNP each year.
There are 2.2 million farms in the USA. According to the 2007 census over half the farms, 1,167,751, reported losses, with an average loss $15,596.
Only 396,054 farms have gains of over $25,000 a year, that means 1.8 million are near or BELOW the poverty threshold.
1,070,668 farms have less than 25% of their income from farming.
Only 4,048 are full time farmers deriving 100% of the income from farming.
The average age is 55.4 years with many farmers beyond or approaching retirement age
According to the USDA, almost 90 percent of the total income of rancher or farmer households now comes from outside earnings. More than 60 percent of US farms are resource, residential or retirement farms.There is a widening gap between retail price and farm value. a USDA market basket of food has increased 2.8 percent while the farm value of that food has fallen by 35.7 percent!
American farmers are working two jobs so YOU can get cheap food and the multinational corporations can make BIG BUCKS and wipe out small farmers in other countries.
References:
Who makes the bread: http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2000/00july-aug/lilliston.html
Freedom to Fail How U.S. Farming Policies Have Helped Agribusiness And Pushed Family Farmers Toward Extinction: http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/mm2000/072000/lilliston.html
Ag Statistics:
http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/index.asp
http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_063_063.pdf
http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_004_005.pdf
http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_059_059.pdf

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 9:14 am

Cui bono ~ Who benefits?
ADM (and Monsanto) are the big winners in the bio-fuel scam. When the Biofuel law went into effect ( the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 ) Archer Daniels Midland cleaned up big time on bio-fuel Biofuel business Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) saw its profits increase throughout all its segments year-over-year, after it formed a strategy to enhance crop-sourcing and processing capacity…. The company reported net earnings of $1.9bn and segment operating profit of $3.2bn for fiscal 2010
Dwayne Andreas worked for Cargill and then worked for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADMC) becoming CEO in 1971. He is considered the TOP campaign donor in the USA.

…Dwayne Orville Andreas (born 4 March 1918) is one of the most prominent political campaign donors[1] in the United States, having contributed millions of dollars to Democratic and Republican candidates alike….
In 1971 Andreas became Chief Executive Officer of ADM, and is credited with transforming the firm into an industrial powerhouse — so powerful that by 1996, ADM had been investigated for price-fixing and was assessed the largest antitrust fine in United States history: 100 million dollars….
Andreas commands much respect among Washington politicians for his largesse. As part of the investigations surrounding illegal campaign fundraising linked to the Watergate scandal, Andreas was charged with (but acquitted of) illegally contributing $100,000 to Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign. In 1972 Andreas unlawfully contributed $25,000 to President Nixon’s re-election campaign via Watergate burglar Bernard Barker. Other recipients of Andreas’s “tithing” — as he puts it — have included [b]George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton,[/b] Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Jesse Jackson, and Jack Kemp.
According to Mother Jones magazine:

During the 1992 election, Andreas gave more than $1.4 million in soft money and $345,000 to individual candidates, using multiple donors in his company and family members (including wife Inez) to circumvent contribution limits.

Not all of Andreas’s charity goes directly to politicians: in the 1990s he contributed $2.5 million to Florida public broadcasting network WXEL….. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwayne_Andreas

Interesting that it was two Florida Journalists who got their behinds handed to them during the “FarmWars”

…Today three companies, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, and Bunge control the world’s grain trade. Chemical giant Monsanto controls three-fifths of seed production. Unsurprisingly, in the last quarter of 2007, even as the world food crisis was breaking, Archer Daniels Midland’s profits jumped 20%, Monsanto 45%, and Cargill 60%. Recent speculation with food commodities has created another dangerous “boom.” After buying up grains and grain futures, traders are hoarding, withholding stocks and further inflating prices…. http://www.globalissues.org/article/758/global-food-crisis-2008

April 25, 2012 9:17 am

Roger Sowell says April 25, 2012 at 8:12 am:
@_Jim, please take the time to read the article. Waste is the proper word.
There is a good reason much of the US is off limits to drilling. Drill Baby Drill is Dumb Baby Dumb.

Remember the adage “Penny wise and pound foolish”?
I think that applies here too.
You are micro-focused on present-day ‘proven reserves’ figures and therefore ‘locked’ into a philosophy of living strictly within tightly defined limits which hampers economic growth. Again, the price and availability of energy factors into economic growth and prosperity.
Another term that come to mind: Zero sum game. Your perspective don’t allow for any further oil/petroleum discoveries so we are stuck with a ‘pie’ of a given, fixed size. … wasn’t the natural gas industry in the same mindset a few years back?
Now look at that market, and make no mistake about it, it is a Drill Baby Drill scenario.
Can you say: “No shortage of supply”? (Well, today anyway!)
.

stpaulchuck
April 25, 2012 9:20 am

Corn alcohol is for drinking, not fueling. Long live White Lightening.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 9:37 am

_Jim says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:46 am

A crank, and possibly a camshaft change all for the cost of ‘a night out at a good restaurant.’?

No such changes are required.!
My first conversion involved one change and one change only. I replaced the stock 440 cc/min fuel injectors with the Japanese market 550 cc/minute injectors for my model car. It cost me a couple hundred dollars for the new injectors, and the old injectors could be sold for nearly the same price to some one who needed stock injectors.
The only thing you need to do to convert a modern car to run on E85 is to increase the fuel flow between 15% and 30%. A 15% increase will allow the natural tuning adaptability of the modern ecu to use any blend of fuel from straight gasoline to straight E85. It will be slightly rich mixture on straight gasoline and slightly lean on full E85 but the car will run just fine.
A 30% increase in fuel flow rate will fully convert to E85 with the engine management fat dumb and happy at its normal fuel trims.
My 88 and 86 model year cars will run on 30% and 50% blends of E85 with no changes of any kind in warm weather, but need similar modifications if I want to use E85 in cold weather.

Will the vehicle pass the emissions standards for the class and model year? I have to get the L99-engined ’94 Caprice run on the dyno each each year for the emissions test, since it it’s not OBDII equipped.

Yep passed with flying colors on our IM240 dyno test here in Colorado (2001 model year WRX) it still met the ELV emissions limits. With modern electronic engine management the computer will do most of the adaptation itself if you just give it the capability of reaching sufficient fuel flow to get normal mixtures. In almost every car that folks have tried it on, all that was required for a minimum effort E85 conversion was to install higher flow rate injectors (look for an injector of the same type as stock that flows 130% of the stock injector). E85 runs just fine on stock ignition timing curve, although slight tweaks can be made to timing and mixture if you have the means to adjust them to get slightly better fuel economy. The biggest problem folks have with simple conversions is cold starting on E85 in sub-freezing conditions. The simple solution to that is to add 2-3 gallons of gasoline to the tank of E85 when it is cold. The more complex solution is to play with the cold fuel enrichment and such if you have tunable engine management system.
On naturally aspirated engines if you want to build an “optimized” engine for E85 yes it helps to bump the compression ratio to about 12.5 -13.2 compression ratios, no cam changes are “needed” but slight cam timing changes or a different profile might help if you are going for a whole hog conversion. E85 produces more exhaust gas volume than an equivilent gasoline setup so it likes a low back pressure exhaust system and slightly longer exhaust valve open time would probably help in a full conversion.
What no one wants to admit is most modern cars will run perfectly well on a 30% blend of E85 right from the factory with absolutely no problems of any kind. A hand full wil adapt to far higher blends if given a bit of time to adjust. It is the dirty little secret the EPA and the manufactures don’t want anyone to know. I drove the WRX on a 30% blend of E85 for years and both my 88 and 86 Subaru’s on similar blends in the heat of the summer with no modifications of any kind. The two older cars get a bit cranky about cool morning starts on those blends but run just fine once warmed up. That could be easily cured if I wanted to drop in larger injectors or find some other means like bumping fuel pressure a bit to increase fuel flow a bit.
Larry

Curiousgeorge
April 25, 2012 9:40 am

@ _Jim says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:57 am
FactChecker says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:36 am
@_Jim
The website is here
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_00.shtml
Paragraph or part please that addresses the ‘home and land grab’ issue?
This should not be a hard thing, since everybody is ‘talking’ about it and seemingly up in arms too.
(My experience has been that most people simply do a ‘hand wave’ in the general direction of the UN site and can’t locate or point to the specifics of this issue in the docs rather they just want to beat up on the ‘bogey man of the day’ and fall in line following the mad crowd on an issue.)
***********************************************************************************************************
Jim, perhaps the “mad crowd” simply thinks you should do your own homework. Or does your, no doubt busy, schedule preclude that?

John from CA
April 25, 2012 9:45 am

Agenda 21: its a voluntary effort with some pretty unrealistic objectives like eliminating poverty. If this is one of the goals then its a Fail so far and they’ve poured 20 years of effort into it.
What if anything have they accomplished in the last 20 years?
Gail,
US farming practices are a bit of a Catch 22. Central Midwest farmers have a preference for growing corn and beans even though they know that the value will be diluted by South American imports and regional competition.
There are other crops they could grow but choose not to do it.

April 25, 2012 9:53 am

Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

As you can see even on small engines with unsophisticated fuel and ignition timing control ethanol gasoline blends are more efficient fuels using less fuel energy to accomplish the same work effort.

Going to assume the carbs on these small engines were re-jetted; as mentioned above, when running my 1500 Coleman these days it takes a small amount of ‘choke’ setting (while running) to make the engine run properly (eliminate surging and stumbling under load), otherwise, it appears to run significantly lean (on E10 even), and that ain’t good as you know …
Anecdotal, but authoritative discussion on the ‘dangers’ of running engines too lean:
http://pmgen.com/hhoscambusters/index.php/topic,195.0.html
This may be the reason why so many small engines fail with E10.
On another note, a technique called Lean of Peak maximizes fuel economy while preserving engine life (piston-powered aircraft engines):
http://www.gami.com/articles/frugalflyer.php
Thanks, government for mandating a ‘motor fuel’ incompatible with our non-vehicular equipment, without an option even to buy straight gasoline for those applications requiring it, as well mandating a product with an even shorter ‘shelf life’ (E10 has a shorter shelf life than gasoline alone even) …
.

April 25, 2012 10:00 am

@_Jim 4-25 9:17 am
I disagree. I clearly stated proven reserves are increasing. Increases are due to improved technology and in spite of production.
The pie grows. It is suicide to consume domestic oil unnecessarily. Every President has known this. A small but viable domestic industry is required, and this we have.
Drill Baby Drill is Dumb Baby Dumb.

April 25, 2012 10:01 am

Curiousgeorge says:
April 25, 2012 at 9:40 am
..
Jim, perhaps the “mad crowd” simply thinks you should do your own homework. Or does your, no doubt busy, schedule preclude that?

The “grand hand wave”?
Is this turning into Real Climate (“Read the literature – gavin”)?
I’m trying to be civil about it, George, but this is actually a ‘competency test’ to see if the nutters can readily back up their ‘claims’. So far, it does not appear they can …
Besides, I might not ‘zero in’ right away on the phrase or paragraph that they seem to have, in spotting nefarious UN goals. Can I not rely on the expert guidance of those enlightened who have gone before me?
.
.
PS. Pls note the name: _Jim on account of all the Jims/jims on the board. Thanks.
.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 10:03 am

VACornell says:
April 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm
About half of the united States is private land. Even though the Administration restricts
the use of its half, the private sector can get us to 100%, or even to the point of exporting
crude oil, by say 2020….
__________________________
Never underestimate the stranglehold of bureaucracy. You forgot the “Spot Owl” Gambit. (Endangered Species Act)
The hype: http://drake.marin.k12.ca.us/academics/seadisc/endangeredspecies/2008/northern_spotted_owl/why_is_it_endangered.htm
The reality:

“The federal government has wiped out almost the entire timber industry in the northwestern United States in an effort to save the spotted owl only to discover that the endangered owl thrives in land where timbering occurs. Now, years later, the federal government is back trying to wipe out the Barred Owl so it won’t compete for food with the favored Spotted Owl.” http://netrightdaily.com/owl/news/americans-for-limited-government-announces-savethebarredowl-com/#more-56

To show how idiotic this can get. The government even tried to forfeit a farmer’s tractor for allegedly running over an endangered rat….

April 25, 2012 10:16 am

Roger Sowell says on April 25, 2012 at 10:00 am:
@_Jim 4-25 9:17 am
I disagree. I clearly stated proven reserves are increasing. Increases are due to improved technology and in spite of production.
The pie grows. It is suicide to consume domestic oil unnecessarily. Every President has known this. A small but viable domestic industry is required, and this we have.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen:
Self-imposed limitations.
This is what guides our legislators and executive branch politicians think, as guided by lobbyists, industry ‘professionals’/trade groups and certain think-tanks … this is the philosophy which guides the Obama administration and most all congress on both side of the aisle; the informed intelligentsia setting the course and agenda in regards to domestic oil exploration and supply.
Sorry, Roger, we are going to have to agree to disagree on this subject, and I still think you are totally if not completely wrong on this subject.
.

Paul Westhaver
April 25, 2012 10:28 am

Jim says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:28 am
Fair point…. I was referring to the predominant automobile fleet situation of fuel injection and computer control…You are correct there are still plenty of carburetors out there with venturies and needle valves and air intake ports… all configured for octane 87.
The ideal gas law makes no provision for the size of the molecule does it!
And SIZE MATTERS!
the volume of 1 mole of vaporized C8 = that of C2….
That has a profound effect on air-fuel ratios.

April 25, 2012 10:32 am

The Maine DEP is still working to clean up the gasoline additive MBTE from our drinking water… This is just more junk to keep them working ehhh? I’m tired of this BS!

mwhite
April 25, 2012 10:32 am

From the GWPF
“Biofuels will cause food prices to rocket, warns ActionAid ahead of clean energy ministerial”
http://www.actionaid.org.uk/103219/biofuels_will_cause_food_prices_to_rocket_warns_actionaid_ahead_of_clean_energy_ministerial.html
“Cameron’s government must beware ‘clean energy’ biofuels con, as new ActionAid report shows the shocking fallout of EU policy”

klem
April 25, 2012 10:34 am

“This is why assertions of fuel consumption based purely on fuel energy content are not only false but intentionally misleading, and if done knowingly are out right lies.”
Larry
Thanks very much for that comment.
You actually tested E-fuels in your car and found a significant improvement is gas mileage over straight gas. This is the first time I have ever heard anyone claim that ethanol improves gas mileage. All I usually hear about is how ethenol will save us all from the devil CO2. I don’t care about CO2, I care about fuel costs. If it improves my gas mileage, I’m interested.
If it improves gas mileage why aren’t they shouting this benefit from the rooftops?

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 10:37 am

Dennis Nikols, P. Geo. says:
April 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm
How the hell else can they get farmers to vote for them. It is crass politics and absolutely nothing else.
___________________________________
Corn farmers are a small fraction of the 2.1 million American farmers. They lost the farmers when they passed the “Food Safety Modernization Act” among other things.

When we are faced with rampant hunger because of the regulatory, financial, trade and foreign policies of the past 100 or so years, those of us who have been crying from the roof tops for people to take an interest in what really sustains them may be very well justified in saying, “Let them eat grass.”Remember, No Farmers, No Food. ~ Doreen Hannes

From Farmer blogs
NoNais: Government is systematically killing the golden goose.

Farm Wars: A Message from Our Criminal Government: “We Got to Get Paid”… The mainstream media also failed to mention that both the Republican and Democratic political parties accepted this fraudulently obtained money as well.
NAIS Stinks: Democrat’s Secret Attack on Agriculture with Food Safety Bill
Food Freedom S 510 is hissing in the grass: S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act*, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US. It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.
R-CALF USA Issues a Baker’s Dozen List of Why Cattle Producers Should Oppose USDA’s New Mandatory Animal ID Rule ~ November 30, 2011 R-CALF USA, the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues.
Here are the names of the 73 US Senators who today sold out the American public’s right to grow and sell crops from their own gardens and farms without government oversight, regulation or permission. Here are the 73 Senators who today made it a crime to store and sell Nature-based seeds and grow crops without artificial contaminants, pesticides, and poisons. About one third of them are coming up for re-election in 2012.

klem
April 25, 2012 10:45 am

Larry
After readiing the comments here about ethanol, I had completly forgotten that when I was a kid a neighbor converted his rather boring 2-stroke outboard boat motor to ethenol. Once he got it going it took off like a rocket, it was so fast and so loud, it was the hit of the summer, everyone wanted a ride in this really fast beast. He called it his ‘alky’.
I think I’m warming up this ethenol thing after all.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 10:45 am

Going to assume the carbs on these small engines were re-jetted; as mentioned above, when running my 1500 Coleman these days it takes a small amount of ‘choke’ setting (while running) to make the engine run properly (eliminate surging and stumbling under load), otherwise, it appears to run significantly lean (on E10 even), and that ain’t good as you know …

Yep they replaced the stock fixed metering jet with an adjustable orfice jet for he testing (I presume an ajustable needel and seat setup like most carburetors used to have for the idle mixture etc.
You are correct the simple solution is to just partially choke the air intake, that is the function of the choke in the first place to enrich the fuel air mixture for starting. If the manufactures actually cared about the consumer they would give you a simple means to adjust the mixture (although I would not be surprised if EPA regulations make that illegal).
That said 10% ethanol only leans out the mixture by 3% (added oxygen content of the fuel), if the engine is running so lean that that is a problem the manufacture had the engine running dangerously lean in the first place. That mixture change is about the same change in fuel air mixture that would happen if you went to a 1000 ft lower elevation. Does not sound like a good base tune up to begin with. I wonder if your fuel filter is clogged or you have a bit of dirt caught in your carb jet and are just blaming the problem on ethanol added fuel when there is really some other cause. A well tuned internal combustion gasoline engine should not care much at all about a 3% change in fuel air mixture, it certainly should not push it over the edge into lean surge idle behavior. The change in mixture for an engine that comes up here to Denver is almost 18% and modern engines have no problem with that at all.
Maybe you just need a carburetor clean up. Small engines have always been plagued with problems due to long storage periods and dust dirt, cobwebs, bugs and what have you finding their way into their poorly sealed fuel systems. I would suspect the obvious first rather than just blaming the fuel. I had problems with lawn mowers chainsaws, and other small engines long long before ethanol added fuel came around, and it was almost always a piece of grass or a leaf fragment or a bug that decided to die in the gas tank over the winter.
Larry

e. c. cowan
April 25, 2012 10:49 am

I have a 2005 Elantra. It went from ca 19mpg when I bought it in 2006, down below 15mpg! I finally realized the gas I used had 10% ethanol. I found a station with just plain gas, and the mpg went back up to ca 19. Then it started dropping again. I finally remembered to check the pump and sure enough – ‘… up to 10% ethanol added to this gasoline…..’
Now I have to TRY and find a station in this town that doesn’t pollute it’s gasoline. There probably isn’t one.
If it’s this bad on 10%, I suppose on 15% the car will get the same mileage as a Patton tank.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 11:18 am

Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Boy….do the folks who posted above need an education.
1. Ever heard of DDG’s? DDG is the by product of corn distilation. IT is a MUCH better feed than corn. The conversion factor, which means weight gain when fed, is higher….
_________________________
No it is YOU who needs the education. DDG is a great boon for ADM, Purina and the other mega corporations but it does the farmer no good.
I just dug into my tax files and here are the prices I actually paid for 50 pounds of feed.
1996 – $5.95
2006 – $6.27
It went up $0.32 in ten years
the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
AFTER the 2008 election –
2009 – $7.79
2012 – $10.59
It went up $4.32 in SIX years!!!!

otsar
April 25, 2012 11:21 am

Politics aside, what I really like about ethanol equipped vehicles is that in a real crunch I can buy my fuel from the good old boys in the hills. Bikes produce more power and run cooler on ethanol and probably last longer; with proper A/F ration of course. Early bikes and cars ran on ethanol. Gasoline did not come into use until high Nickel Chrome alloys became available for exhaust valves. During WW2 when gasoline was rationed more than a few bikes were discreetly run on ethanol in the countryside. In the city the exhaust would give you away.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 11:34 am

klem says:
April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am
Larry
After readiing the comments here about ethanol, I had completly forgotten that when I was a kid a neighbor converted his rather boring 2-stroke outboard boat motor to ethenol. Once he got it going it took off like a rocket, it was so fast and so loud, it was the hit of the summer, everyone wanted a ride in this really fast beast. He called it his ‘alky’.
I think I’m warming up this ethenol thing after all.

