By on October 9, 2018

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

If you’re like this writer, seeing “may contain up to 10 percent ethanol” at the gas pump leaves you frowning, then reaching for the premium nozzle. It’s not just that 91 octane helps my tiny turbo run better — I don’t like paying through the nose (as I do for all grades) for slightly less energy by volume.

Should President Donald Trump move forward with reported changes to U.S. ethanol laws, you can expect to see more corn alcohol at your local gas station. And I don’t mean Jim Beam.

According to Reuters, Trump will attempt to lift the summer ban on the E15 gasoline blend on Tuesday. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency forbids its use during the warmer months to alleviate air quality concerns. (During hot weather, E15 gasoline evaporates quicker than the E10 blend found in most regular unleaded pumps, contributing to the formation of smog.)

The move, designed to appease Midwestern corn producers and motorists, would also place new restrictions on the trading of biofuel credits among big oil producers. For years, “merchant refiners” — those who don’t produce and sell blended biofuels — have complained that buying Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from those who do has become an expensive proposition. Merchant refiners must buy the credits to comply with federal clean fuel regulations. Across the industry, RINs are a multi-billion dollar business.

The Trump administration sees this as a win-win for smaller producers as well as consumers. As ethanol is cheaper than refined gasoline, allowing a higher blend would serve to lower pump prices. Corn growers, already suffering the fallout from new trade tariffs with China, might see a boost in the value of their product.

Chet Thompson, chief executive of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, clearly wished for more perks from the proposal. “The president has promised to broker a deal to reform the [Renewable Fuel Standard] that works for all stakeholders. This isn’t it,” he said in a statement.

The biofuel industry, however, is all smiles.

The lifting of the summer E15 ban could come in the form of a waiver exempting it from EPA regulations. While the years-long march towards a greater share of ethanol in the nation’s fuel tanks initially earned a thumbs-up from environmentalists, fuel quotas and an increase in corn production for use in biofuels led to environmental side-effects. At the top of the harm list is increased fertilizer runoff into sensitive waterways.

Motorists remain wary of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, despite the 2011 EPA pronouncement that E15 is fine in cars produced from 2001 onwards. Several automakers objected to this. Then there’s the economics for the consumer. Pump prices might come down, but a tank of E15 or even E10 won’t contain as much energy as a tank of high-test. You’re paying slightly less to go slightly fewer miles, depending on engine type. How it actually shakes out on the road is difficult to gauge.

While most auto companies claim their late-model vehicles are E15 compatible, others continue to warn drivers not to use E15 in their products — among them, Subaru, BMW, Mazda, and Mercedes-Benz.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

109 Comments on “Getting Out the Corn Vote: Trump Proposes Lifting Summer E15 Gasoline Ban...”


  • avatar
    jack4x

    Trash the mandate.

    Make gas gas again.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      +1000

      MGGA!

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Agreed. Trump is playing politics just like everyone else, I guess there isn’t a big enough niche of voters who are avid car guys and hate the E10 filth (to say nothing of E15). Can we get a trendy hashtag going and march on DC? I’ll bring my ’77 Yamaha XS500.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Dang my 67 Mustang needs a little more work to make that kind of trip…

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I rode that Yamaha from Central NY to the California coast and back in ’08, but there’s no way I’d get on that thing for another cross country trip now. Guess I’ve gotten soft lol

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            At this point I’d settle for marching on the headquarters of whatever level of government bureaucracy is responsible for the complete ban on E0 fuel in my county and the one next to me.

            But heck, I’m in for DC too.

            MGGA

          • 0 avatar
            PlaysInTraffic

            Your county government might be responsible, or it might be the Feds, if you are in one of their Mandated RFG Program Areas.
            https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/special/pdf/rfg2.pdf

            Ironically, you do have the freedom to buy ethanol-free gasoline at most stations in Iowa, if you are willing to pay an extra 30 cents per gallon.

            Me, I only buy that when filling cans for the lawn mower and such. I used to buy it when I had a late 90s BMW with the 2.5L six they called “2.3”, because it delivered an extra 2 mpg. In the cars I’ve owned since, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
            E15 (and E85) is available only at certain locations, but I’m not sure if my car is designed for it.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    Wait… gotta do something about mt reading comprehension… how about completely eliminating ANY corn squeezin’s from gasoline instead???

