By on March 9, 2015

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

With one attempt shot down thus far, two U.S. senators are issuing a standalone bill to reduce the use of corn-based ethanol at the pump.

According to Hemmings Daily, the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015 introduced by Dianne Feinstein of California and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania would call for a modification of the Renewable Fuel Standard that would push other biofuels, such as biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol, over corn-based ethanol. Feinstein explains:

Our infrastructure has a ceiling for the amount of corn ethanol that can be used, and we’re rapidly approaching it. Companies are physically unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for many gas stations and older automobiles.

The Feinstein/Toomey bill joins four others seeking similar action, including three in Pennsylvania, Oregon and Hawaii that would seek to eliminate the mandate of E10 sales altogether.

Meanwhile, ethanol supporters like the Renewable Fuel Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the Advanced Ethanol Council oppose the bill as an assault on the RFS, and call upon the Environmental Protection Agency to increase ethanol use further, despite the EPA’s acknowledgment regarding the limits to blending ethanol with gasoline.

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25 Comments on “Feinstein-Toomey Bill Seeks To Push Other Biofuels Over Corn Ethanol...”

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Where is the magical gas pump in the photo??

    • 0 avatar

      They have pumps like that in Iowa. I know the Kwik Stop has E10/87 and straight 87 plus premium when I got gas there a couple weeks ago.

    • 0 avatar

      Some Oklahoma stations have pumps like that, just like grocery stores that sell both margarine and butter. But I prefer to buy fuel at stations that don’t allow any adulterated gas on the premises. Screw you, Iowa.

    • 0 avatar

      Do a web search for pure gas. It might be available a lot closer than you think.

      Ethanol-free gasoline availability in the USA these days is kind of a mishmash. One station might sell pure 87 alongside E10 regular/mid/premium while another station on the other side of town might carry pure 89 or 91. Or the nearest place might be a hundred miles away.

      It usually costs an additional $.50/gal or more, so in terms of straight $/mile it’s not worth it. But if you believe you need it for your old car, lawnmower, or airplane (yes, a few people out there tote jerry cans of 91 to fill up small general aviation airplanes… it’s legal and safe with the right paperwork and right precautions) then the cost is worth it in the long run.

  • avatar

    Just to be “that guy:” what are the chances of this making any progress?

    • 0 avatar

      What are the chances of the Iowa caucuses going away?

    • 0 avatar

      It has a snowball’s chance in Hell. The corn-hole lobby is too well-funded and too all-powerful, think ADM and other agribusinesses carving out and securing their financial interests (even though much of America’s food is imported from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and other nations around the globe.)

      The agribusiness lobby is like the unions of organized-labor industry; both look to the US taxpayers to fund their interests.

      • 0 avatar

        You are so close to the truth! But if each and every one of us reading this article would contact our Representatives and Senators, urging them to support the bill, there might be a chance.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe more of a chance. Interesting about this bill is that one sponsor is a liberal Democrat, and the other is a very conservative Republican.

        • 0 avatar

          I live in a blatantly Blue state and I can tell you that many Democrats are extremely upset with the leader of their party and his current administration.

          The Democrat State Senate in my State is in disarray because of the revenue shortfalls and the citizens’ outrage against yet another tax increase, to be forced down their gullet.

          The cost for MedicAid in my State alone has gone ballistic and is basically out of control. Somebody has to pick up the tab for all the freeloaders getting healthcare. And that number has increased exponentially from what it was before O’care.

          And since we are the poorest state, along with Mississippi, the meager amount of Federal Handout money doesn’t even come close to offset the budget deficits.

          On a personal note, when the business bought our Health Insurance for us, there was never any doubt about getting care, if we needed it. But with O’b*m*care the monthly premiums went from ~$4000 a month to well over $6000 a month.

          So now, relying just on Medicare, there’s that dreaded Advanced Beneficiary Notice we have to worry about, even for Pap tests and Pelvic exams required for cancer survivors.

          I’m afraid Congress is wrestling with far greater priorities than ethanol subsidies. I bet it won’t even pass Committee.

          • 0 avatar

            I love the irony, aren`t you one of those “freeloaders”, as you call them, on Medicare?

            Poorer states like yours are subsidized by other states like Connecticut, Massachusetts (you know those evil Liberal sates) and yet you still complain about how that subsidy isn`t big enough. That is rich.
            The Affordable Care Act has reduced premiums for many of the 8+ million who have signed up because they get subsidies to help cover the cost. Plus we have all gained since healthcare inflation has reduced – look at the recent Economist magazine for an impartial look at the economics.

            For what its worth I live in a Republican area and I can tell you that many people are upset by their putative leaders. See how anecdote works!

          • 0 avatar

            Freeload? I wish! I’m too White to qualify for any handouts. No, we pay for Medicare.

            You misjudge my political affiliation. I’m an Independent with equal disdain for both s!des of the aisle.

            As such, I agree with the New Mexico philosophy to assist illegal aliens and OTMs to vamoose our state and head them in the direction of those Blue States to the East.

            I believe that last month we saw more than 5000 illegals leave NM for greener pastures on the East Coast. Someone actually keeps track of that based on the drivers licenses we issue to undocumented aliens in the state illegally.

        • 0 avatar

          “Interesting about this bill is that one sponsor is a liberal Democrat, and the other is a very conservative Republican”

          What they share is that they both represent states that do not grow a lot of corn.

  • avatar

    Took long enough for signs of intelligent life to emerge. The US benefits from blending domestically produced biofuel into the gasoline supply. Ethanol has numerous problems, including possible damage to vehicles and conflict with arable land needed for global food supply.

    The natural solution is to mandate a different biofuel that doesn’t cause hell for refiners, auto industry, and global food supply. Blend algal oil into the gasoline supply.

    Tight oil isn’t going to last forever. Creating a market for domestic energy to replace imports is not a bad idea, even if it smacks of mercantilism. Then we just need to balance trade with China.

    • 0 avatar

      The natural solution is to add to our Byzantine legal code whatever influential people of the day think will work (usually work best for them at others’ expense). The smart solution would be to question the need for any mandate, then, and only then, create a mandate that doesn’t have the government choose.

      Mandate a percentage of renewables and let the innovators compete for best solution.

      • 0 avatar

        We’ve just emerged from a mortgage debt implosion in which energy prices served as the blasting cap. Do you really want another credit detonation, if oil prices creep back to $150/bbl?

        The problem is that we’ve chosen to use massive quantities of a resource we don’t have. If you fix that problem, everything else will go away. Rules like CAFE and biofuel mandates are compromised bureaucratic policy to problems that are even worse.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t follow you.

          Are you for or against mandating renewables?

          Are you not paying attention to our ability to be energy self sufficient using only oil and gas if we so choose? We have it. We just don’t have it where we can drill for it cheaply because of a combination of mandates in some places and past drilling in others.

  • avatar

    Just spent the morning hauling several loads of corn (1700+ bushels worth) to the ethanol plant in a ’76 Ford L700. AMA

    (Although I might not respond promptly, because right now I’ve got to take the cat to the vet, and then after that, I don’t know what we’ll be doing.)

  • avatar

    Maybe Feinstein could figure out why I just paid $3.50 for 91 octane “premium” when the average national price for 93 octane is $2.85. Oh, right… we have all sorts of additional state regulation. Thanks; I feel better for venting. :-)

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