Be very clear here, I am not claiming “better fuel mileage” I am saying the engine produces more useful work from the fuel energy available. E85 contains about 72% the energy content per gallon as gasoline but my fuel mileage only dropped from 24 mpg on gasoline to 22 mpg on E85, that is a drop in actual fuel mileage of 8.3% if the advocates of lower fuel energy meaning lower fuel mileage were correct I should have seen a drop in fuel mileage to about 17.3 mpg. I did not, the difference is due to the secondary effects of fuel ethanol which make the engine more fuel effecient in terms of extracting useful work from the available fuel energy.
High tech direct injection ethanol fueled engines have achieved thermal effeciencies of 40%. That is comparable to the very best diesel engine designs and totally blows away the typical 25%-30% themal effeciency of typical gasoline engines.
The presence of ethanol mixed with the gasoline improves the engine thermal effeciency for many sound and well documented reasons. It in the most literal sense makes the gasoline more useful.
With no other changes engines switching from gasoline to E85 typically make 5% more power and if turbocharged their power potential can go up over 15% (theoretical limit about 20%). This means a smaller displacement engine can do the same work as a larger displacement gasoline engine. It also needs to down shift less often to climb hills or pass, and since fuel mileage is very sensitive to engine rpm keeping the engine in a higher gear longer saves fuel. Drivers also need to spend less time at high throttle settings to get up to traffic speed.
High ethanol blends produce more gas volume on combustion which means even at lower peak cylinder pressures the average cylinder pressure during the useful part of the pistons power stroke is higher (thus more power and torque with the fuel change). The high evaporative cooling of ethanol compared to gasoline, cools the engines intake charge more, giving a more dense intake air charge giving more power for the displacement. The cooling also benefits the intake valves, and reduces heat loss to the cylinder walls during compression. As a result exhaust gas temps drop about 200 deg F compared to equivalent gasoline fuel mixtures. This makes life easier on the engine and lets the tuner run the engine at leaner more thermodynamically effecient mixtures on high ethanol blends without causing heat damage to the engine components.
All these benefits are lost on the folks making over simplified assertions not based on actual testing (that old no emperical data bugaboo we constantly face with the climate crowd). Don’t bother me with the facts this statement sounds logical so it must be true. They are doing nothing more than creating over simplified logical (models) argumets and ignoring the facts, because the facts do not fit their preconceived notions.
Larry

SpringwaterKate
April 25, 2012 11:35 am

“Dump it out on the ground!” This is what contractors, gardeners, boaters, motorcyclists, and pretty much everyone is being told by small engine mechanics. As the 10% ethanol keeps wrecking carburetors, the standard advice handed out is to just dump it out of whatever it’s in, because if the ethanol sits in the unit very long, it will foul it. I wonder if the Obama administration ever thinks about the (probably) millions of gallons of fuel being poured into lawns, meadows, waterways, and driveways. Sad.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 11:58 am

_Jim says:
April 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm
….I’m having trouble with this one … it looks like a variation of the “Broken Window Fallacy” in the way of paying subsidies and redirecting resources…
_____________________________
You are correct.
What every one ignores is the fact there is only one buyer (monopsony) so he gets to set the price. There has been a major concentration in the Ag business and there are only about ten big guys left. They control the USDA and FDA and have the big bucks to lobby. The Tax payer picks up the tab for growing the commodites like corn, soy, wheat and cotton and the Ag businesses get the profits.
Then to make it even more interesting you get the Commodities Futures Trading Commission deregulated futures markets in 1999

Then, in 1999, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission deregulated futures markets. All of a sudden, bankers could take as large a position in grains as they liked, an opportunity that had, since the Great Depression, only been available to those who actually had something to do with the production of our food. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/27/how_goldman_sachs_created_the_food_crisis?page=full

Monopsony in Farming

Most economic sectors have concentration ratios around 40%, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40% of the market. If the CR4 is above 40%, a sector is considered “highly concentrated.” Experts believe competition is severely threatened and market abuses are likely to occur in highly concentrated markets.
The CR4 ratios in the agricultural sector are shocking. As of 2007, four companies owned 83.5% of the beef market—more than double the “highly concentrated” cut-off point of 40%. Similarly, the top four firms owned 66% of the hog industry and 58.5% of the broiler chicken industry. In the seed industry, four companies control 50% of the proprietary seed market and 43% of the commercial seed market worldwide. When it comes to genetically engineered (GE) crops, just one company, Monsanto, boasts control over 85% of U.S. corn acreage and 91% of U.S. soybean acreage. http://www.farmaid.org/site/c.qlI5IhNVJsE/b.6097643/k.A9BA/Concentration_in_Agriculture_Forcing_our_Family_Farmers_Out_of_Business.htm

Concentration ratios of the top agricultural firms, 2001 (From Organic Consumers who I do not trust) http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_416.cfm
Beef packers (Tyson, ConAgra, Cargill, Farmland) 81% (JBS Swift is now #1)
Corn exports (Cargill-Continental Grain, ADM, Zen Noh) 81%
Soybean crushing (ADM, Cargill, Bunge, AGP) 80%
Soybean exports (Cargill-Continental Grain, ADM, Zen Noh) 65%
Flour milling (ADM, ConAgra, Cargill, General Mills) 61%
Terminal grain handling facilities (Cargill, Cenex Harvest States, ADM, General Mills) 60%
Pork packers (Smithfield, Tyson, ConAgra, Cargill) 59%
Broilers (Tyson, Gold Kist, PilgrimÂ’s Pride, ConAgra) 50%
Pork production (Smithfield, Premium Standard, Seaboard, Triumph) 46%
Turkeys (Hormel, ConAgra, Cargill, PilgrimÂ’s Pride) 45%

other references
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/8549597/senate-antitrust-blocking-jbs-swift-acquisitions?clienttype=printable&redirected=true
http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/testimony/232891.htm
http://www.foodcircles.missouri.edu/coop.pdf
http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/10-04HogBuyerPower.pdf

John from CA
April 25, 2012 12:00 pm

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am
=========
WOW : (
Thank You for the link to Rosa Koire’s video. What an incredible scam Redevelopment has turned into — “The biggest public relations scam in the world”. I worked in Economic and Community Development in the late ’80s but it was never like this.
Title Infringement: “If you’re in a Redevelopment Area you’re under eminent domain for at least 12 years.”
Property Tax Fraud: “Your property tax increases will go to redevelopment companies instead of ”
Social Engineering: “Outcome based education”
Coercion: State and Federal funds leveraged to require conformance to a Smart Growth Plan that introduces the fraud.
Deception: Community and Neighborhood Associations used to distribute disinformation
This is insane and has to be illegal as its entrapment and fundamentally against the rights of property ownership.
Why haven’t property owners filed a class action suit to eliminate it from their community plans, laws, and ordinances?

Mac the Knife
April 25, 2012 12:14 pm

This video dramatically summarizes all of the concerns expressed in this extended comments queue.
“If I Wanted America To Fail…”
http://youtu.be/CZ-4gnNz0vc

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 12:18 pm

Jan K Andersen says:
April 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm
Thank you mr Driessen for a very informative aricle. I think you ar absoloutely right that it is a huge mistace to use corn for methanol production. But what about the claims that it should be possible to use straw and other non-food resources as source for methanol production?
___________________________
Ever hear of Compost???
To grow decent crops you need compost (decayed organic matter) in your soil. I bought my farm CHEAP because it was 98% inorganic (clay) and would no longer grow crops. I am slowly replacing the topsoil (decayed organic matter) by pasturing animals, and double cropping summer and winter grasses. I do not produce hay I buy it which also helps add organic matter instead of removing it. For the first couple of years I essentially dry-lotted my animals on weedy soil because I could not get much else to grow even soil testing and adding the correct amount of lime and fertilizer.

Department of Soil, Water, and Climate
University of Minnesota
…Manure and compost not only supply many nutrients for crop production, including micronutrients, but they are also valuable sources of organic matter. Increasing soil organic matter improves soil structure or tilth, increases the water-holding capacity of coarse-textured sandy soils, improves drainage in fine-textured clay soils, provides a source of slow release nutrients, reduces wind and water erosion, and promotes growth of earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms. Most vegetable crops return small amounts of crop residue to the soil, so manure, compost, and other organic amendments help maintain soil organic matter levels…. http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1192.html

Power Grab
April 25, 2012 12:33 pm

@ DaveG says:
April 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm
Bingo. Also, it should help the banks by forcing more people to go into debt to afford one of those new vehicles that can use the greater proportion of ethanol. Now, let’s see…whose grandmother was the first female vice president of a bank in our fiftieth state?
And what term do the credit card companies use to describe their customers who pay off their balance every month? “Deadbeats?”

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 12:35 pm

drwilliams says:
April 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm
I have never seen a more fact-deficient illogical rant published on this site, nor such a series of comments in the same vein. Study some history and economics. If you want 1970′s prices on corn, sign up to accept 1970′s wages….
_____________________________
I would be VERY VERY happy to have 1970 wages, however I would much prefer 1959 wages and the corresponding tax rate.
Date…..$ /oz gold.. Money supply….minimum wage…..Pay in gold.
1959 …….35.25 ………..50.1 billion………$1.00………………0.0284 oz.
1974 ……195.20………..101 billion………..$2.00……………….0.0102 oz.
1976 ……124.74 ……….. $113 billion…….$2.30………………0.0184 oz.
2008 …..880.30……….. $831 billion……..$5.85………………..0.0066 oz.
2009…1,020.28………..$1663 billion……..$6.55…………………0.0064.oz.
If you look at the price of gold, you can see how the value of the dollar has dropped and how the minimum wage no longer has the buying power it had in 1959.
Gold price http://www.finfacts.ie/Private/curency/goldmarketprice.htm
Money supply http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/BOGUMBNS.txt
Min Wage http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm
MONEY: Defending Your Prosperity Good Information on US history of Money but a rotten speaker. (start around 1 min)

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 12:49 pm

In real terms (inflation adjusted dollars) corn is not high.
Current price for corn per metric ton in today’s dollars is $275.58.
Peak corn prices in todays dollars were in August 1983 when corn cost $345.167/ metric ton.
Today’s corn prices in real dollars are 79.8% of the historical peak price for corn.
In real dollars corn has been more expensive than it is now at least 6 times since 1981.
Larry

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 1:08 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:01 am
I see all the supporters of protectionist government welfare farming (corn ethanol) are out again. If their fuel was so superior it would never have needed the government mandates, subsidies and tariffs. Protectionist policies and government welfare checks are only needed for things that are NOT economically viable. Thankfully the worthless ethanol tax credit and tariff expired this year,
The Peer-Reviewed Literature is devastating to Ethanol Supporters:
Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 127-134, June 2003)
– David Pimentel

And I see you’re still touting the work of Patzek and Pimental ridiculous that has been thoroughly discredited many times over.
And yes the tax credit is gone – yet you’re still using it to base your attacks.

more soylent green!
April 25, 2012 1:19 pm

Roger Sowell says:
April 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm
http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html?m=0
This discusses why the US must not use up domestic petroleum resources. Scroll down to “Energy Policy”, approximately mid-way through the article.
Roger Sowell

Roger, how many years of domestic oil supply do you reckon we have? If we have more than a century’s worth, how much do we need to set aside as a strategic resource?
Also, without the capacity to produce and refine domestic oil, we are still vulnerable to having our oil supply shut off. As you know, it takes years to get an oil field developed and pipelines built to carry the oil to the refineries.

April 25, 2012 1:29 pm

A. Scott,
The subsidies may be gone, but the government mandates are still in place.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 1:36 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:16 am
Yes, Ethanol can damage engines,
Can E15 Gasoline Really Damage Your Engine? [Yes] (Popular Mechanics, December 21, 2010)
Ethanol Fact and Tip Sheet (PDF) (BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine)
Ethanol fires are also harder to put out,
Ethanol Fuels Fire Concerns (Fox News, February 26, 2008)
The Trouble With Ethanol (Industrial Fire World)

Funny thing – when you actually read your links you find that:
1. The Popular Mechanics story is about OLD engines:

“that antique Evinrude outboard or ’60s lawn tractor you bought at the swap meet might need some upgrading to stay together on today’s gas. That means corrosion-resistant tanks, alcohol-tolerant rubber lines, seals and fuel-pump diaphragms, and plastic fuel-system parts that won’t swell up in the presence of alcohol”

… and the “damage” discussed is largely minor – and resolved with upgrading comparatively inexpensive parts like rubber hoses, filters, and plastic fuel system parts.
2. As to boats – reading your link we find the same thing – mostly minor issues – like:
‘Be ready to change fuel filters more often … problem typically goes away after several tanks’
‘Make sure you upgrade to appropriate fuel hoses’
‘Do not use ethanol in Fiberglas fuel tanks – mostly built before 1980’s – ethanol does NOT effect aluminum, stainless or polyethylene tanks’
‘problems with phase separation are rear – largely affect boats idle for long periods with low fuel in tanks – filling tanks largely addresses issue’
Yep – lotsa terrible thing in that link.
3. Ethanol fires scaremongering – a 2007 and a 2008 story is the best you can come up with? Better yet are what they say:
“Wrecks involving ordinary cars and trucks are not the major concern. They carry modest amounts of fuel, and it is typically a low-concentration, 10 percent blend of ethanol and gasoline.”
In a seven year period the other story shows the extent of the issue they raise:
“Since 2000, there have been at least 26 major fires in the U.S. involving polar solvents, of which 14 were ethanol plant fires and three were ethanol tanker fires. In addition there have been six train derailments, five with fires.
The incidents at ethanol plants are irrelevant – Fire departments are equipped to handle fires at KNOWN fixed locations in their districts.
THREE ethanol tanker fires and FIVE train derailment issues in 7 years – a whopping 8 incidents in 7 years.
Sorry – its never fun when a link doesn’t paint the picture you think and/or want them too.

Dr. Dave
April 25, 2012 1:41 pm

Well, I was not disappointed. When I went to bed last night I was wondering what had happened to A. Scott who always appears on any comment thread discussing ethanol. He did indeed appear to parrot the talking points of the ethanol industry. Nothing has changed from the last exchange. All those who oppose ethanol as a motor fuel (as opposed to a breakfast beverage) are misinformed and all information we present is inaccurate and outdated. Yeah? Well, it’s still BS. Mr. Driessen’s article was still mostly (like > 90%) correct.
Good ol’ Hotrod Larry is another faithful acolyte of ethanol. I have to give Larry a pass because he appears not to be all hat and no cattle. He has actually experimented with fuels adulterated with ethanol. Want really impressive performance? For several decades the answer has been to build engines designed to burn pure methanol. Very high compression, very high fuel throughput, very extreme HP, torque and performance. High speed, incredible acceleration, mileage measured in gallons per mile and engine life measured in single digit hours. High performance, indeed, but most of us are not in a position (or of the inclination) to make such modifications to our vehicles or submit to the additional maintenance requirements.
I’m pleased Larry has achieved such success with adulterated gasoline. But keep in mind, he’s obviously a motorhead. Most of us are not. One of my best friends has mechanical engineering degrees from Michigan State University and is now a Distinguished Scientist at Sandia National Laboratory. He’s also a die hard motorhead. He mostly builds 60s and early 70s classics from the ground up – from junk to original showroom. He HATES ethanol blends. He can demonstrate, with all the mind numbing math, that any adulteration of gasoline with ethanol results in diminished fuel efficiency. Oddly, like Larry, he cares more about performance than fuel efficiency.
Good for Larry! Good for every ethanol advocate. Me…I want to burn pure gasoline. I have nothing against ethanol as a fuel if folks want to use it. I just don’t want my tax dollars used to support it nor do I want the government to mandate it’s use. If ethanol can produce the marvelous results Larry claims, mandated use is unnecessary. The free market will embrace it..

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 1:42 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:33 am
Whatever is not economically viable should not be produced and those who cannot compete should be unemployed. The companies that can produce something the market wants will stay around and prosper. Farmers are not entitled to any price for what they produce beyond what the market decides. If you don’t like it don’t farm. The socialist farmers (CCF) moved to Canada in the 1930s please join them.
I won’t even get into how much per gallon it saves and the effect it has on average retail prices of gasoline.
It doesn’t “save” anything. It makes gasoline more expensive otherwise there would not be a need for a mandate to force it to be blended and sold.
Why do you think gas is cheaper now than diesel? Even tho diesel is cheaper to make??????
It has nothing to do with Ethanol.