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Well the sun don’t shine
      On a moonshine still
      Copper line hiding in the side of a hill
      It’ll get you there
      It’ll get you there quicker
      Fruit jar full of that good corn liquor…
      – The SteelDrivers

      That’s the only liquid corn I support.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick T.

        Well, in the North of Carolina, way back in the hills
        Me and my old pappy and he had him a still
        He brewed white lightnin’ till the sun went down
        And then you’d fill him a jug and he’d pass it around
        Mighty, mighty pleasin’, pappy’s corn squeezin’
        Ssh, white lightning

        Well, the “G” men, “T” men, revenuers, too
        Searchin’ for the place where he made his brew
        They were looking, tryin to book him, but my pappy kept on cookin’
        Phoo, white lightning…

        White Lightnin’
        George Jones

      • 0 avatar
        road_pizza

        Same here :) .

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Maybe we can invent a retrofit kit, at least for full-size pickups, that will re-distill the ethanol out while you drive. Swap the radiator for a heat exchanger in the bed. Collect your winnings at the end of a long highway trip!

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    When about to leave Arkansas a couple weeks ago, I stopped by the gas station right by the plant to fill up. Premium contained 0 Ethanol, so I said, what the hell and chose that.

    The Taurus broke 30 MPG on the drive home with some, um, spirited acceleration along the way. I was beside myself when I calculated the numbers at the next fuel stop. I had to go back to E10 after that and it went back to its mid-20s usual self.

    Man, I sure as hell wish the non-E10 Premium option was available everywhere. No, I probably wouldn’t save much since Premium is, well, a premium, but it sure felt good to watch the odometer roll on while the gas needle dropped a lot slower.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I agree. I’ve been stuck with that E10 crap for a while, and the gas mileage in the 2013 Tacoma has been less than stellar. Other people on the ToyotaNation forums report 17-18 mpg around town, while I get 15-16.

      Also, it’s getting old having to spend $20 for a gallon of E0 (the SEF brand at Walmart, made by VP Racing Fuels) to keep my lawn equipment running without needing carb repairs every year.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        VP Racing Fuels was the gas station brand in Arkansas I referenced. I think that aside from being non-alcoholic and Premium grade, it was also just a very high quality fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        VP Racing Fuels was the gas station brand in Arkansas I referenced. I think that aside from being non-alcoholic and Premium grade, it was also just a very high quality fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick T.

      We are fortunate here in middle TN to have a chain of pure gas stations.I don’t use it in my car but only for leaf blower and lawn mower. Regular was $2.99 last time if I remember correctly.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        We have non-alcoholic fuel at some stations, I filled up with it today, but the quality of the fuel isn’t as high as what I got in Arkansas. (I’m along the gulf coast.) I did get to a decent amount over 100 miles on the trip odometer (didn’t note the exact mileage) before hitting 3/4 tank today. Not as good as what I talked above above, but better than usual.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      The “real gas” really does work better, it’s true! It’s so rare, though, it’s hard to patronize the few stations that do sell it.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Careful mister, you are channeling your latent inner Prius driver.
      I’d love to see what mine would do on pure gas. 70 instead of 62 mpg? man can dream.
      The whole ethanol thing is crony capitalism. I would buy pure gasoline if I could.

    • 0 avatar
      road_pizza

      A few years back I did a road trip from the s.w. burbs of Cleveland to Bardstown, Kentucky in my ’05 Crown Vic P71. While there I unknowingly filled it up with 100% gasoline. Got an amazing 26 mpg on the return trip!

  • avatar
    Robbie

    It is not really surprising that Trump want to further subsidize the red states.

    Does anyone know why real gas, as sold at marinas and such, tends to be so expensive (at least, in New York state)? Is it taxed more than corn gas?

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Marina fuel is expensive because it’s a captive market. Boats burn a ton of fuel to get over to the next marina and available filling stations at the water’s edge are limited. Most customers aren’t going to trailer their boat to the next filling station over nor are they going to truck in a massive tote of fuel for their boat, so they got ya.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This. When I was in college, my dad owned a 32-foot Trojan cabin cruiser that had twin Chrysler 440 marine engines in it.

