E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Obama Backs Off Corn-Based E85, Feds Don't
Bloomberg has a tidy little article summing up the current state of play in the corn ethanol industry: game called on account of brain. Yes, not only are people beginning to realize that the “food for fuel” industry has its ethical “limitations” (food riots and rising prices at the supermarket will do that to a concept), but the realities of economics are giving gung-ho investors pause. As in, why should we put money into this boondoggle when there’s already tens of millions of gallons more production capacity than demand? (So much that E85 producers can’t get cheap corn, either.) The result: the end of the corn-based ethanol industry’s boom. And a big PR switch from “no one ever died defending a corn field” to talking about [non-existent] cellulosic-based E85. The Bloomberg piece ends with the revelation that even ADM’s man (gotta love that jet) is backing away from corn juice. “Asked whether Obama may reduce his support for corn-based ethanol as president, spokesman Tommy Vietor referred to an April speech in Indiana: ‘We have to recognize that corn-based ethanol is a transitional technology,” the candidate said then.” Oh wait… “An energy bill introduced by House Democrats Thursday would require all gas stations to add one alternative fuel E85 pump, a fuel of 85 percent ethanol,” The Detroit News reports. “Currently, less than 2,000 of the nation’s 185,000 gas stations have an E85 pump.” And why is that, then?
I'm not an expert in building gas stations, but I assume (correct me if wrong) that you will need a seperate tank in the ground to hold E85. Wouldn't that make this an incredibly expensive upgrade for those 183,000 gas stations?
The price of corn is falling precipitously, along with oil and a lot of other commodities. Maybe the worry about food inflation can cool off now? The truth about biofuel: More biofuel => less dependence on OPEC => lower oil price => lower food price
The local farmers co-op is offering a promotion from 10AM to 2PM Monday on E85. They recently installed an E85 tank and have two pumps. The promotion price is $1.85/gal. with a 30 gallon limit. I plan to fill up my flex fuel Ranger and jerry cans besides to get to the limit. E10 sells for about $3.35 around here so it's a real good deal. As for the end of the corn based ethanol boom, nothing "booms" for ever, not even the the auto industry. Ethanol plants are still opening regularly and ethanol production is increasing. Ethanol will be around long after gasoline runs out. Ethanol was here before gasoline and it will be here after gasoline.
Cavendel said I’m not an expert in building gas stations, but I assume (correct me if wrong) that you will need a seperate tank in the ground to hold E85. Wouldn’t that make this an incredibly expensive upgrade for those 183,000 gas stations? No, they'll just create a tank that hovers 30 feet in the air. The same engineers that are inventing new battery technology for the Volt are going to invent this new technology as soon as they finish.