E85 Boondoggle Of The Day: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
e85 boondoggle of the day cost benefit analysis

Government fleet purchases are a major factor in keeping the ethanol crazy-train rolling. Not to mention damning evidence of ethanol's inviability on the free market. But even local governments who hoped that cheap ethanol would reduce costs and support energy independence are beginning to realize that switching to corn juice just brings lower mileage and higher food prices. In fact, the Times Herald-Record reports that Orange County, NY actually did the math and found that the 25 percent reduction in efficiency with ethanol outweighed any benefits. And that's not even including the costs of installing a new pump and fuel tank. And keep in mind we're not talking about some business that is continuously hacking away at its bottom line. Governments are usually more than happy to spend a little extra on something like ethanol that will provide a "we're doing the right thing" PR buzz. Indeed, E85 has come as far as it has based largely on government fleet purchases made as political favors to the ethanol alliance. Now that local governments can no longer justify ethanol's shocking inefficiency, the party seems to be winding up. And not a moment too soon.

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  • on Aug 26, 2008

    SunnyvaleCA, I know, in California, hydrogen produced by solar power and plug in hybrids are the answer.

  • JoeEgo JoeEgo on Aug 26, 2008
    It’s interesting that most of the harsh words about ethanol are price based. I guess we do live in a capitalist society. That's the beauty of money. The cost/benefit calculations can account for future scenarios if you want to make a long term argument. Most people focus on much shorter terms where the costs are easy to understand. It just so happens that ethanol's problems can be seen in the short term (efficiency vs price vs storage & distribution) as well as the long term (environmental damage and sustainability). A capitalist society means people and companies will move away from ethanol because of these factors - unless there are plenty of subsidies and kickbacks to go around.
  • Robertann Robertann on Aug 27, 2008

    Does the cost benefit scenarios include the engine lasting twice as long because the oil isn't contaminated from the Gas impurities? Does the cost benefit scenarios include cuting your oil changes in half because or oil stays cleaner longer? Does the cost benefit scenarios include a proper mileage figure for a car the is built to run on ethanol higher octane? Does the cost benefit scenarios include the cost of being vaporized for funding the nuclear ambitions of an ememy sworn to God to eliminate the US due to its sinful nasty life style?

  • Tommy Jefferson Tommy Jefferson on Aug 27, 2008

    > I guess we do live in a capitalist society. I wish we did.