        Our first fuel bill for ONE DAY on the river was over two hundred bucks…in 1985 dollars.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Where I live I can get 90 octane E0 for $3.29 a gallon. Closer to the lake, the same stuff is $3.69. At the marina, it’s $4.19.

      The marina has much higher operating costs than does a land based station. It’s on a floating dock, and has to have enough pumps to meet demand, which is very uneven. I’d guess they sell 80 percent of their yearly volume on 16-18 weekends, and the volume in October through March is very low.

      I don’t begrudge the marina for what they charge, the additional money I spend on gasoline is a small amount. I’m not sure what that land based station near the lake is doing, though.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      sorry friend, throwing political favors to corn farmers is a bipartisan tradition.

      Blue state, red state everyone loves to get as much as they can at the federal watering hole.

  • avatar
    Keith_93

    Ethanol gas provides less energy, poor gas mileage, pollutes more and actually harms some small engines.

    While both parties have participated in the ethanol scam, pushing E15 (50% worse than E10) a month before the election as an Iowa hail mary takes the cake. This moves show no actual concern for the country as a whole. It is bad for the economy and the environment.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      E10 only has around 3% less energy than E0, E15 only about 5% less. Fuel economy and power drop proportionally with the energy content. Ethanol is a cheap oxygenate and octane booster, so if you eliminate it you’ll end up spending more money per mile, even taking in account the slightly increased mileage.

      I use E0 in my small engine equipment and in my boat, but that’s just to avoid possibly screwing up the fuel systems due to phase separation, and the relatively small amounts or fuel used means it doesn’t cost me much more to use, certainly not compared to having to repair them if they get damaged. Any reasonably modern road vehicle has been designed to burn E10 without damage, and their sealed fuel systems aren’t as prone to phase separation because water vapor can’t get to the fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Any reasonably modern road vehicle has been designed to burn E10 without damage, and their sealed fuel systems aren’t as prone to phase separation because water vapor can’t get to the fuel.”

        except for motorcycles; only California requires bikes to have sealed fuel systems.

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          California may be the only state that requires them to have sealed fuel systems, but the manufacturers don’t build bikes with sealed systems for California and unsealed systems for the rest of the country. That said, there are a lot of older motorcycles out there with unsealed systems.

          Motorcycles, especially older models with unsealed systems and/or 2 cycle engines, are more affected by ethanol. In some places they require a 4 gallon minimum purchase at pumps where they sell E15, because there’s around a third to half a gallon of the last fuel dispensed left in the hose, and because motorcycle tanks are small, that can be enough extra ethanol to cause damage to engines not designed for percentages greater than 10%. I think they should require that any pumps that dispense blends greater than 10% be separate pumps,and that they mark them conspicuously to help prevent fueling vehicles that aren’t certified for higher blends. You can’t completely stop stupid, but you should at least make them work harder.

          Motorcycles do tend to be used intermittently, so the fuel can sit long enough to deteriorate or phase separate, and carbureted engines don’t have a way to automatically compensate for increased levels of ethanol, so many will have the same problems that classic and collector car owners have. In any case, it would be nice to have the option to buy E0 at more places. I live near the coast, so I don’t have to go too far out of my way to buy E0 marine fuel for my engines that need it, but a lot of folks don’t have that option.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “California may be the only state that requires them to have sealed fuel systems, but the manufacturers don’t build bikes with sealed systems for California and unsealed systems for the rest of the country”

            they most certainly do. Both my Street Glide and FZ-09 have unsealed fuel systems. The Street Glide’s owners manual specifically says “All new Harley-Davidson motorcycles sold in the state of California and select international markets have an evaporative emissions control system.”

            Yamaha goes so far as to specify two different model numbers; mine is an FZ09H, while EVAP-equipped California models are FZ09HC.

        • 0 avatar
          road_pizza

          My ’11 Road Glide Ultra has a sealed fuel system and bought it right here in Ohio.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I can’t recall any environmental organization ever saying anything positive about corn based ethanol.