More simply false statement unsupported by fact. And your concern for farmers is touching. I suggest you try farming for your food sometime.
The facts are ethanol reduces the cost of gasoline significantly:

The Impact of Ethanol Production on US and Regional Gasoline Markets
Xiaodong Du, Dermot J. Hayes
April 2011 [11-WP 523]
This report updates the findings in Du and Hayes 2009 by extending the data to December 2010 and concludes that over the sample period from January 2000 to December 2010, the growth in ethanol production reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $0.25 per gallon on average. The Midwest region experienced the biggest impact, with a $0.39/gallon reduction, while the East Coast had the smallest impact at $0.16/gallon. Based on the data of 2010 only, the marginal impacts on gasoline prices are found to be substantially higher given the much higher ethanol production and crude oil prices. The average effect increases to $0.89/gallon and the regional impact ranges from $0.58/gallon in the East Coast to $1.37/gallon in the Midwest. In addition, we report on a related analysis that asks what would happen to US gasoline prices if ethanol production came to an immediate halt. Under a very wide range of parameters, the estimated gasoline price increase would be of historic proportions, ranging from 41% to 92%.

Dr. Dave
April 25, 2012 1:45 pm

Smokey,
You’re absolutely right. The subsidies are chump change relative to the government mandate which creates an artificial demand.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 2:07 pm

_Jim says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:09 am
How much should you pay for E10 and E85? *
If regular gas is $3.00 a gallon you should pay:
. . . . . $2.90 a gallon for E10 (10% ethanol).
. . . . . $2.13 a gallon for E85 (85% ethanol).
Editorial portion of post:
Is paying __the same price__ for a gallon of product that requires a purchase of 1.52 times (as would be close to the case for E85 fuel) as much straight gasoline really ‘cheaper’ looking at this math? (The answer on the surface looks like “no” BTW.)
(_Jim scratches head in wonderment on the economics of all this)

@_Jim: Ethanol DOES cost LESS. And you do not need 1.52 times more fuel using E85 compared to straight gasoline.
One more time – using ONLY the energy difference between fuels (and ignoring that real world examples usually show better performance than the straight energy comparison) these are the numbers:
Straight gasoline = 114,000 btu/gal
Straight ethanol = 76,000 btu/gal
Straight ethanol (E100) has 33% less energy than straight gas
BUT WE DO NOT USE straight ethanol or straight gas – these comparisons are meaningless.
E10 has 110,000 btu/gal (114k*.9+76k*.1) and E15 has 108,300 btu/gal …
E10 has just 3.3% less energy and E15 just 5% less energy than straight 100% gasoline.
E85 has 81,700 btu/gal – appx 28% less than 100% gas (and appx 25% less than E10).
I just paid $2.88 for E85 vs $3.68 for E10 – or appx. 21% less.
In reality I get appx 20% lower fuel mileage on E85 than on E10 … while paying appx 21% less.
In simple terms E85, when considering the lower mileage and lower price costs me almost exactly the same as e10.

April 25, 2012 2:08 pm

Dr. Dave, good comments and a rational conclusion.
The comparison between the cost of ethanol vs gasoline is completely artificial, because the production of oil is artificially constrained. When Obama took office the national cost of a gallon of gas was $1.78. Ethanol could not compete with that. So the Administration put millions of acres off limits to drilling. Therefore, the price of gasoline keeps climbing. Simply by allowing the free market to operate, we could easily have gasoline at and below that price again. There is no doubt, because the oil is there.
If there were no government mandates for ethanol, its use would plummet to near zero. Because who really wants it? Gasoline is the real deal. It has the most energy per volume. The infrastructure is in place. And it is certainly more trouble free than ethanol blends.
When your product requires government intervention to make people use the product, you lose the argument.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 2:12 pm

I’m not sure how I missed the Agenda 21 issue for all these years. I even missed Willis’s post in February. Are there any other absurd schemes afoot that should be part of the up coming election debates?
Rio+20 meets Agenda 21
Posted on February 26, 2012 by Willis Eschenbach
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/26/rio20-meets-agenda-21/

Dan in California
April 25, 2012 2:16 pm

ZootCadillac says: April 25, 2012 at 12:28 am
What does amuse me though is the recent trend for Americans to complain about their gas prices when they have had it so good for decades. Our gas prices have always, always increased at a similar rate for as long as I can remember and it has seemingly little to do with the price of world crude.
————————————————————————–
No argument on this, but you EU folks have your choice of cars that get 40, 50, or even 60 miles/gallon. We can’t buy them here in the US because the EPA makes them illegal.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 2:19 pm

John from CA says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:15 am
Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am
Agenda 21
==========
Gail, that doesn’t make sense. The UN can’t dictate jack in the US. Land ownership in the US runs with Allodial Title its related rights. No one has the right to dictate farming practices in the US…
_________________________
OH???
Here is the Gosh Darn LAW!

SEC. 404. <> COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization… http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/ucm247548.htm

From FDA website in 2008

International Harmonization
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/int-laws.html
The harmonization of laws, regulations and standards between and among trading partners requires intense, complex, time-consuming negotiations by CFSAN officials. Harmonization must simultaneously facilitate international trade and promote mutual understanding, while protecting national interests and establish a basis to resolve food issues on sound scientific evidence in an objective atmosphere. Failure to reach a consistent, harmonized set of laws, regulations and standards within the freetrade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreements can result in considerable economic repercussions….

That statement happens to be an outright LIE. The US Senate included a clause protecting the then current US laws from any changes dictated by the WTO in the ratification legislation. That is why when farmers raise a dust over WTO’s traceability a new law had to be passed. (Can not find my reference)

TRANSCRIPT OF REMARKS BY SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ED SCHAFER TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ANIMAL AGRICULTURE INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/%21ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/04/0093.xml
“And one of the best ways to resolve trade disputes is by bringing INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS to bear….We now have harmonized standards for breeding cattle with our two largest trading partners in line with guidance from the World Organization of Animal Health {OIE} ….Along with science-based standards, free trade agreements are another powerful tool for bringing greater access to our animal and our horticultural products abroad….

The World Trade Organization
WORLD TRADE REPORT 2005 C
There are a number of international food safety standards, mainly developed by the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Observance of international standards by developing countries, while costly initially, is often necessary to maintain market access and reduce the rate of rejection of unsafe or spoiled products in export markets……
…..Already wide-spread in industrialized countries, HACCP has become increasingly popular in other
countries. Adoption of and compliance with HACCP principles constitute a necessary, and sometimes even sufficient, condition for meeting international standards…
CONCLUSIONS
The overview suggests that the standards development process organized by national, regional and international standards institutions is progressively evolving. The role of international bodies has gained prominence. The national standardization infrastructures of most industrialized countries are now integrated into the network of international standardization. In Europe, for instance, adoption of European standards is mandatory for national member bodies and European standards organizations transpose the international standards into European standards.
pg 114 thru 117 http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/anrep_e/world_trade_report05_e.pdf

HACCP in the USA

The use of a measure incorporating traceability that directly or indirectly affects international trade is permitted under the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, provided that the measure is applied in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement. These provisions state that the measure must be necessary, scientifically justified, no more trade restrictive than required and consistent with the appropriate level of protection of the importing country….
World Trade Organization (WTO) (1995). – Agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures. In The results of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
The legal texts. WTO, Geneva, 558 pp.
http://www.oie.int/doc/ged/D9067.PDF (Note this is an OIE – United Nations – Document on a WTO agreement)

Animal identification and traceability
The Working Group reviewed the work done by the OIE ad hoc Group on animal identification and traceability and addressed Member Countries’ comments received. It acknowledged that traceability is important for public health, animal health and other managerial reasons. The Working Group agreed that the OIE, in conjunction with the FAO, should prepare a document to assist the practical implementation of future OIE standards on animal identification and traceability. The Working Group congratulated the ad hoc Group for its constructive work and requested it to produce a revised version of Chapter 1.3.7. that takes into account the comments received from Member Countries and the Working Group’s views and written comments. The ad hoc Group met in February and accordingly revised the set of principles and the related definitions. The ad hoc Group addressed the parallel work going on in Codex and welcomed the lack of gaps and contradictions between the OIE and Codex texts. The Terrestrial Code Commission endorsed and finalised the draft chapter on animal identification and traceability.
http://www.oie.int/Eng/secu_sanitaire/Food%20Safety%20Report_74GS_eng.pdf

Good Farming Practices to Lead the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture: Slide presentation by FAO
Source: http://www.fao.org/prods/PP6401/GoodFarming/tsld001.htm
These are from FAO and OIE (Good Farming Practices)
FAO GAPs (fruits and veggies)

What are Good Agricultural Practices?
A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations have been developed in recent years by the food industry and producers organizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities….
http://www.fao.org/prods/gap/ [has links]

This is a University PDF with Links to outside documents or web sites are marked in blue. Good Agricultural Practices. A Self-Audit for Growers and Handlers. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/5453/4362.pdf
OIE Good Farming Practices: Livestock
GUIDE TO GOOD FARMING PRACTICES FOR ANIMAL PRODUCTION FOOD
Good Dairy Farming Practice.
Short Report of what the S.O.B.s are up to: OIE WORKING GROUP ON ANIMAL PRODUCTION FOOD SAFETY Report to the 77th General Session of the OIE International Committee – Paris, 24–29 May 2009
These are from FAO and OIE (Good Farming Practices)
FAO GAPs (fruits and veggies)
[ex]What are Good Agricultural Practices?
A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations have been developed in recent years by the food industry and producers organizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities….
http://www.fao.org/prods/gap/ [has links] [/ex]
This is a University PDF with Links to outside documents or web sites are marked in blue. Good Agricultural Practices. A Self-Audit for Growers and Handlers. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/5453/4362.pdf
OIE Good Farming Practices: Livestock
[url=http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Food_Safety/docs/pdf/GGFP.pdf]GUIDE TO GOOD FARMING PRACTICES FOR ANIMAL PRODUCTION FOOD .[/url]
[url=http://www.oie.int/doc/ged/D7201.PDF]Good Dairy Farming Practice.[/url]
Short Report of what the S.O.B.s are up to:[url=http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Specific_Issues/docs/pdf/Presentation_77SG_En.pdf] OIE WORKING GROUP ON ANIMAL PRODUCTION FOOD SAFETY Report to the 77th General Session of the OIE International Committee – Paris, 24–29 May 2009[/url]
The WTO is hand in glove with the United Nations and with the US Bureaucrats. It is called “Global Governance”.
Pascal Lamy, Director, World Trade Organization (WTO) on Global Govenance: http://theglobaljournal.net/article/view/56/
A freedom of Information dump from the CIA: notice what it is called .foia.cia.gov/2025/2025_Global_Governance.pdf
Original url: http://www.foia.cia.gov/2025/2025_Global_Governance.pdf
Tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/gg2025
backed up a copy of it at CALAMEO: http://www.calameo.com/books/000111790b4dd76a2c850

April 25, 2012 2:41 pm

@_Jim April 25, 10:15
I hope to persuade you. I will have more time to respond more completely this evening.
What must be considered is the US position on the world stage, and the utter futility of waging a war without adequate oil supplies. Both Japan and Germany learned this lesson the hard way, in the early 1940s.

April 25, 2012 2:45 pm

@ more soylent green April 25 at 1:19,
I hope to persuade you to my thinking.
Please check back in a few hours when I can make a more detailed response.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 2:56 pm

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 11:18 am
Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm
Boy….do the folks who posted above need an education.
1. Ever heard of DDG’s? DDG is the by product of corn distilation. IT is a MUCH better feed than corn. The conversion factor, which means weight gain when fed, is higher….
_________________________
No it is YOU who needs the education. DDG is a great boon for ADM, Purina and the other mega corporations but it does the farmer no good.
I just dug into my tax files and here are the prices I actually paid for 50 pounds of feed.
1996 – $5.95
2006 – $6.27
It went up $0.32 in ten years
the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
AFTER the 2008 election –
2009 – $7.79
2012 – $10.59
It went up $4.32 in SIX years!!!!

Gail – feed comes from farmers.
These are the same folks you just complained (and I agree) are barely surviving, and only get a small fraction of the profits from their work.
You note for 10 years (199602006) price of feed only rose 5.4% – or 0.54% a year. A boon for you as consumer but a disaster for the farmer who grew that feed for you.
By 2009 the price had risen 31% over 13 years – or 2.38% avg per year.
In 2012 the price had risen 78% over 16 years – or 4.87% avg per year.
I don’t know about you, but I think those farmers well deserve an increase over time – a 4.87% average annual increase over 16 years does not seem grossly excessive.
And while it may not be appropriate for your needs the Distillers Dried Grain byproduct of ethanol production is a high quality animal feed that seems to lower feed costs overall.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 3:43 pm

John from CA says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:15 am
Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:55 am
Agenda 21
==========
Gail, that doesn’t make sense. The UN can’t dictate jack in the US. Land ownership in the US runs with Allodial Title its related rights. No one has the right to dictate farming practices in the US.
_______________________
After thinking it over I realise you do not understand the “Modern Law Making Process” I am going to use the food laws again since that is what I am very familiar with. However the process works with all the laws the international bureaucrats want to see “Harmonized”
1. The United Nations/World Trade Organization comes up with an Idea. (UN Agenda 21/Sustainability)
2. The “Idea” is sent to a “Working Group” For example the FDA states they are part of the following “Working Groups”

International Harmonization
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/int-laws.html
The harmonization of laws, regulations and standards between and among trading partners requires intense, complex, time-consuming negotiations by CFSAN officials….
Participation in
Codex Alimentarius
Cosmetics International Activities
International Organizations and Standard-Setting Bodies
International Office of Epizootics
International Plant Protection Convention
World Health Organization
Food and Agricultural Organization
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)
Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Microbiological Risk Assessments
Pan American Health Organization
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Those Working Groups come up with Standards, Recommendations, and Guidelines, “Model Laws” if you will. The proposed laws are then brought back to various countries and passed. If there is a public out cry like there was against Animal ID then a “Campaign strategy” is used to get the law passed. In the case of food it was a deliberate increase (Doubling) of food borne disease. See: Shielding the Giant: USDA’s ‘Don’t Look, Don’t Know’ Policy
In addition the United Nations NGOs are mobilized to show “grassroots” support for the proposed bill. With the food bill the fight got rather down and dirty. see google’s HR875 stop the hysteria from the NGO side and A Solemn walk through HR 875 plus a commerce clause lawyer weighing in Trojan Horse Law: The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 Unfortunately Trojan horse NGOs like Organic Consumers, La Vida Locavore and Food & Water Watch did the thinking for many Americans. (All three are connected to the UN, I did the research)
The USDA also used the “Delphi Technique” To “Build Consensus” only farmers were awake and it did not work. (Ain’t the internet great?) USDA employing Delphi Technique: Prepare to be Delphi’d! and “Watch out for the Delphi Technique. “Public meetings” are run by highly trained “facillators” things got uncomfortable enough that the USDA brought armed police to the listening session in Kentucky
USING THE DELPHI TECHNIQUE TO BUILD CONSENSUS: How it is leading us away from representative government to an illusion of
citizen participation.

Notice US citizens are completely cut out of the loop It is an UNELECTED bureaucracy that is completely in control. Even the NGOs are really Astroturf.

“Very few of even the larger international NGOs are operationally democratic, in the sense that members elect officers or direct policy on particular issues,” notes Peter Spiro. “Arguably it is more often money than membership that determines influence, and money more often represents the support of centralized elites, such as major foundations, than of the grass roots.” (The CGG has benefited substantially from the largesse of the MacArthur, Carnegie, and Ford Foundations.) http://www.afn.org/~govern/strong.html

(Organic Consumers get a lot of money from the Rockefeller foundations)

James of the West
April 25, 2012 4:12 pm

I agree that corn derived ethanol is stupid because of its marginal net energy equation (EROEI) and its not a great idea if we use use food as fuel or devote vast tracts of arable land to fuel (this applies only if we are starving). Sugar Cane derived ethanol is a good idea for tropical and semi tropical areas however as it is a very efficient photosynthesis plant with very high sugar content and with a small % of arable land can provide a lot of fuel. An engine designed to use ethanol (with appropriate materials) has no issues mechanically. Using the wrong fuel in the wrong engine is always a bad idea – like using 2 stroke in a 4 stroke etc or diesel in a petrol engine but i’m sure people of average intelligence can cope with the idea that certain engines can use different fuels to other engines.
Brazil provides 80% of its domestic vehicle fuel with ethanol and 30% of its electricity by burining the stalks. THEY PAY LESS $ for fuel than petrochemical fuel! Diversity in fuels is a good idea for competition and consumer prices. My car is able to run 85% ethanol but nobody supplies it here. I pay about $1.50 per litre. I am a skeptic on the role of CO2 in observed warming but ethanol fuels from appropriate plants is a good thing on many levels in terms of alternatives to finite and increasingly expensive resources and lower pump prices. Sugar cane dervied ethanol blends have been used on the east coast of Australia for many years and has caused no issues with vehicle reliability.

Jake
April 25, 2012 4:16 pm

There should be a way for people to buy 100% gas if E15 is mandated. Perhaps make the mandate only apply to regular gasoline, and allow stations to sell premium at 100%? But the problem I see with that is that it’s a tax on those with older vehicles who can’t use E15. (The poor.)

Lester Via
April 25, 2012 4:17 pm

Smokey says:
April 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm
“The comparison between the cost of ethanol vs gasoline is completely artificial, because the production of oil is artificially constrained.”
You are absolutely correct This is why few will ever substantially invest in any alternative fuel that cannot compete with the price of gasoline if crude oil sold at free market prices. It doesn’t now because of the OPEC cartel
OPEC understands the free market far better than our president or Congress and is only able to control the worlds production because, thanks to present government policy, no one else is permitted to compete with them. Meanwhile, they are sucking the wealth out of the industrialized world by agreeing to limit production to keep the market price high, a tactic that would result in a long prison terms if practiced by any group of business executives.
A worldwide, unified, “drill baby drill” policy would dramatically increase the worlds production capacity, ultimately breaking the back of the OPEC cartel, and lower the price of crude to the true free market price.

April 25, 2012 4:42 pm

A. Scott says:
And I see you’re still touting the work of Patzek and Pimental ridiculous that has been thoroughly discredited many times over.
And yes the tax credit is gone – yet you’re still using it to base your attacks.

