E85 Boondoggle of the Day: The Audacity of Corn

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
e85 boondoggle of the day the audacity of corn

President Barack Obama’s inaugural address promised that his administration will “harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” I’ve heard of solar-powered cars, but wind? Dreams for sail? But seriously folks, “the soil” can only mean one thing: bio-fuels. And although environmentalists would like to switchgrass (or sell you lows), that’s E85 to you and me, bub. The news comes too late for VeraSun. The ethanol producer, Obama supporter and alleged check kiter filed for Chapter 11 last Haloween. But, according to The New York Times, ADM’s still good to go. “Not long after arriving in the Senate, Mr. Obama himself briefly provoked a controversy by flying at subsidized rates on corporate airplanes, including twice on jets owned by Archer Daniels Midland, which is the nation’s largest ethanol producer and is based in his home state.” Anyway, as they say in the DC’s corridors of power, in for a penny, in for a few billion. Meanwhile, c orn prices continue to climb…

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  • Menno Menno on Jan 21, 2009

    Thanks, airhen. Made ME laugh, anyhow... A small update on my '08 Prius vs. E10 (10% ethanol gasoline mix). This morning on the commute in, the trip meter went to 90 miles and the fuel gage went to 7 bars (3 used). That's roughly 3 gallons used. Normally, on pure gasoline, even in winter I WAS getting 44 mpg (summer, 48, spring and fall, 50). Folks can either believe it or not - but I'm looking right at it (and paying the money for it). Ethanol - quite literally - sucks. If you are at all math savvy, you can see that - somehow - the Prius is actually sucking something like 20-25% MORE gas PLUS the ethanol compared to what it used to do on pure gas. With a 2005 Prius (48,000 miles) and my 2008 (21,500 miles), I have almost 70,000 miles of experience. As previously mentioned, EVERY single car I've tested since 1979 with E10 has obtained at least 6% fewer MPG's (one car), most losing at least 10%. Obviously (... "duh"...) I used pure gasoline as long as I possibly could and now have had about 2 months of only being able to buy E10 to compare it to. Again..... Ethanol sucks.

  • PabloKoh PabloKoh on Jan 21, 2009

    "Now if we can only figure out how to refine oil into flour, we’d be all set." This how conventional farming produces all out food now! The US uses the energy equivalent of 10 barrels of oil per person per year to feed each resident. The US uses the energy equivalent of 9 barrels of oil per person per year on transportation. The energy companies love the American Farmer. The big question exists "Can we grow food or bio fuels without oil?" Yes. This is how we fed the country before 1870. The cars back then ran on ethanol.

  • Menno Menno on Jan 21, 2009

    PabloKoh said "...1870. The cars back then ran on ethanol" I'm sure you're being ironic and really mean that the horses ate hay back then. There were no cars prior to about 1896, except for the occasional steam powered vehicle made in someone's barn as an experiment. As for growing sufficient food without oil, America could do it. But we'd better figure out real quick how to better treat the Amish and old order Mennonite folk who still retain this knowledge. As things stand right now, you won't hear a single complaint from them. BUT they are very aware of the ongoing cultural revolution (they do read even if they don't have TV or radio, and have their own newspapers/magazines) and they also understand that the predominent American post-modern (anti-Christian) culture believes everything pretty much in opposition to their beliefs. In plain English, we Americans had better stop with the hating and marginalizing of Christian folks if we expect to try to get by without starving, because frankly, we need the Mennonites, Amish and other plain Christians way more they they need US. By US I mean both "us" and the U.S. See what happens the minute Obama and his minions try to take control and "educate" the children of these folks. I can tell you what will happen. They will leave the country, dust off their feet. And if the oil is turned off, we'll starve to death. And it'll serve us right.

  • PabloKoh PabloKoh on Jan 21, 2009

    I stand corrected on the 1870 car. I should have said 1910. I do agree with the Amish comments above. Shameless plug for Amish peanut butter: I would trade a steak dinner for a Amish peanut butter sandwich. Try it if you can get your hands on some.