    Where I live, there are a number of stations that sell Marathon’s Rec 90. The one on my route home sells it for $3.29, which is about 50 cents more than 87 octane E10 and 20 cents more than 89 octane E10. I’ve taken to using it in my Fusion, just to help provide a market.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Most of the Kwik Trip stations in the southern Twin Cities, MN offer non-ethanol 91. I use it almost exclusively in my Mazda6, and get 33ish mixed mileage or 5mpg above the EPA estimated combined total.

      It’s been as high as 40 on a trip to Rochester and then over to Litchfield.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        tankinbeans, my larger and more powerful runs 87 octane in MN, which can be up to E15. I also get 5mpg over EPA estimates and can obtain 40mpg on trips on back roads (where I’m limited to 60mph). My car can also take E85.

        Ethanol isn’t evil. Cars that are designed to run on non-ethanol don’t do as well. If cars were targeted to run on ethanol, they’d do better, but that’s not where EPA estimates come from.

        In addition ethanol is a better use of resources. The corn doesn’t just go to fuel. The exact same corn that produces fuel also goes to producing animal feed that’s more nutritious than feed corn. Contrary to popular belief, ethanol has an overall positive benefit to resources. It’s just massively political, so we we only get to hear extremists (on both sides).

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      No environmental groups support ethanol because it is not a “green” solution. When you look at the whole energy cycle, “well to wheel”, ethanol is a net energy loser. So, forget the Adminsitration’s greenwashing. I will give Trump credit at least for being honest (WOW! Honesty!) about why he is allowing the 15% limit. But for us drivers, this is a political boondoggle that both sides of the aisle have played with farmers for years. This higher limit though sucks even more. Less mileage, more cost, likely higher maintenance. And if you have a few old cars as well (as I do) it is even worse.

      MGGA. I can get behind that for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        ethanol is only an energy looser if it’s only used for fuel. It has a by-product of feed for livestock. Once that’s taken into account, it’s a net benefit.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Right on. Anti-ethanol voices conveniently forget that DDG exists. And yes, it does take fuel and water to make ethanol, but less than it does to refine petroleum to gasoline.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    One could say Trump grabbed farmers right by the cornstalks.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    One uniform fuel standard for the USA is my ask. There are between 45 and 70 different fuel blends as a result of bureaucratic EPA standards and Clean Air Act.
    So am I a proponent of reducing the requirements? No.
    Reduce the complexity. One fuel standard that balances environmental protections and national interests.

    • 0 avatar
      jberger

      You are right on target.
      If we get to fewer blends, we can increase production and lower costs.
      Refinery change overs cost big money and produces price shocks to the system.

      This would give us the margin to raise gas taxes and solely dedicate those funds to road building and repair. We have got to fix the infrastructure and this would be the most pain free method to get it done.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The real solution to this is to end the fiction that Iowa is somehow the most representative state for presidential elections, and either have a national primary day where all states vote at once (this would also have the side benefit of reducing the ridiculously long campaign season), or at least rotate the order so that no one state’s quirky issue becomes a third rail. Everyone knows the mandate has nothing to do with fuel economy or emissions, and everything to do with subsidizing “small government” loving farmers. Remove Iowa’s outsized influence on presidential politics and there’s hope for this to go away.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yep. Ethanol is just politically way too entrenched due to Iowa’s timing that no one wants to touch it, as it is a sure way to screw up momentum right from the get-go.

    • 0 avatar
      210delray

      Yes, we need to remove Iowa’s out-of-proportion influence. I’d advocate for 4 successive primaries, in each of the months March through June, according to time zones. Then rotate the order every 4 years.

      Perhaps allow NH to go first in Feb. due to longstanding tradition. It’s a small state where “retail” campaigning is doable, and the pretenders can be eliminated from the contenders.

      BTW, “pure” gas is nonexistent in my area, central VA (unless perhaps at marinas on some of the nearby manmade lakes).

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Heck, this flyover state denizen wouldn’t be opposed to removing all rural states’ disproportionate influence (though it would be metaphorical suicide for me to say that out loud).