No Patzek and Pimental have not been discredited despite your delusions otherwise. I mentioned the tax credit expired, did you fail to read that?
The Ethanol mandate still needs to be abolished so I am free to choose the fuel I wish to use in my car.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 4:50 pm

Gail,
The Power of Eminent Domain
“Eminent Domain” – also called “condemnation” – is the power of local, state or federal government agencies to take private property for “public use” so long as the government pays “just compensation.” The government can exercise its power of eminent domain even if the owner does not wish to sell his or her property.
However, Government MUST show just case to exercise this right.
NGOs and Redevelopment Corporations are NOT government agencies and therefore have no right to the use of “Eminent Domain”. If this is occurring they should immediately be sued and imprisoned for fraud.
The Rule of Law governs contracts especially for land which include additional rights which run with the ownership of real property. The land rights account for a significant portion of the freedoms we enjoy in the USA.
If the UN is attempting to influence US Real Estate law then its time to move the UN to Ethiopia.
This scheme is Nuts. Its time for a Class Action Law Suit in each and every US State where this is occurring and it very definitely should be a debate question for anyone seeking office!

Bruce Cobb
April 25, 2012 4:50 pm

The big argument against Obamacare is the mandate, forcing people to buy something, which is most likely unconstitutional. The argument against ethanol should be likewise. If the end result is ethanol dies, then tough cookies.

April 25, 2012 5:00 pm

John from CA says:
“However, Government MUST show just case to exercise this right.”
Unfortunately, the Kelo decision made it much easier for government to take private property.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 5:09 pm

_Jim says: @ April 25, 2012 at 8:22 am
Can you make reference to an actual part, paragraph or sentence in the UN Agenda 21 document that lays all this out instead of a reference to a 3rd party (and possibly misleading and artful) ‘interpretation’? It’s possible that I may have missed where you linked to the primary document in question here today or in the past; I would hate to see a lot of ppl get ‘wound up’ without seeing first-hand the document detailing the purported erasure of personal property ownership.
______________________
Be happy to, but realize it is written in Lawyerez bafflegab and you have to read between the lines. They are not going to come out and say what they actually plan in public documents. I know you can follow the stuff but I worried others could not if they do not know what they are looking for. BTW Rosa Koire, who I quoted works for the government in California in the area of Eminent Domain takings.

Recognizing the global nature of these issues, the international community, in convening Habitat II, has decided that a concerted global approach could greatly enhance progress towards achieving these goals. Unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, particularly in industrialized countries, environmental degradation, demographic changes, widespread and persistent poverty, and social and economic inequality can have local, cross-national and global impacts. The sooner communities, local governments and partnerships among the public, private and community sectors join efforts to create comprehensive, bold and innovative strategies for shelter and human settlements, the better the prospects will be for the safety, health and well-being of people and the brighter the outlook for solutions to global environment and social problems. [Smart Growth is the innovative strategies for shelter and human settlements gc]
…The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development – the Earth Summit – held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, produced Agenda 21. At that Conference, the international community agreed on a framework for the sustainable development of human settlements…. The Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, adopted in 1988, which emphasizes the need for improved production and delivery of shelter, revised national housing policies and an enabling strategy, offers useful guidelines for the realization of adequate shelter for all in the next century. [This is the boiler plate building codes and zoning laws dumped on cities and towns gc]
….involvement for civil society actors, for publicprivate partnerships, [this is International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) gc] and for decentralized, participatory planning and management, which are important features of a successful urban future. Cities and towns have been engines of growth and incubators of civilization and have facilitated the evolution of knowledge, culture and tradition, as well as of industry and commerce. Urban settlements, properly planned and managed, hold the promise for human development and the protection of the world’s natural resources through their ability to support large The Habitat Agenda Goals and Principles, Commitments and the Global Plan of Action numbers of people while limiting their impact on the natural environment. [This is moving people into cities so their impact on nature is minimal gc] The growth of cities and towns causes social, economic and environmental changes that go beyond city boundaries. Habitat II deals with all settlements – large, medium and small – and reaffirms the need for universal improvements in living and working conditions…
http://www.unhabitat.org/downloads/docs/1176_6455_The_Habitat_Agenda.pdf
http://www.unhabitat.org/

Agenda21
Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

Integrated planning and management of land resources is the subject of chapter 10 of Agenda 21, which deals with the cross-sectoral aspects of decision-making for the sustainable use and development of natural resources, including the soils, minerals, water and biota that land comprises. This broad integrative view of land resources, which are essential for life-support systems and the productive capacity of the environment, is the basis of Agenda 21’s and the Commission on Sustainable Development’s consideration of land issues.
Expanding human requirements and economic activities are placing ever increasing pressures on land resources, creating competition and conflicts and resulting in suboptimal use of resources. By examining all uses of land in an integrated manner, it makes it possible to minimize conflicts, to make the most efficient trade-offs and to link social and economic development with environmental protection and enhancement, [Smart Growth gc] thus helping to achieve the objectives of sustainable development. (Agenda 21, para 10.1)
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/susdevtopics/sdt_land.shtml

….Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:
(a) Carry out national policy reviews related to food security, including adequate levels and stability of food supply and access to food by all households;
(b) Review national and regional agricultural policy in relation, inter alia, to foreign trade, price policy, exchange rate policies, agricultural subsidies and taxes, as well as organization for regional economic integration;
(c) Implement policies to influence land tenure and property rights positively with due recognition of the minimum size of land-holding required to maintain production and check further fragmentation[There is your no more building in rural areas gc]
(h) Formulate and implement integrated agricultural projects that include other natural resource activities, such as management of rangelands, forests, and wildlife, as appropriate; [Complete control of land use sounds like to me gc]
United Nations agencies, such as FAO, the World Bank, IFAD and GATT, and regional organizations, bilateral donor agencies and other bodies should, within their respective mandates, assume a role in working with national Governments in the following activities:….
D. Land-resource planning, information and education for agriculture
Basis for action
14.34. Inappropriate and uncontrolled land uses are a major cause of degradation and depletion of land resources. Present land use often disregards the actual potentials, carrying capacities and limitations of land resources, as well as their diversity in space. [Sure sounds like I just lost the right to my property if I do not control the use gc] It is estimated that the world’s population, now at 5.4 billion, will be 6.25 billion by the turn of the century. The need to increase food production to meet the expanding needs of the population will put enormous pressure on all natural resources, including land….
Objectives
14.36. The objectives of this programme area are:
(a) To harmonize planning procedures, involve farmers [Sop to “Land Owners” gc] in the planning process, collect land-resource data, design and establish databases, define land areas of similar capability, identify resource problems and values that need to be taken into account to establish mechanisms to encourage efficient and environmentally sound use of resources;
Basis for action
14.44. Land degradation is the most important environmental problem affecting extensive areas of land in both developed and developing countries. The problem of soil erosion is particularly acute in developing countries, while problems of salinization, waterlogging, soil pollution and loss of soil fertility are increasing in all countries. Land degradation is serious because the productivity of huge areas of land is declining just when populations are increasing rapidly and the demand on the land is growing to produce more food, fibre and fuel. Efforts to control land degradation, particularly in developing countries, have had limited success to date. Well planned, long-term national and regional land conservation and rehabilitation programmes, with strong political support and adequate funding, are now needed. While land-use planning and land zoning, combined with better land management, should provide long-term solutions, it is urgent to arrest land degradation and launch conservation and rehabilitation programmes in the most critically affected and vulnerable areas.
(b) To establish agricultural planning bodies at national and local levels to decide priorities, channel resources and implement programmes. [Sure sounds like what they did in the USSR doesn’t it? gc]
http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/res_agenda21_14.shtml

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Public-private partnerships need a special mention. Like “Sustainability” and “Smart Growth” it is one of the key phrases to look for.
Examples:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/innovfinance/Public-Private%20Partnerships/PPP_main.html
http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OIPP/docs/solar_partners.pdf
The Redevelopment Agency connection to “Sustainability” http://www.calredevelop.org/
President’s Council on Sustainable Development: Between June 1993 and June 1999, the PCSD has advised President Clinton on sustainable development and develops bold, new approaches to achieve economic, environmental, and equity goals. http://clinton2.nara.gov/PCSD/
USDA Director of Sustainable Development: http://www.usda.gov/oce/sustainable/index.htm
This newest Biofuel mandate ties into the Policy Resolution on the. 25 x ’25 Initiative.
The 25 by ’25 resolution expresses the sense of the Congress that by the year 2025, at least 25 percent of total U.S. energy will come from renewable, domestically produced sources.
search [“25 x 25” Sustainable Development Resolution] and you will find a lot of info. such as Midwestern governors have been national leaders in the effort to produce more homegrown energy… : http://www.midwesterngovernors.org/resolutions/25×25.pdf
The whole mess is like a can of worms… No make that Cottonmouth Water Moccasins.

April 25, 2012 5:10 pm

A. Scott says:
1. The Popular Mechanics story is about OLD engines:
“that antique Evinrude outboard or ’60s lawn tractor you bought at the swap meet might need some upgrading to stay together on today’s gas. That means corrosion-resistant tanks, alcohol-tolerant rubber lines, seals and fuel-pump diaphragms, and plastic fuel-system parts that won’t swell up in the presence of alcohol”
… and the “damage” discussed is largely minor – and resolved with upgrading comparatively inexpensive parts like rubber hoses, filters, and plastic fuel system parts.

Intentionally causing damage to any engine is never minor. What kind of absurd reasoning is that? So before the engine worked perfectly fine, now gaskets and hoses leak, filters are clogged and the engine does not work thanks to worthless government mandates?

2. As to boats – reading your link we find the same thing – mostly minor issues – like:
‘Be ready to change fuel filters more often … problem typically goes away after several tanks’
‘Make sure you upgrade to appropriate fuel hoses’
‘Do not use ethanol in Fiberglas fuel tanks – mostly built before 1980′s – ethanol does NOT effect aluminum, stainless or polyethylene tanks’
‘problems with phase separation are rear – largely affect boats idle for long periods with low fuel in tanks – filling tanks largely addresses issue’

Are you kidding me? It is not minor to have your engine stall when you are adrift out in the ocean. How is having your fiberglass fuel tank fall apart minor?

3. Ethanol fires scaremongering – a 2007 and a 2008 story is the best you can come up with? Better yet are what they say:
The incidents at ethanol plants are irrelevant – Fire departments are equipped to handle fires at KNOWN fixed locations in their districts.
THREE ethanol tanker fires and FIVE train derailment issues in 7 years – a whopping 8 incidents in 7 years.
Sorry – its never fun when a link doesn’t paint the picture you think and/or want them too.

That story is the most comprehensive, it does not change the irrefutable fact that Ethanol fires are harder to put out than gasoline. There is no guarantee that all fire departments along train or truck routes are properly equipped to handle Ethanol fires.
The Trouble With Ethanol (Industrial Fire World)
“ETHANOL ON FIRE
Whether blended with gasoline or not, ethanol is highly flammable. Ethanol burns different from gasoline. On the bright side, it is an almost smokeless fire. Unlike alcohol, it has a red visible flame. On the not so bright side, pure ethanol has a flash point of only 55 degrees F. Add 15 percent water and the flashpoint rises to 68 degrees F. Diluted down to a 24 percent solution, ethanol has a flash point of 97 degrees F, so it is still flammable.
At 10 percent, ethanol is still combustible. That means that if you had a spill involving a 100,000 gallon tanker you could dilute it with as much as 900,000 gallons of water and still have a fire hazard. Good luck finding that kind of water. Other than a small spill on the highway, diluting ethanol is out. Picking up that small spill with absorbent materials designed for hydrocarbon is likely to be difficult too. The ethanol may be left behind as if it were water.
Dealing with ethanol on fire involves using an ATC (alcohol type concentrate) foam specifically designed for polar solvents. Straight AFFF and protein foam will not work. A fire department with an extensive stockpile of the wrong kind of foam would be on the same footing as the poorest rural VFD equipped with no more than fire axes and good intentions.
Even with the right kind of foam, fighting a polar solvent fire is no cake walk. I remember a burning 160-foot diameter storage tank in Texas City. Even with a foam blanket six to eight feet deep, flames were still visible. It took four days to bring that one under control.

April 25, 2012 5:26 pm

Bill Tuttle says: April 25, 2012 at 6:08 am
> A. Scott says:April 25, 2012 at 1:36 am
>>– I got 20.13% lower fuel economy but paid 20.82% less.

> If using E10 reduced your mileage to 80% of what you got using gasoline,
> then it appears that you used quite a bit more than “a few percent more
> fuel” to get the equivalent amount of energy.
Those figures were claimed for E85, not E10.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 5:28 pm

Smokey,
That was KELO et al. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON et al in CT. Not an NGO acting in conjunction with a City. The City can’t grant the power to an NGO. I HOPE!!!
They’re screwing around with the 5th:
…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
(c) Petitioners’ proposal that the Court adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic. Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental function, and there is no principled way of distinguishing it from the other public purposes the Court has recognized. See, e.g., Berman, 348 U.S., at 24.

April 25, 2012 5:42 pm

A. Scott says:
More simply false statement unsupported by fact. And your concern for farmers is touching. I suggest you try farming for your food sometime.

I have no concern for those who are too incompetent to farm profitably. The competent farmers will gladly take their market share. I am not interested in propping up failure.

The facts are ethanol reduces the cost of gasoline significantly:

This is elementary to test, as those filling stations that continue to sell the ethanol blends should easily put those who sell straight gasoline out of business. You thus obviously support ending the mandate so you can prove empirically how much it really saves!
Why are ethanol supporters so afraid of proving their claims?

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 5:49 pm

John from CA says: @ April 25, 2012 at 9:45 am
US farming practices are a bit of a Catch 22. Central Midwest farmers have a preference for growing corn and beans even though they know that the value will be diluted by South American imports and regional competition.
There are other crops they could grow but choose not to do it.
___________________________
It is like welfare. If you pay teenagers to have babies do not be surprised when “Government Funded Unwed Mother” is seen as a viable career path. If you pay farmers to grow corn, they will grow corn. If you pay them to land bank they will leave their fields fallow.
Where I am we get a lot of direct sales farming especially since tobbaco farming went belly up due to government regulations. Corn is grown for the owners cattle or sold to hunters as deer bait. An ethanol plant was finally built in the state in 2010.

March 15, 2011 ~ In North Carolina, the state’s first ethanol plant has temporarily halted production until corn prices come down and will place some of its 40 employees on furlough for two to three months, when the Clean Burn Fuels plant in Hoke County hopes to come back online. Corn prices have doubled over the past few months but ethanol prices have only risen 25%. http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2011/03/15/nc-ethanol-plant-halts-production-as-corn-prices-hit/

The whole Farm/Food situation needs a lot of thought and a delicate touch. If someone screws up the production of cars it is not a catastrophe. If it is food we are in deep doo doo. I really do not want to read Today, says USDA Undersecretary Mark Keenum, “Our cupboard is bare.” U.S. government food surpluses have evaporated… or ABA Band of Bakers March on Washington, D.C. Announce Action Plan for Wheat Crisis again.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 5:55 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm
Even with the right kind of foam, fighting a polar solvent fire is no cake walk. I remember a burning 160-foot diameter storage tank in Texas City. Even with a foam blanket six to eight feet deep, flames were still visible. It took four days to bring that one under control.“

I am stunned to learn large fires are hard to put out, even with the best equipment they sometimes take days to control. /sarc
I do get a chuckle out of your quoted article where it says:
“Unlike alcohol, it has a red visible flame.”
News flash ethanol is an alcohol, and fuel ethanol which is what we are talking about here is denatured with from 2%-5% hydrocarbon denaturants and has an easily visible flame not the pale flame color of pure technical ethanol.
The same exact problem occurs with large petroleum tank fires. In Nov 1990 Stapleton International airport had a fuel farm fire (JP4) that took 2 days to put out and they were bringing in truck loads of foam from cities within 100 miles of the fire and even eventually contracted with the Red Adair fire fighting team to help knock it down by bringing in specialized equipment and of course their experience.
It is a cost of doing business with large accumulations of any flammable liquid, there is nothing particularly unique about fuel ethanol fires, it is just another chemical fire risk that has its own unique fire fighting challenges just like every other flammable chemical be it petroleum, keytones like acetone, natural flammable liquids like turpentine or alcohol. In many cases the control strategy of choice in these large flammable liquid fires is to let them burn out as even the largest municipal fire departments have difficulty controlling them promptly.
source FAA report
“AVIATION ACCIDENT REPORT
FUEL FARM FIRE AT
STAPLETON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
DENVER, COLORADO
NOVEMBER 25,199O”

From the time firefighting efforts were initiated
immediately after the fire erupted until the fire was extinguished, a total
of 634 firefighters, 47 fire units, and 4 contract personnel expended
56 million gallons of water and 28,000 gallons of foam concentrate. The fire
burned for about 48 hours. Of the 5,185,OOO gallons of fuel stored in tanks
at the farm before the fire, about 3 million gallons were either consumed by
the fire or lost as a result of leakage from the tanks. Total damage was
estimated by United Airlines to have been between $15 and $20 million. No
injuries or fatalities occurred as a result of the fire.

Fire departments allow burning gasoline tanker fires burn out all the time because they cannot put them out, same goes with flammable liquid fires in rail road accidents. In those cases the best strategy is to control the spread and limit damage to adjacent property, and keep people away as the risk to fire fighters is too high not to mention the cost to try and control the fire.
Your comments about fire suppression by dilution are simply a distraction and add no useful information to the discussion as that is not the way you fight an alcohol fire (or a gasoline fire), and is specifically mentioned as something not to do. As would be well known by any competent fire service or anyone who has bothered to read either an MSDS sheet for denatured fuel ethanol (MSDS #: 004 CAS # : 64-17-5) or the U.S. Department of Energy handbook on E85.
source “Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85” page 18

Fire Safety Considerations
Fuel ethanol fires, like all fires, should be taken
seriously. An E85 fire should be handled like a
gasoline fire. Use a CO2, halon, or dry chemical
extinguisher that is marked B, C, BC, or ABC. An
alcohol-type or alcohol-resistant (ARF) foam may be
used to effectively combat fuel ethanol fires. Never use
water to control a fire involving high-concentration
fuel ethanol such as E85.

Larry

April 25, 2012 5:57 pm

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
At my local station that pumps E85, last week E85 was selling for $3.49 while regular gasoline was selling for $3.95. At that price spread they are just reaching the break even point where cost per mile is the same for both fuels. In the case of cars that require premium fuel the E85 is an outright steal, as it is a 112 octane fuel for less than the price of regular gas.

