By on June 12, 2008

e85sign.jpgThat's the headline on the press release sent by EPIC, the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council. Apparently, "Motorists are frustrated and angry about high gas prices. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump, which really underscores our need for biofuels," claims Toni Nuernberg, EPIC's exec director. "As gas prices continue to skyrocket, we must continue the push for the only current transportation energy option we have today-biofuels." Yes, well, by their own admission, EPIC's Royal "we" represents little more than the ethanol industry and wishful thinking. In a not-so-epic EPIC survey on gas prices, only 11 percent of 1004 online (opt in) respondents said they were "taking action to use and support [emphasis added] non-oil based energy." Some 47 percent they'd "like to" and a whopping 43 percent "no, I have not considered this." Anyway, I called Robert White, EPIC's Deputy Director, to ask how soaring gas prices worked in his members' favor. I was surprised to discover EPIC disagrees with the AAA; E85 is cheaper than regular gas! But wait, there's more…

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13 Comments on “E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Gas Prices “Force” Americans to Push for Ethanol Fuel...”

  • avatar


    How about bringing MTBE back and telling the tree huggers to pound sand? Do we even need oxygenated gas in the amounts sold anymore? How many cars need oxy fuel to run cleaner, cars made in the past 10 years are light years ahead of older vehicles in terms of reduced emissions.

    Enough already. I’ll start caring about this stuff when they start caring about the economy and our livelyhood.

  • avatar

    Thank you government for preventing the drilling for and production of oil and foisting the ethanol scam upon the population.

    U.S. corn soars to record as crop flooded

  • avatar

    Mr. Nuernberg says MPG is only 10% to 20% lower on E85.
    So what’s the truth about E-85 mileage?
    Should be easy to measure.

  • avatar

    Mileage in an E85 vehicle depends on a number of factors-mainly the vehicle itself. That is, if one expects everybody to mostly, or exclusively, use E85, one can get more mileage out of it. But flex fuel vehicles are designed assuming that most users will use gas, with E85 compatability as an afterthought, so they do better with dino juice.

  • avatar

    “Energy Independence” is a myth, at least on the scale of a nation or a society. Market forces, Government entanglements in the form of taxation and subsidy, and the consumers’ unwillingness to actually do anything themselves except buy stuff, all add up to the impossibility. As one of the B&B’s said here recently North America is the most drilled into continent on the planet, so finding enough petroleum here ain’t gonna do the trick either. Besides, strategically we’re better off in the long run leaving as much of “our” oil buried anyway.

    The only way to be truly energy independent is on a small scale. Individuals, families, small groups of people. It requires hard work and ingenuity. Something it seems the vast majority of consumers either don’t have or are unwilling to summon up and apply to the problem.

    Unless of course an entity, (Gov’t, Industry, etc) decides to lay out a Manhattan Project scale effort to develop alternative energy solutions. I doubt however that our current administration has the courage to mount an effort on that scale with that aim.


  • avatar

    what about those of us with 20+ year old cars (who don’t plan on getting rid of them)? This stuff can’t be good for ’em…

  • avatar

    Glad you went after him on the environmental impact of E85. Good interview on both sides; I enjoyed listening to this one.

  • avatar

    Well, offroadinfrontier, not only is E10 terrible for cars built before 1983 (in fact at one point, I found an ethanol industry website which stated “do not use in such vehicles” but it since has disappeared), but you’re likely to lose +/- 10% MPG on E10 fuel.

    I have tested out E10 (aka “gasohol”) in every vehicle I’ve owned since 1979, and found that in every case, I’ve lost between 10% and 25% MPG, except one car which “only” lost 7% MPG on E10.

    Taking into account the oil (and water) used to produce ethanol, and it’s a lose-lose proposition all around.

    Except for companies such as Archer-Daniels-Midland and ethanol producers (and the politicians that they send money to).

  • avatar

    Sorry, forgot to mention, the only reason ethanol laced gasoline is “cheaper” is because we the taxpayers in America subsidize it to the tune of about 51 cents per gallon.

    Pure idiocy.

  • avatar

    On the price issue – I was out in Omaha recently and paid 10¢ less per gallon for 89 octane straight gasoline than I would have paid for 87 octane E10.

  • avatar

    Public opinion will finally turn against ethanol at about the time someone comes up with an ethanol that actually does make sense. At that point no one will be willing to even talk about it.

  • avatar

    To broaden the topic a little, the EU has announced they are opening an anti-dumping investigation concerning the dumping of biofuels from the US. Seems they have a $300 per tonne subsidy on the stuff if it’s 99% bio so, for the US producer/seller that means subsidies on both sides of the pond. Of course the problem from the European side is that their poor bio producers are screaming.

    Where is our farm lobby when our family farmers need them.

  • avatar

    1.4 gal E85 yields about the same mileage as 1 gallon of gasoline. CReport 2006 of their 150 mile test: 18 mpg gasoline, 13 mpg E85. Consumers will know first tank. A common complaint is drop in mpg when E10 winter gasoline is used.

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