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          So you welcome a future state of the country that would basically resemble the “Hunger Games” with the downtrodden manufacturing/raw material extracting areas all beholden and subordinate to a group of urban elites that dress like weirdos? Because that’s what that would look like (IMO). Actually that’s kind of what it already resembles.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            It would remove the incentive for those hicks to use “you think you’re better ‘n’ me?” as a reason to cut off their noses to spite their faces. The whole electoral college design was to get slave owning states to ratify the constitution by letting them count slaves as population (who couldn’t vote, mind) for determining representation. Y’know, that whole “3/5ths compromise” thing I learned about in grade school.

            It was never meant to “protect the poor noble country mouse against the evil city mouse” despite the line of bulls**t the Republican Party has fed you.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Did the Republican party feed me that, or did I come to that conclusion myself based on observation and living in this country for 25 years?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            everybody thinks something is “right” if it works to their benefit.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “It would remove the incentive for those hicks to use “you think you’re better ‘n’ me?” as a reason to cut off their noses to spite their faces.”

            I like how you’re so self-unaware and continue to call people in red/rural states hicks while claiming to know what’s best for them. I know it’s a tired trope at this point, but “this is why Trump won.” But go ahead and keep barking up that tree.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I gotta say, I agree more with JimZ on this. Sooooo much of what my compatriots say and do is based on the belief that a rural, right-wing life is inherently superior in all aspects to an urban, centrist one.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “urban, centrist”

            I’d be curious to hear approximately what this hypothetical person would look like and where they’d stand on various issues. I always thought of myself as a quite reasonable middle of the road guy, but then “centrist” Democrats started to talk about white privilege and letting mentally ill men use womens’ bathrooms. I’d probably have voted for Jim Webb if he had been the Dem nominee but all it took for him to do was to say “All lives matter” in a primary debate.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I always thought of myself as a quite reasonable middle of the road guy”

            EVERYBODY THINKS THEY’RE “MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.”

            It’s called “confirmation bias.” People are terrible judges of their own abilities and biases. Just by what you have posted in this thread, I’m comfortable in saying you’re solidly right-wing. Your claim that you’re “middle of the road” is simply down to your assumption that your beliefs are the “norm” and are the objectively correct ones.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “and letting mentally ill men use womens’ bathrooms”

            Um, OK. Geez…you, uh, you went there. OK. Good to know, I guess.

            Just out of curiosity, have you ever met someone who is trans? The answer to that is already “yes.” You just didn’t know it. So why is it it an issue where they go?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I’m middle of the road by 2010ish standards, sorry I haven’t updated my stances to the latest causes du jour. With Salon publishing articles defending pedophiles, I’m apprehensive about what “middle of the road” might end up being to you guys in another 5-10 years. If I’ve been in a bathroom with a trans-person and not known it, good, that’s how it should be.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “you guys”? Nice strawman, BTW.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Why would it not work just to have a national primary where everybody makes their choice at once? Then the general campaign can begin.

      I know, it’s about money, but lest politics become a major discussion I’ll move on and keep reading.

  • avatar
    jberger

    You are right on target.
    If we get to fewer blends, we can increase production and lower costs.
    Refinery change overs cost big money and produces price shocks to the system.

    This would give us the margin to raise gas taxes and solely dedicate those funds to road building and repair. We have got to fix the infrastructure and this would be the most pain free method to get it done.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Im sure this wont be the last piece of “good news” that is designed to keep him and other Republicans in office.

    To be fair, Dems do the same thing. Remember when we all paid for the auto bailout….er….still paying for it….er…….kids paying for it. The same can be said of Trump’s new tax plan. Its done nice things for the economy, but better save some extra money to help your kids out when its time to pay the piper. Money doesn’t grow on trees I hear, would be great if we could spend it on things we all need rather than keeping a bunch of b’tards well fed in DC.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “…better save some extra money to help your kids out when its time to pay the piper.”

      Or buy that new house. One of the dirty little secrets of a “boom” is that it causes inflation, which drives up interest rates. That’s hitting the industry I work in (real estate lending) hard.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      The auto industry bailout was started under the Bush administration, and was to keep an industry alive in a time of crisis. The only crisis farmers are seeing is the one that the Trump administration inflicted on them with its ill advised trade war.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Oh, God, let’s not fight the “auto bailout” war once again….

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          No, let’s not. I think his point was that the auto bailout was a bipartisan affair, just like the bank bailout was, and for the same reasons (national salvation).