Not when adjusted for it’s BTU rating,
E85 BTU Adjusted Price (AAA)
$3.840 – Regular Gasoline (4-25-2012)
$3.298 – E85 (4-25-2012)
$4.341 – E85 BTU Adjusted (4-25-2012)
And yes energy content is related to mileage,
E85 and fuel efficiency: An empirical analysis of 2007 EPA test data (PDF)
(Energy Policy, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp. 1233-1235, March 2008)
– Matthew C. Roberts

It is well-known that ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline. Differences in engine design and fuel characteristics affect the efficiency with which the chemical energy in gasoline and ethanol is converted into mechanical energy, so that the change in fuel economy may not be a linear function of energy content. This study analyzes the fuel economy tests performed by the US EPA on 2007 model year E85-compliant vehicles and finds that the average difference in fuel economy nearly mirrors the differential in energy content.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 6:10 pm

Roger Sowell says:
April 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm
I hope to persuade you. I will have more time to respond more completely this evening.
What must be considered is the US position on the world stage, and the utter futility of waging a war without adequate oil supplies. Both Japan and Germany learned this lesson the hard way, in the early 1940s.
________________________________________
As I recall you do not like nuclear either not even thorium. If you do not want to use oil (I consider it a wast of a great chemical precursor) then you should at least look at the pros and cons of thorium.
E. M. Smith’s comment on Thorium: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/21/the-moon-and-sick-plans/#comment-964024

John from CA
April 25, 2012 6:13 pm

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm
=========
I completely agree with you, The whole Farm/Food situation needs a lot of thought and a delicate touch.
Protecting Farms from this not so Smart Growth and EPA nonsense that’s based on CO2 emission reduction should also be a priority. Thankfully, other States in our Republic aren’t as dysfunctional as California.
Minnesota is a beautiful state by the way, I used to drive thru it on fishing trips to the Chain of Lakes in Canada as a kid.
One of the things Rosa suggested was to get ICLEI out of town and out of ordinances, laws, and general plan legislation. Three-fourths of California cities have a city manager to carry out policy and zoning plans. There’s no need for ICLEI or a private Redevelopment Corp. in any of these cities.

Curiousgeorge
April 25, 2012 6:16 pm

Here’s what we are up against folks. In the EPA’s own words. Video included in article:
***********************************************************************
Quote:
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.
“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
“It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans’ philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.
http://cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/epa-officials-philosophy-oil-companies-crucify-them-just-romans-crucified
*******************************************************************************
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but them’s fightin’ words to me. I don’t give shit about “hyperbole” excuses for this. The EPA and this administration is the enemy. Not because I say so, but because they say so. Treat them as such.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 25, 2012 6:23 pm

Not when adjusted for it’s BTU rating,
E85 BTU Adjusted Price (AAA)
$3.840 – Regular Gasoline (4-25-2012)
$3.298 – E85 (4-25-2012)
$4.341 – E85 BTU Adjusted (4-25-2012)
And yes energy content is related to mileage,
E85 and fuel efficiency: An empirical analysis of 2007 EPA test data (PDF)
(Energy Policy, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp. 1233-1235, March 2008)
– Matthew C. Roberts
It is well-known that ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline. Differences in engine design and fuel characteristics affect the efficiency with which the chemical energy in gasoline and ethanol is converted into mechanical energy, so that the change in fuel economy may not be a linear function of energy content. This study analyzes the fuel economy tests performed by the US EPA on 2007 model year E85-compliant vehicles and finds that the average difference in fuel economy nearly mirrors the differential in energy content.

Congratulations you have just demonstrated you have absolutely no clue and totally ignore the facts. The EPA btu adjusted nonsense is part of the problem and as I have demonstrated and multiple other reports have demonstrated actual fuel mileage is not related to energy content. If it was, the fact that any car can get better than 72 percent of its gasoline fuel mileage proves absolutely that the EPA has its head up its butt and does not want to be bothered with the facts.
As the saying goes it only takes one fact to disprove a theory, the fact that some cars get better fuel mileage on 30% ethanol blends than they do on straight gasoline proves that theory is bogus. The fact that almost all Detroit FFV’s get between 80% and 85% of their gasoline fuel mileage on a fuel that only contains 72% of the fuel energy per gallon absolutely proves the theory is bogus. Especially when the make 5% more power doing it. The fact I could get over 90% of my gasoline fuel mileage on E85 which only contains 72% of the fuel energy of gasoline also proves it. Not to mention MIT developing a direct injection ethanol engine that gets substantially better energy recovery than conventional gasoline engines at 40% thermal efficiency.
Then to top it all off your very post includes an explicit statement in your quote that says exactly the same thing I am saying!
Differences in engine design and fuel characteristics affect the efficiency with which the chemical energy in gasoline and ethanol is converted into mechanical energy, so that the change in fuel economy may not be a linear function of energy content.
In other words engine design and tuning methodology is far more important than the volumetric fuel energy. Bottom line you buy a gallon of fuel with the understanding that it will allow you to go so many miles, and the real measure of the fuel is not some esoteric EPA btu corrected value but the cost per mile it takes to go from point A to point B. That is all real consumers care about. My cost per mile dropped from 12 cents a mile to 10 cents a mile, no matter how many idiotic EPA assertions you throw at that fact it stands on its own, and proves with absolutely no doubt that btu corrected energy content is meaningless.
At the above quoted prices of $3.84 for regular the cost per mile of my car at 24 mpg works out to 16 cents/mile. At the listed E85 price of $3.298 / gallon and my fuel mileage of 22 mpg on E85 the cost per mile works out to 14.995 cents per mile, so using your own data your comment is meaningless propaganda and a red herring argument.
Even if I got the typical fuel mileage of a FFV and only got 85% of my gasoline fuel mileage or 20.4 mpg the cost per mile on E85 is essentially identical to the gasoline at 16.16 cents per mile (without any blenders tax credit applied).
Since my car requires premium fuel, I come out even farther ahead given premium fuels higher price of about 3.95/gal today I am making a choice between spending 17.955 cents a mile for pump premium or getting better performance and a lower fuel cost of 16.16 cents a mile on E85. Over a years driving that is a savings of a bit over $275 a year or $23 a month by simply using a different pump nozzle.
Larry

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 6:32 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

A. Scott says:
And I see you’re still touting the work of Patzek and Pimental ridiculous that has been thoroughly discredited many times over.

No Patzek and Pimental have not been discredited despite your delusions otherwise.

Laughable.

In June 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its 2002 analysis of ethanol production and determined that the net energy balance of ethanol production is 1.67 to 1
For every 100 BTUs of energy used to make ethanol, 167 BTUs of ethanol is produced. In 2002, USDA had concluded that the ratio was 1.35 to 1. The USDA findings have been confirmed by additional studies conducted by the University of Nebraska and Argonne National Laboratory. These figures take into account the energy required to plant, grow and harvest the corn—as well as the energy required to manufacture and distribute the ethanol.
Ethanol opponents frequently cite studies by Cornell niversity’s Dr. David Pimentel and Tad W. Padzek, who concluded that ethanol returns only about 70% of the energy used in its production (a net energy balance of -29%). Pimentel’s findings ave been consistently refuted by USDA and other scientists who say his methodology uses obsolete data and is fundamentally unsound. In a detailed analysis of Pimentel’s research, Dr. Michael S. Graboski
of Colorado School of Mines says Pimentel’s findings are based on out-of-date statistics (22 year-old data) and are contradicted by USDA.
Pimentel’s reports have also been debunked by Michael Wang and Dan Santini of the Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory, who conducted a series of detailed analyses on energy and emission impacts of corn ethanol from 1997 through 1999.
A recent study by UC scientists, published in the January, 2006 edition of Science magazine, also acknowledges a positive net energy balance for ethanol, placing the energy return at between 4 and 9 MJ/L.
Furthermore, even the most pessimistic assessments of ethanol’s energy balance acknowledge that ethanol is an improvement over petroleum-based fuels. Using the same analytical methods employed by some ethanol critics, Michigan State University’s Bruce Dale calculates the net energy of petroleum to be -45%, compared to the -29% that Pimentel and Patzek find for ethanol. In the worst-case scenario, burning ethanol is still more energy-efficient than burning gasoline.

“Unfortunately, his (Pimentel’s) assessment lacked timeliness in that it relied on data appropriate to conditions in the 1970’s and early 1980s, but clearly not the 1990s…With up-todate information on corn farming and ethanol production and treating ethanol co-products fairly, we have concluded that corn-based ethanol now has a positive energy balance of about 20,000 BTU per gallon.”
– Michael Wang and Dan Santini

Excepting Pimentel & Patzek, the values of [corn ethanol’s return on energy investment] range from 1.29 to 1.65 for current technology, indicating that corn ethanol is returning at least some renewable energy on its fossil energy investment. Pimentel & Patzek’s result of [return on investment] <1 is an exception
– Hammerschlag, “Ethanol’s Energy Return on Investment: A Survey of the Literature,
1990 – Present,” in Environmental Science and Technology 40:6 (2006).

Two of the studies stand out from the others because they report negative net energy values and imply relatively high GHG missions and petroleum inputs…these two studies also stand apart from the others by incorrectly assuming that ethanol coproducts…should not be credited with any of the input energy and by including some input data that are old and unrepresentative of current processes, or so poorly documented that their quality cannot be evaluated
– Farrell, et al, “Ethanol Can Contribute to Energy and Environmental Goals,” in Science 311
(January 2006).

Dr. Pimentel’s corn yield statistics date from 1992, meaning that the study does not take into account recent advances in the efficiency of corn growing. Corn yields have increased by over
10% since then with significantly lower inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, etc., per bushel… Dr. Pimentel’s figures for energy used in the ethanol conversion process date from 1979. Today’s ethanol plants use far less energy per gallon of ethanol produced.
– Environmental and Energy Study Institute, October 2003

Pimentel & Patzek’s results [for the energy balance of cellulosic ethanol production] stand out, at nearly an order of magnitude larger values for nonrenewable energy inputs than the other three studies. The reason for the difference is that Pimentel & Patzek assume that industrial process energy is generated by fossil fuel combustion and electricity, rather than by lignin combustion. All well-developed models of cellulosic production generate industrial energy with lignin combustion. The other three research teams, all of whom assume this, are highly credible
– Hammerschlag, “Ethanol’s Energy Return on Investment: A Survey of the Literature,
1990 – Present,” in Environmental Science and Technology 40:6 (2006).

“Patzek worked for Shell Oil Company as a researcher, consultant and expert witness. He founded and directs the UC Oil Consortium, which is mainly funded by the oil industry at the rate of $60,000 to $120,000 per company per year.”
-www.journeytoforever.org/ethanol_energy.html

“The finished liquid fuel energy yield for fossil fuel dedicated to the production of ethanol is 1.34, but only 0.74 for gasoline. In other words, the energy yield of ethanol is (1.34/.74) or 81 percent greater than the comparable yield for gasoline.”
– Minnesota Department of Agriculture

“The available energy from ethanol is much higher than the input energy for producing ethanol. In other words, using ethanol as a liquid transportation fuel would significantly reduce domestic use of petroleum even in the worst case scenario.”
– Michigan State University

Corn ethanol is energy efficient…Moreover, producing ethanol from domestic corn stocks achieves a net gain in a more desirable form of energy. Ethanol production utilizes abundant domestic energy supplies of coal and natural gas to convert corn into a premium liquid fuel that can replace petroleum imports by a factor of 7 to 1.
– Shapouri, Duffield, and Graboski, “Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol,” 1995

Even the most pessimistic estimate of corn ethanol’s [return on energy investment] (Pimentel & Patzek at…0.84) is higher than the [return on investment] for gasoline, so it seems safe to say that corn ethanol reduces fossil fuel consumption when used to displace gasoline.
– Hammerschlag, “Ethanol’s Energy Return on Investment: A Survey of the Literature, 3
1990 – Present,” in Environmental Science and Technology 40:6 (2006).

Just a small sampling from an old report.
Among many issues including using old data, Patzek and Pimentel also failed to include co-products in their calculations – attributing all of the production energy to ethanol.
Both Patzek and Pimentel also really are are in the paid employ of oil companies.
Their work has been repeatedly refuted and show deficient by many sources including the USDA, Argonne Labs, US Dept of Energy, Colorado School of Mines, University of California, Michigan University and many others including in peer reviewed work published in major publications such as Science, environmental Science and Technology, and others.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 6:34 pm

A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm
Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 11:18 am
Camburn says:
April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm
If most of the money was going to the farmer I would not have a problem but in most cases it is going to the Ag Giants. It is why I buy as much food direct from the farmer as I can and I buy my corn (for my goats & sheep) from the guy down the street when available. Ethanol has been a boon for farmers but it has been a heck of a lot more profitable for the Ag Giants and the speculators like Goldman Sachs.
The situation is just not straight forward at all. You have the 1995 WTO open borders – tariff reductions, the “Freedom to Farm Act of 1996” the “Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000” China’s entry into the WTO (2001), and the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” On top of that there was a major reduction in the number of Ag companies over the last few decades.
Disentangling the effects of all of those has been the subject of more than one PhD thesis. (from my Uni)

…Most of the New Economy cartels were careful not to allocate individual customers among themselves. By doing so, cartel members did not tip off their customers because of inexplicable refusals to deal, behavior that might well have alerted antitrust officials that illegal collusion was afoot. Customers were also generally disadvantaged in their dealings with the conspirators because they were numerous and ill-informed about price or about the competitive factors that might cause price increases… http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/staff/connor/papers/SUDGEN.htm

THE CORRUPTION OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE is another.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 6:34 pm

Curiousgeorge says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm
Here’s what we are up against folks. In the EPA’s own words.
============
Time to craft some PSAs — this is out of control.

April 25, 2012 6:40 pm

A basic economics/civics lesson regarding ethanol:
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
You could pay $100,000 for an Econ education and never learn the above.

A. Scott
April 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
At my local station that pumps E85, last week E85 was selling for $3.49 while regular gasoline was selling for $3.95. At that price spread they are just reaching the break even point where cost per mile is the same for both fuels. In the case of cars that require premium fuel the E85 is an outright steal, as it is a 112 octane fuel for less than the price of regular gas.

Not when adjusted for it’s BTU rating,
E85 BTU Adjusted Price (AAA)
$3.840 – Regular Gasoline (4-25-2012)
$3.298 – E85 (4-25-2012)
$4.341 – E85 BTU Adjusted (4-25-2012)
And yes energy content is related to mileage,
E85 and fuel efficiency: An empirical analysis of 2007 EPA test data (PDF)
(Energy Policy, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp. 1233-1235, March 2008)
– Matthew C. Roberts
It is well-known that ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline. Differences in engine design and fuel characteristics affect the efficiency with which the chemical energy in gasoline and ethanol is converted into mechanical energy, so that the change in fuel economy may not be a linear function of energy content. This study analyzes the fuel economy tests performed by the US EPA on 2007 model year E85-compliant vehicles and finds that the average difference in fuel economy nearly mirrors the differential in energy content.

Showing yet again you simply have no clue about what you are talking. And you refuse to even acknowledge others who provide direct factual evidence to you.

I just paid $2.88 for E85 vs $3.68 for E10 – or appx. 21% less.
In reality I get appx 20% lower fuel mileage on E85 than on E10
… while paying appx 21% less.
In simple terms E85, when considering the lower mileage and lower price costs me almost exactly the same as e10.

I have a 2003 Tahoe. I run everything from staright gas tro E85 and have since new. I use E85 better than 50% of the time. I have had no service issues.
Even with 90,000 miles, I get approximately 20% lower gas mileage in the REAL WORLD with E85 compared to E10. In the REAL WORLD I pay 21% less fpor E*% tah for E10. In the REAL WORLD I get almost identical fuel cost per mile with E85 than with E10.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 6:53 pm

Actually if you are going to use plants to produce fuel I rather see vats of algae wher the exhaust from coal plants ~ CO2, NOx, SO2 and waste heat ~ is put to good use. http://www.oilgae.com/algae/cult/cos/cos.html
Corn is really an obnoxious plant. It is particularly hard on the soil, requiring plenty of fertilizer, water, and pesticides. On top of that it does not produce a decent “cover” to protect the soil from erosion. http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/peak_soil/

Pat Moffitt
April 25, 2012 7:05 pm

A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 1:50 am
“Just one little bitty problem. CORN IS CORN!
If you stop using corn for ethanol and use it instead as advocated by the alarmists for food – YOU ARE STILL GROWING THE SAME CORN on the SAME land using the SAME fertilizer, water etc.”
No you are not using the same amount of fertilizer. While crop yields have indeed increased- those yields (bu/ac) remain a linear function of the amount of N added. For corn figure 1 to 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per bushel of corn. Increase yield are obtained with increase fertilizer.
My point above however was focused on the hypocrisy of EPA pushing draconian nitrogen regulations at the same time it pushes ethanol. Maryland under EPA orders will need to spend somewhere in the $100m per year range to remove 10M pounds of nitrogen from the Chesapeake. Corn adds some 20million pounds per year. So EPA pushes corn which increases N allowing the Agency to claim nitrogen pollution and impose nitrogen TMDLs. These TMDLs beside being financially crippling allows EPA to decide not only how much nitrogen we are allowed to use but with the Chesapeake TMDLs- decide what industry sectors get the now reduced nitrogen allocation- what percent goes to agriculture, development etc.
Nitrogen is the new CO2. Control nitrogen and you can control every food, energy and development decision we make. I strongly urge you to read the 2011 EPA report “Reactive Nitrogen in the United States: An Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences, and Management” to get an idea of where this is all going. (And watch how nitrogen “critical loads” will be the biggest hammer yet against coal)
EPA is proposing an across the board 25% reduction in nitrogen for the US and 45% for the Mississippi River Basin. Corn is the largest user of nitrogen fertilizer. EPA is pushing more corn. Go figure.
Additionally, if EPA was truly concerned about the environment they would pay some attention to the potential loss of land from CRP in response to the high corn price.

April 25, 2012 7:16 pm

Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
Congratulations you have just demonstrated you have absolutely no clue and totally ignore the facts. The EPA btu adjusted nonsense is part of the problem and as I have demonstrated and multiple other reports have demonstrated actual fuel mileage is not related to energy content.

Yes I completely ignored your unsubstantiated claims. The EPA actually bases it’s figures on laboratory testing, something you do not have.
2012 Fuel Economy Guide (PDF) (EPA, pp. 31-35)
“These fuel economy estimates are based on laboratory testing. All vehicles are tested in the same manner to allow fair comparisons.”
“, FFVs operating on E85 usually experience a 25–30% drop in MPG due to ethanol’s lower energy content.”
Please, do not be fooled by Larry’s long winded rants that completely lack empirical evidence and scientific sources.

