E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail

e85 boondoggle of the day fear and loathing on the campaign trail

There is no greater condemnation of an industry's lack of competitive spirit than seeing its executives hanging around political conventions. Their sudden interest in the future direction of America sends a single resounding message: we have failed on our merits and our misery demands company. And while Detroit snuggles up to Obama, courtesy of McCain's semi-stand against a D2.8 bailout, the E85 lobby gets to represent the failures of America's auto and energy businesses at the Republican convention in Minneapolis. Of course, it helps that Minnesota is a standard-bearer for ethanol, bringing countless millions in pork to the land of a thousand lakes. But the mere presence of E85-backers at the RNC convention isn't enough to hammer home the ugly, thoughtless greed of the corn-juice movement. Domesticfuel.com reports that the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest has purchased a number of pro-ethanol TV spots and billboards aimed specifically at the Donkey do. "Addicted to Oil?" asks a sign on the St. Paul skyway. The query that really begs an answer here is "what the hell is a respiratory health advocacy group doing schilling for agribusiness?" Meanwhile, yesterday's E85BOTD poster child POET has given the University of South Dakota a $3.9m grant to study cellulosic ethanol. First, why not just build another plant, considering POET's first cellulosic ethanol plant in Scotland cost $4m? Second, will this research grant simply provide academic fodder for the corn farming lobby's campaigns? And third, why didn't POET ask the government to fund this grant? Is ethanol finally learning to stand on its own? Don't count on it.

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  • Blindfaith Blindfaith on Aug 28, 2008

    The ethanol infrastructure in the US already exists. Simply put 10% ethanol in all the gas. we could distribute all the ethanol we could make. This would slow down IRAN nuclear program without any negotiations by 10% the vaporization of New York would be delayed. The EPA would like it because it would reduce pollution and the illegal aliens would like it because we could pay them a decent wage. Replaces, the auto workers as the new middle class.

  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 29, 2008

    Somebody on FastLane was inspired by your article title: Fear and Loathing in Denver It was posted just today, 8/29/08.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
  • MaintenanceCosts Chevy used to sell almost this exact color on the Sonic, Bolt, and Camaro, as "Shock." And I have a story about that.I bought my Bolt in 2019. Unsurprisingly the best deal came from the highest-volume Bolt dealer in my very EV-friendly area. They had huge inventory; I bought right when Chevy started offering major incentives, and the car had been priced too high to sell well until that point.Half the inventory had a nice mix of trims and colors, and I was able to find the exact dark-gray-on-white Premier I wanted. But the real mystery was the other half of the inventory. It was something like 40 cars, all Shock on black, split between LT and Premier. You could get an additional $2000 or so off the already low selling price if you bought one of them. (Neither my wife nor I thought the deal worth it.) The cars were real and in the flesh; a couple were out front, but behind the showroom, there was an entire row of them.When I took delivery, I asked the salesman how on earth they had ended up with so many. He told me in a low voice that a previous sales manager had screwed up order forms for a huge batch of cars that were supposed to be white, and that no one noticed until a couple transporters loaded with chartreuse Bolts actually showed up at the dealer. Long story short, there was no way to change the order. They eventually sold all the cars and you still see them more often than you'd expect in the area.