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as “bi-partisan” in this country anymore. The bailouts were OK until Obama took office. Then they became evil.

            These are people who say “think for yourself” when they mean “think what I tell you to think.”

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll probably be hearing “but… but… HILLARY! HER EMAILS!” for the next 50 years. The Boomers never got their WWIII to become the next “greatest generation,” so they’re doing their best to destroy as much as possible so nobody after them can have nice things.

          So glad I don’t have any kids to leave behind in this mess.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Jack Baruth & Bark/Mark Baruth/Maruth started the rupture and fanned the flames of hatred and divisiveness as staff members of TTAC – they were given Bully Pulpit to do so, essentially, for a long time – by engaging in pro-Trump, pro-RT, pro-Sputnik, gender war talking points on TTAC, culminating in Mark/Bark Baruth’s/Maruth’s poorly written, sad, mommy-issue driven essay along the lines of “They March” regarding the Women’s March on DC, where he strained all that was left of his credibility (as in very, very little) by trying to nebulously dress up a political hate-rant as some form of automotive-touching essay, andnthennkeft a whiny little, tiny man when called out on it.

            Baruth Brothers have now set up extreme-right hack of site along lines of Cabrini Redneck Green Backwater to spew massive doses of hatred and divisiveness, which should serve as cursory preface to anything either of them ever writes on TTAC again,

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You’ll all have to excuse the typos (supposed to read Mark/Bark Baruth/Maruth is a tiny man, literally and figuratively), as I’ve been adapting to new and smaller electonic device.

            As a postscript, the ultimate irony in all of this is how Jack Baruth speaks of his son’s maternal-side Jewish ancestry, as he defends Trump, who spoke of the “Jews will not replace us!” tiki torch crowd in Charlottesville (to this very day) “[v]ery fine people.”

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            JimZ: check out this book Tailspin. It chronicles very nicely the decline of the American Dream and why.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            DeadWeight,

            I don’t visit this site very often anymore because of Baruth’s thinly veiled / not so thinly veiled political hate rants. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that noticed it. Apparently, more than a few people did.

            The only reason I read this article is because a friend sent it to me in a group message.

            Back to my sabbatical.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Will I be able to run my 99 S-10 I-4 on E-85 without damaging the engine? What about lawn mowers and other lawn equipment? Will I be forced to get new lawn equipment and modify my S-10 to run on E-85? I would appreciate an answer from someone who knows.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      E85 won’t work in any of those engines/fuel systems. E15 probably wouln’t either.

      No one is talking about making E85 mandatory, they’re not even talking about making E15 mandatory, as a large portion of the fleet can’t use it.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      E-85? unless it’s flex fuel, I wouldn’t. the engine management may not have the “range” to enrich the fuel:air ratio enough and you’ll have problems. plus you’ve no idea if all of the materials in the system are compatible.

      and I would *never* use it in lawn equipment. I have a couple of radio control boats which use gas engines (basically water-cooled chainsaw two strokes) and I’d go through three carb diaphragms a year until I started getting ethanol-free gas from the marina. After that, no more replacing diaphragms.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      E-15 and E-85 are not the same thing. Your stuff should run on E-15, though the fuel systems may suffer damage over time. Your stuff will probably not run right on E-85.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      My lawn mowers, lawn tractor, snowblower, and other small engines do just fine on E15. However, you need to keep the fuel fresh (I’m not going to pretend ethanol doesn’t get stale). If you can’t keep it fresh, add some fuel stabilizer (gumout). If it’s going to go eight months, drain the fuel.

      If you don’t do these things, the engine might get gummed up. If you do these things, they’ll be exceptionally clean (cleaner than those that use E0 and don’t do it).

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    I thought the reasoning behind ethanol use wasn’t that it wasn’t harmful, but that it was the least harmful? I thought, maybe wrongly, that the other additives or options for increasing octane to anti-knock levels were even more harmful? I thought I’d read that the refineries, even without the mandate, would add ethanol as their only realistic option.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Ethanol was used to replace MTBE as an oxygenate in certain gasolines used in some very smoggy areas. Ethanol is not nearly as toxic as MTBE. The amount of pollution reduction that adding the oxygenate gets you is small, but it’s there. I’d argue that there are better ways of getting that same reduction, but some groups would resist making those changes.