Gail Combs
April 25, 2012 7:17 pm

A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm
….The USDA findings have been confirmed by additional studies conducted by the University of Nebraska and Argonne National Laboratory. These figures take into account the energy required to plant, grow and harvest the corn—as well as the energy required to manufacture and distribute the ethanol…..
________________________________
As I thought the numbers are probably rigged.
No one ever bothers to take into account the energy to mine the ore, smelt the ore, fabricate the parts, build all the equipment and ship all that equipment to the farmer. Do they also include all the energy needed to produce the fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides? Or do they only include the fuel used for a farmer to drive around his fields? Some how given the precision of the numbers I think it is only the amount of fuel.
Do you see how you can get a vast number of different answers depending on how you do the accounting? It is a lot like trying to figure out how much you actually pay in tax.

John from CA
April 25, 2012 7:18 pm

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Corn is really an obnoxious plant. It is particularly hard on the soil, requiring plenty of fertilizer, water, and pesticides. On top of that it does not produce a decent “cover” to protect the soil from erosion.
=========
Long growing season as well. Try chisel plowing once you get the soil the way you like it.

April 25, 2012 7:28 pm

A. Scott says:
Showing yet again you simply have no clue about what you are talking. And you refuse to even acknowledge others who provide direct factual evidence to you.

Someone’s unsubstantiated comments is NOT “factual evidence”.

I have a 2003 Tahoe. I run everything from staright gas tro E85 and have since new. I use E85 better than 50% of the time. I have had no service issues.
Even with 90,000 miles, I get approximately 20% lower gas mileage in the REAL WORLD with E85 compared to E10. In the REAL WORLD I pay 21% less fpor E*% tah for E10. In the REAL WORLD I get almost identical fuel cost per mile with E85 than with E10.

That is nice rhetoric, lets see what empirical testing actually shows,
Test results: E85 vs. gasoline (Consumer Reports)
“This chart shows how our 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe performed while running on E85 and gasoline in three fuel-economy tests and overall, in four acceleration tests, and in three emissions tests for gasoline vehicles.”
Fuel Economy
14 MPG – Gasoline (Overall)
10 MPG – E85 (Overall)
– 28.5% Decrease in fuel economy.

Lets see, “Larry (HotRod)” and “A. Scott” vs Consumer Reports, hmmm that is a tough call.

April 25, 2012 7:41 pm

Larry,
Your comments about fire suppression by dilution are simply a distraction and add no useful information to the discussion as that is not the way you fight an alcohol fire (or a gasoline fire), and is specifically mentioned as something not to do.

My comments? Those were from the Industrial Fire World article I quoted. Fighting Ethanol fires is different than other fuels,
NRT Quick Reference Guide: Fuel Grade Ethanol Spills (including E85) (PDF) (U.S. National Response Team)
“Differences between ethanol and gasoline: Ethanol is completely miscible (soluble) in water at any ratio, while gasoline has a low solubility in water. Fighting fires of fuel blends containing 10% or more ethanol by volume requires the use of an Alcohol Resistant-Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AR-AFFF).”

April 25, 2012 7:44 pm

That’s a hard link to refute, Poptech.

Gunga Din
April 25, 2012 7:52 pm

Smokey says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm
A basic economics/civics lesson regarding ethanol:
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
You could pay $100,000 for an Econ education and never learn the above.
___________________
This reminded me of a lecture given by someone running for the Senate I heard back in the late 70’s. He said that most civics classes talked about the balance of powers in the US Constution as being 3 branches of government, the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch and the Supreme Court. He said there was really a 4th branch. The rights of the people embodied in the Bill of Rights. (Unfortunately, he lost.)
_____________________
Pat Moffitt says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm
A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 1:50 am
“Just one little bitty problem. CORN IS CORN!
If you stop using corn for ethanol and use it instead as advocated by the alarmists for food – YOU ARE STILL GROWING THE SAME CORN on the SAME land using the SAME fertilizer, water etc.”
….
No you are not using the same amount of fertilizer. While crop yields have indeed increased- those yields (bu/ac) remain a linear function of the amount of N added. For corn figure 1 to 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per bushel of corn. Increase yield are obtained with increase fertilizer.
My point above however was focused on the hypocrisy of EPA pushing draconian nitrogen regulations at the same time it pushes ethanol. Maryland under EPA orders will need to spend somewhere in the $100m per year range to remove 10M pounds of nitrogen from the Chesapeake.
______________________
I work in water treatment. Convential treatment does not remove nitrates from water. If this extra nitrogen enters the streams and reaches the treatment plants as nitrates (I don’t know if they would. Maybe somebody here does know.), most small cities and even large cities can ill afford to install the additional processes neccessary to remove them.
I don’t know if it would reach the plants as nitrates, but if it does then you can add that to the cost of ethanol production. And that’s not counting the cost of removing the increased herbicides and pesticides likely to enter the streams if higher amounts are allowed for the production of ethanol corn.

Gunga Din
April 25, 2012 7:55 pm

“He said there was really a 4th branch.”
OOPS!
“Branch” should read “balance”.

April 25, 2012 8:13 pm

“crony capitalists” – ha ha. You probably believe in the concept of “redistribution of wealth”, too.
You have to applaud our cunning linguists for their fantastic work, and our loyal media for propagation.

April 25, 2012 8:14 pm

@Gail Combs April 25 at 6:10 pm,
‘As I recall you do not like nuclear either not even thorium. If you do not want to use oil (I consider it a wast of a great chemical precursor) then you should at least look at the pros and cons of thorium.
E. M. Smith’s comment on Thorium.”

No, I do advocate using petroleum. I do not advocate using up America’s domestic petroleum reserves when cheap foreign oil is abundant. We will need our own oil at some future day when we are once again at war and foreign oil supplies are cut off.
I do not favor nuclear for electric power production for reasons I have stated many times on WUWT, chiefly it’s extremely high cost compared to almost any alternative except wind and solar, it’s inherently unsafe with catastrophic release of toxic radiation and radioactive particles (see e.g. Japan Fukushima, US Three Mile Island, and Russian Chernobyl — all within 50 years. The world’s reactors are not yet near end-of-life where more accidents are expected to occur), and spent fuel creates a toxic legacy lasting thousands of years.
Thorium power is a pie-in-the-sky future technology. Its advocates praise its positives and completely gloss over all the negatives. Anyone can prove me wrong by building a full-scale thorium power plant, then having it run for 10 years to collect data on availability, maintainabiliy, and costs. Good luck competing with a combined-cycle gas-fired turbine plant, for both initial cost and operating cost. Total cycle cost for a CCGT plant is very tough to beat, with a thermal efficiency approaching 60 percent and natural gas at $2 per million Btu.
As to E.M. Smith’s writings, I agree with his basic conclusion. There is more than adequate uranium in the ocean. There is also many tons of gold dissolved in the ocean. Nobody mines it because they would go broke doing that. E.M. and I agree that nothing ever leaves the Earth (unless in a rocket and escapes the gravity field). Everything, every single atom, is still here ready to be used over and over again. All that need be applied is energy and ingenuity. The molecules may change, but the atoms do not. This also ignores the very small loss of some large atoms into smaller ones via nuclear fission. On a tonnage basis, it is so small that it may be ignored.
Farmers in particular know this, as their crops pull CO2 out of the sky, and convert the carbon to plant mass. Then the farmers burn some of the plant mass after the harvest, or allow the plant mass to rot, converting the carbon back into CO2. Energy is input to accomplish this, primarily from sunshine. There is also energy input via fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, plus fuel to operate various machinery.

April 25, 2012 8:21 pm

Just a small sampling from an old report.
Among many issues including using old data, Patzek and Pimentel also failed to include co-products in their calculations – attributing all of the production energy to ethanol.

A “report” from the ethanol lobby. The differences between Pimentel & Patzek vs. Kim & Dale are discussed in this paper,
Seeking to Understand the Reasons for Different Energy Return on Investment (EROI) Estimates for Biofuels
(Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 12, pp. 2413-2432, December 2011)
– Charles A.S. Hall, Bruce E. Dale, David Pimentel
As you can see Pimentel and Patzek are more thorough with allocation costs.

Both Patzek and Pimentel also really are are in the paid employ of oil companies.

This is a nice smear, something we would expect from AGW Alarmists. Is the desperation showing? Both scientists are highly credentialed,
David Pimentel, B.S. University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1948); Ph.D. Cornell University (1951); Hon. D.Sc. (Honorary Doctorate of Science), University of Massachusetts at Amherst (2008); United States Army Air Force (1943-1945); Chief, Tropical Research Laboratory, U.S. Public Health Service, San Juan, Puerto Rico (1951-1954); Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Chicago (1954-1955); Project Leader, Technical Development Laboratory, U.S. Public Health Service (1954-1955); Assistant Professor of Ecology, Cornell University (1955-1960); Associate Professor of Ecology, Cornell University (1960-1963); O.E.E.C. Fellow, Oxford University, UK (1961); NSF Computer Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1961); Professor and Head, Department of Entomology and Limnology, Cornell University (1963-1969); Professor of Ecology, Cornell University (1969-1976); Professor, Core Faculty, Center for Environmental Quality Management, Cornell University (1973-1974); Professor of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Cornell University (1976-2005); Member, Secretary of Energy’s Energy Research Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Energy (1979-1983); Member, Ecological Society of America; Member, Entomological Society of America; Member, Society for the Study of Evolution; Member, Entomological Society of Canada; Member, American Society of Naturalists; Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Member, American Institute of Biological Sciences; Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Cornell University (2005-Present)
Tadeusz W. Patzek, M.S. Chemical Engineering, Silesian Technical University, Poland (1974); Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Silesian Technical University, Poland (1980); Research Associate, Chemical Engineering Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland (1974-1980); Fulbright Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota (1978-1979); Research Associate, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota (1981-1983); Research Engineer, Enhanced Recovery Research Department, Shell Development (1983-1989); Senior Reservoir Engineer, Shell Western E&P, Inc. (1989-1990); Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering, U.C. Berkeley (1990-1995); Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Mineral Engineering, U.C. Berkeley (1995-2002); Professor of Geoengineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, U.C. Berkeley (2002-2008); Invited Professor, Earth Sciences Department, TU Delft, The Netherlands (2004), Member, American Geophysical Union; Member, American Physical Society; Member, American Chemical Society; Professor and Chairman, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin (2008-Present)
Patzek at best has energy industry experience from over 30 years ago. All that means is he is less likely to be influenced by things that are not supported by empirical evidence as most environmentalists are.

April 25, 2012 8:35 pm

All the ethanol proponents here should demand the mandate is abolished so they can show us how much “better” mileage they get, how much “cheaper” their fuel blends are and put straight gasoline to shame!
Why are they so afraid to do this if their arguments are so superior?

April 25, 2012 8:36 pm

@_Jim on April 25, at 10:16 am
Referring to my statement: “A small but viable domestic industry is required, and this we have.”, you then wrote
“And there you have it ladies and gentlemen:
Self-imposed limitations.
This is what guides our legislators and executive branch politicians think, as guided by lobbyists, industry ‘professionals’/trade groups and certain think-tanks … this is the philosophy which guides the Obama administration and most all congress on both side of the aisle; the informed intelligentsia setting the course and agenda in regards to domestic oil exploration and supply.”

Yes, a self-imposed limitation on domestic drilling. Again, for a very good set or reasons. Briefly, they are these:
1. Oil is not distributed equally amongst all nations. For example, Japan has virtually none and must purchase oil from others. Middle East countries are well-known oil exporters, along with Indonesia, Canada, North Sea participants, and a few others.
2. As Daniel Yergin wrote so elegantly in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book: The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, oil is the single most important commodity in the world. His book details the history of oil, and notes how vitally important oil is to any nation that finds itself at war. The US was the oil provider for the Allies in World War II since the Middle East oil fields were not yet producing in great quantity.
3. The US has a vast number of enemies, both active and passive at this time. There will be future wars, and they could easily escalate into many years. We could easily find our oil imports cut off.
4. Only an idiot or a madman would wage a war with inadequate oil supplies. Yes, nuclear powered ships are great, but oil propels most ships, not nuclear power. Oil propels each aircraft. Oil propels every ground vehicle. Back on the home front, oil is essential to a war effort for manufacturing and transport of goods. As I wrote earlier, Japan and Germany learned this the hard way in the early 1940s. There was an excellent reason the Allies’ strategy was to cut off the oil supplies to both Germany and to Japan at the earliest opportunity.
5. The US presently has adequate domestic production and an oil industry that can, if need arises, ramp up to replace any loss from an oil embargo. The oil is in the ground, we know where it is, and we know how to get it.
6. We have ample oil available for purchase from those with an excess, and every barrel we purchase preserves a precious barrel in our soil for that day when we will most assuredly need it desperately.
So, yes, your conclusion is correct, this is a self-imposed limitation and it arises from some very smart people who think things through, who take a long view, who are sober and serious. One might ask the question, why has the US oil production rate hovered around 6 million barrels per day, year in and year out, even as our technology for finding and producing oil has greatly improved? The idea is to make the other fellow sell off his oil, and preserve ours for a critical time. Other countries do this also, unless they are desperate for foreign exchange — see e.g. United Kingdom, selling their oil since they have little else to sell these days.
Note that China has very little domestic oil reserves, and this puts a great disadvantage on them for any future conflicts. Their first move, as was Japan’s, will be to occupy the Indonesian oil fields. They might also occupy Australia’s oil fields. India will not be a belligerent due to a lack of oil. They are an importing nation.

Mac the Knife
April 25, 2012 8:38 pm

Smokey says:
April 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm:
“A basic economics/civics lesson regarding ethanol:
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
You could pay $100,000 for an Econ education and never learn the above.”
Smokey,
Of the 182 comments (so far) on this article, yours are a fine distillate from the weak mash of other arguments… and the most succinct and applicable herein.
These truths should be self evident. Unfortunately, to oh-so-many, they are not.
MtK

Pat Moffitt
April 25, 2012 8:51 pm

Gunga Din says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm
I don’t know if it would reach the plants as nitrates, but if it does then you can add that to the cost of ethanol production. And that’s not counting the cost of removing the increased herbicides and pesticides likely to enter the streams if higher amounts are allowed for the production of ethanol corn.
Yes they are a cost – a big one given EPA regulations. Like much else with the Agency the nitrate assumptions are built on a mountain of sketchy science. Consider the water treatment costs (and forestalled development) for the 10mg/l drinking water standard supposedly to prevent blue baby syndrome. More than 15% of the US drinking water exceeds the standard—- how many cases of methemoglobinemia in the US from drinking water over the last decade? I can’t find any. California is now focusing on the “nitrate crisis” in its agricultural regions with potentially massive agriculture policy and cost implications. And yet I can’t find a single case from drinking water in California. Seems California forgot the study done in 1972 that found no reported cases in the State and followed 256 children in low and high nitrate areas and found while the effect of nitrate was detectable-“it was not impressive.” http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.62.9.1174
Blue Baby syndrome may be more related to bacterial contamination and in the very few cases of Blue Baby found in the US nitrate may simply be a proxy for bacterial contamination.

April 25, 2012 8:58 pm

@ more soylent greet, April 25 at 1:19 pm
Re your question, “Roger, how many years of domestic oil supply do you reckon we have? If we have more than a century’s worth, how much do we need to set aside as a strategic resource?
Also, without the capacity to produce and refine domestic oil, we are still vulnerable to having our oil supply shut off. As you know, it takes years to get an oil field developed and pipelines built to carry the oil to the refineries.”

Taking this one at a time: How many years of US production? Per the EIA in 2009, the US has approximately 20 billion barrels of proved reserves. Our daily consumption is about 18 million barrels per day, so roughly 1000 days, a little more than 3 years. Don’t be fooled by this calculation, because we have been “running out” of oil ever since I can remember. That is at least 50 years in my memory. Curiously, running out has never happened. Worldwide, the proved reserves will last approximately 40 to 45 years at current consumption rates. That, too, has been the case since at least 1960. We never run out of oil, as I explained in my speech to Tulane Law School (see link above), because we keep finding more and more as technology improves. Peak Oil adherents fail to allow for technical progress. Several of my friends are petroleum engineers, and they know for a fact that we will never run out of oil.
The question of how much to set aside as a strategic resource was answered just above, all of it except the amount we produce to maintain a viable oil industry capable of quickly ramping up should the need arise.
Your statement about lack of production and refining capacity is puzzling. We have immense reserves of oil, and it will not require many years to bring the oil into production. That is a convenient myth. It has some basis in fact, for extreme locations such as the Arctic, and very deep water wells. Land-based wells are routinely producing within a very few months. No need to believe me, ask any competent oil industry executive.
With the existing crude oil pipeline system in place, there is very little need for additional pipeline capacity in the US. Even the much-discussed Keystone pipeline is simply a political football. Notice that the gas stations continue to have plenty of gasoline. Without the Keystone pipeline. The Bakken oil field is one small exception; it could use a bigger pipeline to bring oil to the refineries.
As to inadequate refining capacity, that is a pure myth. The fact is that the US has over-capacity and has had for some years. Refineries on the East Coast are being shut down. One does not shut down capacity if there is already a shortage.

April 25, 2012 9:00 pm

Roger Sowell says:
Yes, a self-imposed limitation on domestic drilling. Again, for a very good set or reasons. Briefly, they are these: […]
So, yes, your conclusion is correct, this is a self-imposed limitation and it arises from some very smart people who think things through, who take a long view, who are sober and serious.

Ah yes, “very smart” bureaucrats are always better at making decisions than markets. The former Soviet Union proved this policy very well.

Allan MacRae
April 25, 2012 9:04 pm

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/29/canada-yanks-some-climate-change-programs-from-
budget/#comment-939257
Excerpt:
In North America, our greatest folly has been corn ethanol. Now, almost 40% of the huge US crop is used for corn ethanol – about 130 million tonnes per year of corn goes into our gas tanks, forced into gasoline by government mandates. This folly has driven up the cost of food worldwide, at great cost to the world’s poor.
Grid-connected wind power, solar power and corn ethanol all require huge life-of-project subsidies to survive, and would go bankrupt the minute these subsidies cease. Many of the subsidies are in the form of mandates – forcing power companies and gasoline suppliers to include these costly and counterproductive enviro-schemes in their products, at great expense to consumers.
The radical environmentalists have been remarkably effective at forcing really foolish, costly and counterproductive schemes upon Western society. The backlash, when it comes, won’t be pretty.
When you hear the term “green energy”, it’s not about greening the environment – it’s all about the money.

