E85 Boondoggle of the Day: EPA Tells Texas to F-Off on E85 Mandate Waiver
The federal ethanol mandate is the Mother of All Ethanol Boondoggles. The latest federal energy bill dictates that some 9b gallons of ethanol must be blended into gasoline from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, 2009– whether consumers like it or not. How can the feds "force" the market to swallow all that corn-juice? The Renewable Fuels Standard sets the bar for all 50 states' gas blends; backed-up by the usual threat (loss of federal highway funds). According to The Detroit News, Texas governor Rick Perry has asked the EPA to cut that shit out [paraphrasing]. Perry wants the feds to "temporarily " reduce ethanol requirements to bring down the corn prices bedeviling his rancher friends. Oh, and people who eat. In a phone call with the Gov, EPA Administrator Stephan Johnson laughed, Joker-like at the idea [paraphrasing]. Perry was pissed [for real]. "I am greatly disappointed with the EPA's inability to look past the good intentions of this policy to see the significant harm it is doing to farmers, ranchers and American households," Perry said. "For the EPA to assert that this federal mandate is not affecting food prices not only goes against common sense, but every American's grocery bill." The Texas-sized battle against boondoggery begins.
Even E10 is a total waste of time, resources and an even bigger boondoggle than E85, because it's forced on many more people. Just drove my wife's 2008 Hyundai Sonata 2.4 (4 cylinder automatic) car 4999.8 miles on our big once-in-a-lifetime visit from northern Michigan, to the Alberta Rockies in Canada, and home through the US. Drove north, crossed the big Mac bridge into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, drove straight to Sault Ste Marie, into Canada, turned left and drove for 4 days to get there. Just as (yet another) example of ethanol's stupidity, I'll share my numbers crunched this morning from our trip. 4999.8 miles, 158.1 gallons = 31.6 mpg (not bad for a full sized car, huh?) The E10 I had to buy in Canada (except when I finally got fed up and popped for Premium once) netted figures as follows: 2823.2 miles, 91.59 gallons = 30.8 mpg. The pure gasoline I could buy netted me this: 2176.6 miles, 66.52 gallons = 32.7 mpg. That's a 6.2% MPG improvement using pure gasoline compared to E10, which is obviously 10% ethanol. Best E10 mpg was 36.6 (9.5 gallon fill), worse was 25.1 (5.8 gallon fill). The 36.6 was in a 90 km/hr (56 mph) section of northern Ontario. The 25.1 included some stop & go. Best gasoline mpg was 34.5 mpg (7.7 gallon fill), worse was 28.4 mpg (9.5 gallon fill). Now, figure in the additional costs of E10. The ethanol must be TRUCKED - can't be sent via pipeline. That takes (guess what) DIESEL OIL. Food costs have gone up. We, US taxpayers, are forced to subsidize the cost per gallon of every bit of E10 by 71 cents per gallon. E10 is mandated in several states, including Minnesota, and the Federal Government is forcing it in so-called high pollution areas, meaning most big cities. Overall, ethanol as motor fuel is the dumbest idea that ever came down the pike. Hence, our politicians love it. Which says a lot about our politicians. BTW, in EVERY car I've ever tested since 1979, I've obtained about 7% (OK, now it's 6.2%) to 25% less efficiency using E10. My Prius HATES E10, and now I'm down to ONE gas station a few miles out of my way which sells pure gasoline in my area, and I'm not in a mandated E10 area.
In America, we don't educate, we buy figuring that if we don't like what we bought, we'll throw it out... we're a disposable society (pun intended). That's how a guy with no record of achievement, no history that points to a new style of governing, nothing, in fact, but a photogenic face can be nominated to the highest office in the land. I think, though, that a ten minute conversation about facts, history and guiding philosophy with the average voter would have their common sense dictate which lever to pull when voting...actually, for any office in the land.
Filthier emissions, less gas mileage, damaging to fuel systems, higher food prices, sure am glad big gubment can do my thinking for me!