Dave Wendt
April 25, 2012 9:24 pm

An interesting piece on the EPA’s enforcement philosophy in regard to oil and gas producers and apparently everybody else as well

“In a Senate speech, Senator Inhofe will draw attention to a little known video from 2010, which shows a top EPA official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, using the vivid metaphor of crucifixion to explain EPA’s enforcement tactics for oil and gas producers. In this video Administrator Armendariz says:
“But as I said, oil and gas is an enforcement priority, it’s one of seven, so we are going to spend a fair amount of time looking at oil and gas production. And I gave, I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said. It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law. Find people who are not compliant with the law, and you hit them as hard as you can and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up. And, that won’t happen unless you have somebody out there making examples of people. So you go out, you look at an industry, you find people violating the law, you go aggressively after them. And we do have some pretty effective enforcement tools. Compliance can get very high, very, very quickly. That’s what these companies respond to is both their public image but also financial pressure. So you put some financial pressure on a company, you get other people in that industry to clean up very quickly. So, that’s our general philosophy.””

April 25, 2012 9:35 pm

@Poptech April 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm
“Ah yes, “very smart” bureaucrats are always better at making decisions than markets. The former Soviet Union proved this policy very well.”
Poptech, the snark is misplaced on this issue. Oil is not an ordinary commodity. Many countries do as we do: hoard domestic reserves and purchase on the market. This is a very long game, a very serious game, with absolutely deadly consequences. Anybody who wants to leave oil to “free market” is either deliberately blind or hopelessly naive. Does anybody seriously believe that wars are a thing of the past? Has anyone been watching the daily developments in Iran re nuclear explosives, and Israel? Does no one consider Iran’s threat to the US’ existence? The world is continuing to simmer with barely controlled rage and hate, and very little is required for that to burst out into war. We would be absolutely stupid to drill and produce our domestic oil reserves. Better to buy what we can while we can.
As I noted earlier, every President since and including Truman has seen the wisdom of this. Even Obama, for all his faults, has ensured that we maintain our domestic production at about the same level as the previous couple of decades, and no more.

April 25, 2012 9:41 pm

Roger Sowell,
That analysis would make sense but for one thing: this Administration will not even allow drilling to determine new reserves, and where they are located.

April 25, 2012 10:04 pm

@Smokey,
Here is a recent article re actual data on US well drilling. The numbers are not far off, year-on-year. We are still drilling, as note the increase in dry holes. This is from API, American Petroleum Institute.
http://www.ogj.com/articles/2012/04/api-1q-total-drilling-down-exploratory-well-completions-up.html

Allan MacRae
April 25, 2012 10:51 pm

Roger Sowell,
Sorry, but I’m not buying your argument. Btw, the last time I heard it was from a young Arab student in an international petroleum course I taught over a decade ago.
I don’t claim to have all the answers in the energy industry, but I’m comfortable with my track record.
I wrote a decade ago that “green energy” was going to be a failure, and if anything I was too kind – corn ethanol and grid-connected wind and solar power are economic and environmental disasters.
Here are some of the achievements in my former career, which had a major positive impact on US energy supply and security.
http://www.OilsandsExpert.com
If US oil production increases in the future, as it certainly may, it will probably be because of new methods of oil production that unlock unconventional oil resources.*
The USA has tripled its monetary base since late 2007, in increasingly desperate measures to support an economy that is “running on empty”.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BASE
One of the main causes of this economic debacle has been the high cost of imported oil. If as you suggest this was a strategic move by the US “brain trust” to preserve domestic oil reserves, then I think they have made a huge mistake. I would much rather think that this continuing economic debacle was a product of stupidity and greed rather than a deliberate attempt to buy “cheap” oil from abroad and preserve domestic supplies for some future need.
_________________
* At this time, North America has a significant economic advantage over the rest of the world because of the revolution in shale gas production, such that North American natural gas is now selling at ~1/8th the energy-equivalent price of oil.

April 25, 2012 10:53 pm

Roger Sowell says:
Poptech, the snark is misplaced on this issue. Oil is not an ordinary commodity. Many countries do as we do: hoard domestic reserves and purchase on the market. This is a very long game, a very serious game, with absolutely deadly consequences. Anybody who wants to leave oil to “free market” is either deliberately blind or hopelessly naive.

No they are neither blind nor naive they just understand economics and do not have an affection for socialist energy policies.

Does anybody seriously believe that wars are a thing of the past? Has anyone been watching the daily developments in Iran re nuclear explosives, and Israel? Does no one consider Iran’s threat to the US’ existence?

Conventional wars, for the most part, yes. No I do not consider Iran a threat to the U.S. existence and believe we should be buying oil from them directly, Sanctions only lead to war. A single U.S. ballistic missile submarine keeps any remote Iranian nuclear threat at bay. What are they going to do sacrifice their entire country to attack us? Oh, right they are going to sell the nukes to terrorists and of course risk annihilation. Why can’t these terrorists get nukes from North Korea and Pakistan? For the same reasons they will not get them from Iran.
Nuclear Iran Is an Exaggerated Threat (Malou Innocent, M.A. International Relations; New York Daily News, March 8, 2012)
Iran sanctions won’t work (Ivan Elan, Ph.D. National Security Policy; Washington Times, January 17, 2012

April 25, 2012 11:10 pm

Roger Sowell says:
Here is a recent article re actual data on US well drilling. The numbers are not far off, year-on-year. We are still drilling, as note the increase in dry holes. This is from API, American Petroleum Institute.

Lets check what the API has to say,
Production on U.S. Federal Offshore & Onshore Areas is Down (PDF) (API)
THE FACTS:
– EIA estimates that oil production in the Gulf was down 22% in 2011 and projected to be down 30% in 2012 with respect to production forecasts before President Obama’s moratorium policies were put in place.
– Today, leasing and permitting are slow, which could depress future production.
– In the Gulf of Mexico, rigs have left to work in other parts of the world taking jobs with them.
– In Alaska in 2008, the industry spent $2.6 billion to obtain 487 leases in the Chukchi Sea, yet so far the administration has not allowed a single well to be drilled on any of these leases.
– In the Rockies, leasing is down by 68 percent since President Obama took office, and the number of wells drilled is down.

RS
April 25, 2012 11:12 pm

My 2011 car manual says specifically that the warranty is void if I use anything higher than 10% ethanol gasoline. Where is the EPA getting the idea that all post 2001 cars love E15?

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
April 26, 2012 12:38 am

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm
… Yes I completely ignored your unsubstantiated claims. The EPA actually bases it’s figures on laboratory testing, something you do not have.
2012 Fuel Economy Guide (PDF) (EPA, pp. 31-35)
“These fuel economy estimates are based on laboratory testing. All vehicles are tested in the same manner to allow fair comparisons.”
“, FFVs operating on E85 usually experience a 25–30% drop in MPG due to ethanol’s lower energy content.”
Please, do not be fooled by Larry’s long winded rants that completely lack empirical evidence and scientific sources.
==================================
http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/E30_Final_Report.pdf
Minnesota Center for Automotive Research, Minnesota State University
“Three of the vehicles actually used less energy to travel a mile
when they were running on E30.”
“There was a reduction in volumetric fuel economy on E30. However, the reduction in fuel efficiency based on Btu/mile was significantly lower.”
===================================
High thermal efficiency of fuel ethanol in optimized engines
Ethanol-Gasoline Blends: Fuel Economy and Emissions Benefits
Paper presented at Society of Automotive Engineers
SAE Paper 2002-01-2743
● High Efficiency
● 42% peak efficiency
● >40% efficiency down to 6-8 bar BMEP
● High Specific Power
● >20 bar peak BMEP (turbocharged)
==================================
Just two of many available studies that show my information is correct.
Your refusing to look at references does not mean they do not exist.
Larry

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 1:40 am

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm
Just a small sampling from an old report.
Among many issues including using old data, Patzek and Pimentel also failed to include co-products in their calculations – attributing all of the production energy to ethanol.
A “report” from the ethanol lobby. The differences between Pimentel & Patzek vs. Kim & Dale are discussed in this paper,

Regarding net energy balance you posted Patzek and Pimentel papers from 2003-2006. Those papers as I showed have been thoroughly refuted. By USDA, Argonne Labs, numerous universities and others. There were refuted in numerous peer reviewed papers published in top publications such as “Science”.
These are not “the ethanol lobby” as you ridiculously assert.

Ethanol Fuels: Energy Balance, Economics, and Environmental Impacts Are Negative
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 12, Number 2, pp. 127-134, June 2003)
– David Pimentel

Ethanol Production Using Corn, Switchgrass, and Wood; Biodiesel Production Using Soybean and Sunflower
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 14, Number 1, pp. 65-76, March 2005)
– David Pimentel, Tad W. Patzek

Ethanol From Corn: Clean Renewable Fuel for the Future, or Drain on Our Resources and Pockets?
(Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 7, Number 3, pp. 319-336, September 2005)
– Tad W. Patzek et al.

A First-Law Thermodynamic Analysis of the Corn-Ethanol Cycle
(Natural Resources Research, Volume 15, Number 4, pp. 255-270, December 2006)
– Tad W. Patzek

I wonder if you even read the new paper you now link to – had you done so you would see, first, it makes no conclusion – it in no way proves Patzek and Pimental correct. It simply lists the differecnes between the two approaches.
What is DOES do is show the biggest difference between the two – it shows Dale’s work is built upon the detailed published work of others; Schmer, Shapouri, and many others, while many of the counterpoints from Patzek and Pimetel start off with “Patzek and Pimentel believe …”
The biggest difference is exactly what I said it was – Patzek and Pimentel allocate a tiny portion of the energy to co-products (7%) while Dale allocates 26%.
10kg of corn yields appx 3.3kg Distiller Dried Grain solids – 33% … DDGS are well proven as a superior high quality animal feed. One pound of DDGS is equivalent to 1.25 lbs of corn in feed value. DDGS also replace soybean meal for feed.
Curiously Pimental and Patzek want to add all sorts of additional energy inputs to the ethanol side yet when it comes to co-products they want to cook the books. When comparing the energy cost of DDGS with the soy meal feed it can replace they refuse to include the considerable energy required to turn soy beans into feed

Pimentel and Patzek appear to have included just the agricultural energy
used to produce soybeans but not the additional energy used to turn soybeans into the high protein soybean meal animal feed (i.e., the DDG is ready to be fed to some animals). Soybeans are heated, flaked and then extracted with hexane to extract the oil, then the residual hexane is removed by heating and the oil and hexane separated in order to produce soybean meal. Bruce Dale believes that all these are energy-requiring steps that must be included in the energy cost of soybean meal and therefore must be included in the energy allocated to the production of that product. It is true that soybeans don’t take much energy to produce, but we don’t feed soybeans to animals, we feed high protein soybean meal that has been extensively processed using lots of energy. Thus Kim and Dale [12] included all the energy costs of producing soybean meal using ISO-approved allocation methods, and consequently calculated a much different energy allocation factor than Pimentel and Patzek (74 vs. 93% of the total energy of growing and processing corn to ethanol allocated to the ethanol produced).

The vast majority – half – of the Patzek and Pimetel difference comes from their refusal to accurate address energy allocation to co-products. These co-products are directly replacing corn, soybeans etc. Almost 40 million metric tons of DDGS in 2011, They are legitimate high value products. Not to mention the corn meal, corn gluten and the 1.5 billion pounds of corn oil produced last year.
P&P all but ignore these valuable co-products in order to cook they books. They also improperly inflate and add costs. They include the cost to REFINE the energy used which is simply ridiculous – that energy had to be refined regardless of its use. They also inflate fertilizer costs by 30% despite clear ag industry and scientific documentation of the real numbers.
Some scientists, such as Shapouri et al., based on actual real world research in operating corn ethanol plants would allocate a substantially higher percentage of energy costs to co-products than Dale.
When it comes to cellulosic Patzek and Pimetel get even more silly. Dale (and the many, many others who have refuted P&P) use published studies and real world performance. Patzek & Pimetel simply ignore that there are already small scale commercial plants in operation producing the higher yields. Dale also points out the Germans successfully produced cellulosic ethanol 100 years ago at close to the current projected net energy balance numbers, and that plants such as Duponts 250,000 gal Vonores, TN plant are already achieving similar real world numbers.
Dale shows – thru extensive research by the National Renewable fuel Laboratory and others that there is more than enough residual biomass to run the refinery and produce surplus electricity. This position is based on solid research and data. The lead author of the report all but ridicules Patzek and Pimentals position that only a small amount or residual biomass can be burned for energy :

Dale believes that many different estimates by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and others have shown that more than enough energy is contained in the biomass to run the biorefinery and even have enough left over to export surplus electricity [26,37,38]. The NREL calculations in particular have been extensively vetted by industry and the latest NREL report is coauthored by six practicing engineers from the Harris Group, a large, diversified engineering services and design firm [39]. Also, if the residuals are not burned to provide process heat and electricity, they will have to be disposed of in some way, probably by landfilling. It does not seem reasonable to suppose that industry will not use the ready source of fuel available but will instead opt to pay for its disposal. Furthermore, the Kraft pulp and paper industry is powered largely by its biomass residuals and newer sugar cane to sugar-ethanol-electricity system is completely powered by its residue, sugar cane bagasse, while exporting surplus electricity [40]. Both of these are highly developed, well-established industries. So we have the example of two very large scale industries that show that it is indeed possible to use biomass residuals to provide most or all of the energy needed for biofuel production, presumably including cellulosic biomass.

Patzek and Pimentel’s support – a website – Dales support the NREL, backed up by a bunch of highly qualified engineers, whose conclusions are supported by similar REAL WORLD OPERATING plants.
Your link does little or nothing to support your claim that Patzek and Pimentels work is valid … and provides a whole load of evidence, from the co-author – that shows their work to be simply wrong.
All of that said EROI – net energy yield – is in many ways less important than the net value of the energy produced – and the two key components of that are portability and renew-ability.
Because it is “portable” liquid fuel if far more valuable energy than say electricity. It has many more uses and can be sent almost anywhere as needed. Ethanol is also fully renewable – the same resource – the same piece of ground will provide ethanol as long as we plant a renewable feedstock on it. Domestically produced renewable energy – no matter what portion of our overall use is a net positive.
It reduces our offshore energy dependance, And provides an alternate additional fuel source we control … too many people place zero value on these important aspects.

Brian H
April 26, 2012 2:15 am

Poptech;
Don’t underestimate the dedicated looniness of Iran’s Ayatollahs and mullahs. From the get-go, they’ve said that they’d gladly let Iran burn if it brought about the chaos that presaged the return of the 12th Imam. You can’t do standard political trade-off analysis on those dudes.

Brian H
April 26, 2012 2:21 am

PS Poptech;
And Ahmadinejad is on board, even to the extent of frequently implying that he will himself be revealed to be said 12th Imam when the prophesies are fulfilled.
Nothing is out of bounds for such whackjobs. Nothing.

April 26, 2012 4:23 am

A. Scott,
Regarding net energy balance you posted Patzek and Pimentel papers from 2003-2006. Those papers as I showed have been thoroughly refuted. By USDA, Argonne Labs, numerous universities and others. There were refuted in numerous peer reviewed papers published in top publications such as “Science”.
These are not “the ethanol lobby” as you ridiculously assert.

This is all nice propaganda for those who do not read. Your ethanol lobby “report” cites exactly two peer-reviewed papers. So much for the “numerous” “debunking”,
1. Hammerschlag (2006) – “Ethanol’s Energy Return on Investment: A Survey of the Literature, 1990 – Present”
This is a literature review and is NOT a refutation of anything.
2. Farrell et al. (2006) – “Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals”
This is rebutted here,
Ethanol Production: Energy, Economic, and Environmental Losses (PDF)
(Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 189, pp. 25-41, 2007)
– David Pimentel, Tad Patzek, Gerald Cecil

Farrell et al. (2006) report a small positive energy return for corn ethanol but less than half that suggested by Shapouri et al. (2004). The Farrell et al. paper includes the following questionable assumptions:
1. By-products are not the same as “whole corn” for livestock feed.
2. An excessive energy value is allocated for the by-products that would be used to displace the cheaper, more nutritious soybean meal for livestock. Ethanol Production 333. Labor of the farmer on the farm was not included.
4. Energy costs for farm machinery were greatly reduced without documentation.These inputs are substantial and were prorated per year per hectare (Pimentel and Patzek 2005).
5. Conservation tillage does save tractor fuel. However, the practice requires the use of significantly more hybrid corn seed, nitrogen fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, and sometimes rodenticides and molluscicides. All these items require fossil energy for production and application.
6. The only environmental factor mentioned was global warming. Not considered were soil erosion, water use, insecticides, herbicides, and nitrogen fertilizer, which are serious environmental pollutants.
7. We note that Farrell in World Environment News (2006) is quoted saying that it is “possible to put ethanol in a car and run it,but making ethanol using current technology is expensive and contributes to pollution and greenhouse gases.” This conclusion is opposite from that of Farrell et al. (2006).
8. In a press release (Jan. 16, 2006, UC Berkeley) one of the authors (Kammen) stated that ethanol could replace 20%–30% of fuel use in the U.S. The 17.0 billion L ethanol currently being produced is using 18% of all U.S. corn production; but this represents less than 1% of U.S. oil use. If 100% of U.S. corn were converted to ethanol it would provide only 6% of
current U.S. vehicle fuel use. In contrast to the USDA and Farrell et al. studies, numerous scientific studies have concluded that corn ethanol production does not provide a net
energy balance, that ethanol is not a renewable energy source, and is not an economical fuel; furthermore, its production and use contribute to air, water, and soil pollution and to global warming (Ho 1989; Giampietro et al. 1997;Youngquist 1997; Pimentel 1998, 2001, 2003; NPRA 2002; Croysdale 2001; CalGasoline 2002; Lieberman 2002; Hodge 2002, 2003, 2005; Ferguson 2003, 2004; Patzek 2004; Pimentel and Patzek 2005; Brown 2005; Anthrop
2005; Transportation Research Board 2006; Hassett 2006).

Everything else cited in your ethanol lobby report was not peer-reviewed.

April 26, 2012 4:24 am

A. Scott,
Regarding net energy balance you posted Patzek and Pimentel papers from 2003-2006. Those papers as I showed have been thoroughly refuted. By USDA, Argonne Labs, numerous universities and others. There were refuted in numerous peer reviewed papers published in top publications such as “Science”.
These are not “the ethanol lobby” as you ridiculously assert.

This is all nice propaganda for those who do not read. Your ethanol lobby “report” cites exactly two peer-reviewed papers. So much for the “numerous” “debunking”,
1. Hammerschlag (2006) – “Ethanol’s Energy Return on Investment: A Survey of the Literature, 1990 – Present”
This is a literature review and is NOT a refutation of anything.
2. Farrell et al. (2006) – “Ethanol can contribute to energy and environmental goals”
This is rebutted here,
Ethanol Production: Energy, Economic, and Environmental Losses (PDF)
(Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Volume 189, pp. 25-41, 2007)
– David Pimentel, Tad Patzek, Gerald Cecil

Farrell et al. (2006) report a small positive energy return for corn ethanol but less than half that suggested by Shapouri et al. (2004). The Farrell et al. paper includes the following questionable assumptions:
1. By-products are not the same as “whole corn” for livestock feed.
2. An excessive energy value is allocated for the by-products that would be used to displace the cheaper, more nutritious soybean meal for livestock. Ethanol Production 333. Labor of the farmer on the farm was not included.
4. Energy costs for farm machinery were greatly reduced without documentation.These inputs are substantial and were prorated per year per hectare (Pimentel and Patzek 2005).
5. Conservation tillage does save tractor fuel. However, the practice requires the use of significantly more hybrid corn seed, nitrogen fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, and sometimes rodenticides and molluscicides. All these items require fossil energy for production and application.
6. The only environmental factor mentioned was global warming. Not considered were soil erosion, water use, insecticides, herbicides, and nitrogen fertilizer, which are serious environmental pollutants.
7. We note that Farrell in World Environment News (2006) is quoted saying that it is “possible to put ethanol in a car and run it,but making ethanol using current technology is expensive and contributes to pollution and greenhouse gases.” This conclusion is opposite from that of Farrell et al. (2006).
8. In a press release (Jan. 16, 2006, UC Berkeley) one of the authors (Kammen) stated that ethanol could replace 20%–30% of fuel use in the U.S. The 17.0 billion L ethanol currently being produced is using 18% of all U.S. corn production; but this represents less than 1% of U.S. oil use. If 100% of U.S. corn were converted to ethanol it would provide only 6% of
current U.S. vehicle fuel use. In contrast to the USDA and Farrell et al. studies, numerous scientific studies have concluded that corn ethanol production does not provide a net
energy balance, that ethanol is not a renewable energy source, and is not an economical fuel; furthermore, its production and use contribute to air, water, and soil pollution and to global warming (Ho 1989; Giampietro et al. 1997;Youngquist 1997; Pimentel 1998, 2001, 2003; NPRA 2002; Croysdale 2001; CalGasoline 2002; Lieberman 2002; Hodge 2002, 2003, 2005; Ferguson 2003, 2004; Patzek 2004; Pimentel and Patzek 2005; Brown 2005; Anthrop
2005; Transportation Research Board 2006; Hassett 2006).

Everything else cited in your ethanol lobby report was not peer-reviewed.

April 26, 2012 4:25 am

Roger Sowell,
Obama has said “NO!” to drilling in the red areas.
It’s no wonder gas prices are so high.

April 26, 2012 4:29 am

The current administration is doing everything it can to increase the price of gasoline,
Administration Oil Strategy Contributes to Price Increases (PDF) (API)

Gail Combs
April 26, 2012 4:31 am

Pat Moffitt says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm
…My point above however was focused on the hypocrisy of EPA pushing draconian nitrogen regulations at the same time it pushes ethanol….
EPA is proposing an across the board 25% reduction in nitrogen for the US and 45% for the Mississippi River Basin. Corn is the largest user of nitrogen fertilizer. EPA is pushing more corn. Go figure.
Additionally, if EPA was truly concerned about the environment they would pay some attention to the potential loss of land from CRP in response to the high corn price.
________________________________
Thanks for the heads up on that crap. Time to plant more white clover, hop clover and Lespedeza.
So far the USA govenment has floated the idea of requiring farmers to have CDLs to drive tractors, and the EPA wanted to regulate dust from farm fields oh and do not forget the EPA floated the idea of regulating cow belches and farts. Soon the US government will want detailed report on each time we visit the toilet. Oh, I forgot they already regulate US toilets and shower heads.

April 26, 2012 4:51 am

Larry,
http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/E30_Final_Report.pdf
Minnesota Center for Automotive Research, Minnesota State University
“Three of the vehicles actually used less energy to travel a mile
when they were running on E30.”
“There was a reduction in volumetric fuel economy on E30. However, the reduction in fuel efficiency based on Btu/mile was significantly lower.”

You do realize the comparison was to E85 not E30?

April 26, 2012 4:52 am

@ Allan MacRae on 4-25 at 10:51 pm,
What makes you imply that oil is expensive? What is your basis for that? Do you agree that the price of oil has a ceiling?

April 26, 2012 4:57 am

@ Poptech,
The concept of domestic oil preservation for future strategic needs is not widely discussed but is certainly real. It is not new either.
As I wrote above, every President has accepted and embraced this after World War II. It is a matter of national survival, not economics.

Pat Moffitt
April 26, 2012 5:00 am

Gail Combs says:
April 26, 2012 at 4:31 am
Thanks for the heads up on that crap. Time to plant more white clover, hop clover and Lespedeza.
That might not fly as clover fixes large amounts of nitrogen.

April 26, 2012 5:24 am

Roger Sowell says:
The concept of domestic oil preservation for future strategic needs is not widely discussed but is certainly real. It is not new either.
As I wrote above, every President has accepted and embraced this after World War II. It is a matter of national survival, not economics.

You have provided no evidence to support your conspiracy theory.

Gail Combs
April 26, 2012 5:41 am

Poptech says: @ April 26, 2012 at 4:24 am
A. Scott, ……This is all nice propaganda for those who do not read. Your ethanol lobby “report” cites exactly two peer-reviewed papers. So much for the “numerous” “debunking”….
This is rebutted here…

Farrell et al. (2006) report a small positive energy return for corn ethanol but less than half that suggested by Shapouri et al. (2004). The Farrell et al. paper includes the following questionable assumptions:
1. By-products are not the same as “whole corn” for livestock feed.
2. An excessive energy value is allocated for the by-products that would be used to displace the cheaper, more nutritious soybean meal for livestock. Ethanol Production 333. Labor of the farmer on the farm was not included…..

_____________________________________________
There is another side issue on this. As Pat Moffitt says @ April 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm and I mentioned corn is a problem plant. Corn is a high user of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). So it is a big drain on soil nutrients Corn requires approximately 1.25 lbs. of elemental nitrogen (N), 0.6 lbs. of phosphate (P2O5) and 1.4 lbs. of potash (K2O) to produce one bushel of grain corn….The entire recommended fertilizer rate can be safely applied in a band 2 inches to the side and 2 inches below the seed, although N rates higher than 50 lb/acre may inhibit early season P uptake. In addition as you can see from this photo of a corn field, it leaves a lot of the soil “uncovered” and subject to erosion if the farmer uses traditional methods of growing. This is a photo of corn roots. As can be seen there is no root system to hold soil in place in the middle of the rows.
Compare corn to this photo of a soybean field and a description of the soybean root system.

…The taproot will also continue growing and branching so that lateral roots can reach the center of a 30-inch row within five to six weeks. Eventually the soybean root will reach a depth of 4 to 8 feet with most of the roots in the upper 6 to 12 inches of soil…. Very small amounts of fertilizer (P or K if needed) in a band to the side and slightly below the seed may help early plant growth, especially if soils are still cool…. If fields have not been in soybeans in the last four years or the field has been flooded, seed should be inoculated with Rhizobium japonicum bacteria (such as Brady) to form nodules on the soybean roots that will later provide much of the plant’s nitrogen supply. http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/rowcrops/a1174/a1174w.htm

Remember Crop Rotation?

Southern agriculture was in serious decline at the time, the result of many decades of single-crop cotton cultivation that had left much of the soil depleted of nitrogen. [George Washington] Carver found that the soil could be revitalized by planting peanuts and soybeans, and advocated crop rotation — growing peanuts one year, cotton the next, etc. http://www.nndb.com/people/582/000030492/

Peanuts and soybeans are both legumes and if inoculated with the correct bacteria (simple process) will fix nitrogen in the soil. This enriches the soil with out the excess use of fertilizer as mentioned above.

Allan MacRae
April 26, 2012 7:06 am

Roger Sowell says: April 26, 2012 at 4:52 am
@ Allan MacRae on 4-25 at 10:51 pm,
Roger:
What makes you imply that oil is expensive? What is your basis for that?
Allan:
Given that the greenback, the yen, the pound sterling and the Euro have all ~tripled their monetary bases in recent years, your question is a moving target.
Is oil expensive? First you have to say :”compared to what?” Compared to North American natural gas, it is 8 times (800%) as expensive, on an energy-equivalent basis. This is a special case – perhaps you can find other better comparisons.
Roger:
Do you agree that the price of oil has a ceiling?
Allan:
Every commodity has an approximate price ceiling at a given time, but that ceiling depends on many factors, not the least of which is currency dilution. How much more money is the Fed going to print? Will tripling the monetary base be enough, or is this just the beginning? When was the last time this was done with a global reserve currency? I think the closest similarity was the late Roman Empire (“Hey – we’re the Roman Empire – we’ll just print the money we need – what could go wrong?”).
As your next-door neighbour in Canada, I am very concerned about the well-being of America. Our bilateral trade is huge, perhaps still the largest in the world. Canada is the biggest foreign supplier of oil to the USA, most of it from the much-maligned oil sands.
Finally, if America fails, it appears improbable that any of the “leading contenders” will act benevolently, in the interests of humanity or the environment.

more soylent green!
April 26, 2012 8:47 am

@Roger Sowell says: April 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Roger,
It is the popular perception that it takes years to get oil out of a new field. I don’t know any details about it and I’ll take your word for it. So if we were cut off from Middle Eastern oil, how long would it take to replace it with domestic production?
I understand your thinking on preserving our domestic oil supplies for future use, but I have some issues with it. If oil isn’t really rare and we have a large supply, how much do we really need to keep for future use? The answer depends upon how much oil we really have, how much we estimate the technology to extract it will improve in the future and when/whether we develop new energy sources to compete with oil in terms of convenience and economy. We have Coal-to-Liquid technology now; will it improve in the future? How about Natural Gas-to-Liquid?
As for refinery capacity, how much will we need when our economy recovers? We currently have more than we need, but I expect domestic demand to increase once we get the redistributionist, neo-Marxist greens out of power.
Regarding Keystone: You keep saying it’s better to use their oil instead of ours. Doesn’t that still apply?
thanks

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 12:04 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm
The Ethanol mandate still needs to be abolished so I am free to choose the fuel I wish to use in my car.

Nothing prevents a filling station from installing a 100% gasoline pump … in fact some in my area have exactly that for the many boaters in the area.
That most stations do not answers your question – there is little demand for it.

Randy
April 26, 2012 12:05 pm

This article reads just like something an AGW warmanista would write. It presents opinions or beliefs as if they were hard proven facts. It uses these “facts” to sell fear and catastrophy. It presents selected data to prove its beliefs leaving out other data that would prove otherwise
“Because ethanol burns hotter than gasoline…” Absolutely not! Ethanol has a higher heat of vaporization. It absorbs more heat during the combustion process than does gasoline. At the end of the power stroke the cylinder will be cooler than with straight gasoline. This increases thermal efficiency and reduces pumping loses, The higher the ethanol percentage the greater this effect. Everthing this man says about hotter burning ethanol is fear mongering catastrophic BS!
“But when corn and ethanol subsidies when into effect, the cost of feed corn shot from $2.80 per bushel in 2005 to over $7.00 in 2008. Absolutely correct! He fails to mention that from the high of around $7.25 in June of 2008 corn dropped (or should I say collapsed/cratered/plumeted) to around $2.90 in December of 2008, only six months later. I don’t recall the corn and ethanol subsidies being eliminated at that time, do you? What gets even more interesting is that crude oil peaked at around $145/ barrel in July of 2008 and collapsed to around $30/barrel in December of 2008. Pretty similar, no? Agriculture is an energy intence business.
“Largley because of corn based ethanol, US corn prices shot up from an annual average of $1.96/bushel in 2005 to $6.01 in 2001.” Again correct. He doesn’t mention that in the same time frame crude oil went from around $20/barrel to around $95. Agriculture is an energy intensive business.
The USDA says that 19% of food dollar costs comes from on farm expenses (like corn costs). The rest is labor (over 40% of the total), processing, packaging, advertising, transportation, depreciation, energy, insurance. “However, skyrocketing corn prices….and families see prices soar for almost everything on their dinner table.” What about the other 81% of food dollar costs that contribute to price of those items? What about the 4.5 fold increase in crude oil prices?
To me, the gas mileage debate gets really intersting. Ford recently published a paper stating “substantial societal benefits” in using higher volume blends of ethanol. With blends up to E30 octane ratings of up to RON 98.6 are achieved. This enables higher compression ratios up to 3 more compression ratios and/or more aggressive turbocharging and downsizing of engines. All this means significant improvements in gas mileage. You can make higher octane gasoline but the yield in gallons of gas per barrel drops as octane rating goes up. At RON 98.6 octane the yield drops about 8% from 91 RON octane.
Ricardo did a study on the effects of E15 on vehicles from the years 1994 to 2000. They found more corrosion on the outside of the vehicle that inside the fuel system. They found no drivability problems related to E15.
The EROEI for ethanol keeps increasing. The gallons per acre keep increasing. This article has an agenda. I don’t know the final answer for Ethanol but this article contributes nothing constructive in determinig ethanols’ future.

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 12:06 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm
This is elementary to test, as those filling stations that continue to sell the ethanol blends should easily put those who sell straight gasoline out of business. You thus obviously support ending the mandate so you can prove empirically how much it really saves!
Why are ethanol supporters so afraid of proving their claims?

Once again – Those stations selling E10 HAVE put stations selling 100% gasoline out of business. If there was ANY demand for 100% gasoline there is nothing preventing stations from offering it.

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 12:30 pm

Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm
Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
Congratulations you have just demonstrated you have absolutely no clue and totally ignore the facts. The EPA btu adjusted nonsense is part of the problem and as I have demonstrated and multiple other reports have demonstrated actual fuel mileage is not related to energy content.
Yes I completely ignored your unsubstantiated claims. The EPA actually bases it’s figures on laboratory testing, something you do not have.
2012 Fuel Economy Guide (PDF) (EPA, pp. 31-35)
“These fuel economy estimates are based on laboratory testing. All vehicles are tested in the same manner to allow fair comparisons.”
“, FFVs operating on E85 usually experience a 25–30% drop in MPG due to ethanol’s lower energy content.”
Please, do not be fooled by Larry’s long winded rants that completely lack empirical evidence and scientific sources.

When people have nothing to support their claims the first thing they turn to is adhominem attack. Which largely sums up your entire rant on the subject.
Both Larry and my claims are based on real world experience … mine on 90,000 miles of use.
I posted that in my experience, that while my mileage is appx 20% lower on E85, when coupled with lower price for E85 I pay almost exactly the same per mile.
YOUR most recent EPA fuel economy link agrees:

Tahoe 1500 4WD
Trans/Speed: A-6
Engine Disp/cyl: 5.3/8
MPG City/Hwy Gas: 15/21
MPG City/Hwy E85: 11/16
Annual Cost E10: $3,149
Annual Cost E85: $3,172

Even though the EPA shows a 3.8% to 6.6% (Hwy/City) HIGHER reduction in fuel economy than my real world experience they CONFIRM the annual fuel costs are almost identical.
With my slightly better real world fuel economy, if we use the EPA calculations I actually save money using E85.
Don’t you just HATE it when that link you thought was so great turns out to prove the other guy’s point?

more soylent green!
April 26, 2012 12:40 pm

A. Scott says:
April 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Poptech says:
April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm
The Ethanol mandate still needs to be abolished so I am free to choose the fuel I wish to use in my car.
Nothing prevents a filling station from installing a 100% gasoline pump … in fact some in my area have exactly that for the many boaters in the area.
That most stations do not answers your question – there is little demand for it.

On the contrary, in my state and several neighboring states 10% ethanol is mandated by state law.

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 12:40 pm

Gail Combs says:
April 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm0
April 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm
….The USDA findings have been confirmed by additional studies conducted by the University of Nebraska and Argonne National Laboratory. These figures take into account the energy required to plant, grow and harvest the corn—as well as the energy required to manufacture and distribute the ethanol…..
________________________________
As I thought the numbers are probably rigged.
No one ever bothers to take into account the energy to mine the ore, smelt the ore, fabricate the parts, build all the equipment and ship all that equipment to the farmer. Do they also include all the energy needed to produce the fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides? Or do they only include the fuel used for a farmer to drive around his fields? Some how given the precision of the numbers I think it is only the amount of fuel.
Do you see how you can get a vast number of different answers depending on how you do the accounting? It is a lot like trying to figure out how much you actually pay in tax.

Gail – you are wrong .. the numbers are not “rigged” – when it comes to determining net energy yield (EROI) they DO take into account the energy required to produce fertilizers etc, along with equipment costs and similar. They do detailed research and calculations in an attempt to include all comparable energy inputs when comparing to gasoline production.
These are peer reviewed studies – which means they can be and are critiqued by many others before publication. The vast majority of those studies are largely in a similar range – except Patzek and Pimentel – who have been repeatedly shown to have cooked the books on their numbers – for example FAILING to include the energy required to turn soy beans into animal feed, when comparing with Distillers Dried Grain Solids animal feed – so they can makes ethanol look purposely worse.

Matthew R Marler
April 26, 2012 12:48 pm

A. Scott says:
April 25, 2012 at 1:36 am
Thank you for that and for your subsequent posts. This debate about whether to implement the E15 standard has gone on for a long time; it’s neither sudden nor ill thought out. It’s most likely a modestly good idea.

April 26, 2012 1:20 pm

Roger Sowell says:
“The concept of domestic oil preservation for future strategic needs is not widely discussed but is certainly real. It is not new either.”
Then why have we not filled the national strategic petroleum reserve? President Clinton was urged by Republicans and Democrats alike to fill the reserve when oil was around $9 a barrel. Clinton dithered, and the reserve was never filled. It was not filled by President G.W. Bush either. And now there are rumors that Obama will empty the reserve in order to lower gasoline prices to help his declining re-election prospects.
I’m sorry, but their actions speak loudly. They do not care about future strategic needs. We could be producing most of our oil needs by allowing drilling instead of obstructing it, and by letting the free market operate. It would be relatively easy to get gasoline prices under $2 a gallon again, giving a tremendous boost to our economy and substantially reducing unemployment. But Obama is a complete captive of the eco-lobby, and Americans are suffering needlessly as a result.

A. Scott
April 26, 2012 4:32 pm

Randy says:
April 26, 2012 at 12:05