      Making the entire nation use E10 gasoline is nothing more than a sop to corn farmers and ethanol producers.

      • 0 avatar
        stuart

        I agree, except about the pollution part.

        IIRC, the oxygenated studies EPA used to justify MTBE and Ethanol were done on carbureted cars. If you mix oxygen into your gasoline and burn it in a carbureted engine (e.g. lawn mower), the mixture will be leaner with an attendant reduction in pollution.

        However, if you burn your oxygenated gasoline in a modern car with fuel injection and an oxygen sensor, the sensor will detect the lean condition and the FI computer will enrich the mixture to compensate.

        Result: slightly lower fuel mileage and zero reduction in pollution.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Actually the oxygenation may have reduced emissions on some carb’ed cars it actually increased emissions in many others causing a big spike in emission test failures and the attendant repairs. So many carbs came with plugged idle adjustment screws and add in a little wear on the throttle shaft and that extra oxygen meant too lean of a mixture, a rough idle and excessive hydro carbons. Some cars would also run too lean at cruise and fail with high hydrocarbons. Unfortunately jets were just not available so the common trick was to raise the float level a bit to richen the cruise mixture.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The problem is not that it is required but that if there are no restrictions to switch from summer blends then most refineries are not going to shut down to switch. Effectively then this will make most refineries provided E-15 year around. This eventually will mean that most power equipment can no longer be used and that any vehicles older than 2001 will have to be modified to run on E-15. This will be bad for most consumers but good for the corn lobby and for Monsanto.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      No, that’s not going to happen. There are too many legacy vehicles and small engines that aren’t designed to run on E15, so E10 is always going to be available, no gas stations are going to quit selling the fuel that the greatest number of vehicles can use in favor of a fuel that many can’t. E15 is going to be sold in addition to E10, not instead of. The ethanol is added after the fuel is refined, so the switchover to seasonal blends won’t have any effect

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Small engines will be just fine with a few precautions. See my post above.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Iowa sucks. Its politicians suck. Its corn is a terrible sweetener and even worse in gasoline. It’s a flat, desolate, Mad Max landscape. Its Mexican food is worse than Taco Bell.

    IOWA – Idiots out wandering around.

    Having said that, there are a lot of nice people there.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Why can’t the corn lobby just be happy with getting paid to grow nothing?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    E15 will make America great again. Destroying one old engine at a time, and then those cars can be replaced.

    USA! USA! USA!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Trump is looking at 2020. After raising the tariffs on Chinese imports and China retaliating against our goods especially our agricultural products Trump is throwing a bone to the farmers. This helps our auto industry, the power equipment industry , Big Agriculture and Monsanto but hurts those of us who have to buy new vehicles and new lawn equipment. I have mostly newer power equipment but I would most likely not be able to run it on E-15 unless I go to a marina and buy non E-15 and even then there would be few around me to go to and much higher prices for gas. I might just go all electric since they might eventually require E-85. Only so many times that I want to buy new equipment.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Perhaps we need a new, fourth grade of gasoline. “What’ll it be, Sub-Standard or Irregular?”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @285exp–I hope you are right. I need to get 3 to 4 years out of my current lawn equipment and S-10. After that I am less concerned. If it is forced upon me I will deal with it but I see this as more political and less to benefit the average person.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      Jeff,

      There are way too many engines out there that can’t use E15 for them to replace E10 with it. Most small engine equipment can’t, pre-2001 vehicles can’t, and most outboard motors can’t. E10 regular is the biggest seller at the gas stations, so they would have to be idiots to replace it with something that lots of people can’t use.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @285exp–Maybe you are right. There will be some blow back from this decision. Hopefully there will be enough criticism that the President will decide to back down on this decision or at least delay it. I do think that the service industry such as landscaping and other businesses that use power equipment would speak out. Hopefully my concerns are premature.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Iowa farmers will love this, especially the big mega corporate owned farms. This is a reward to the loyal Trump supporters in Iowa and their chief nit-wit the dim witted Chuck Grassley. This in actuality pollutes more and costs more , and the consumer subsidies The Whole game. Shameful the way facts don’t matter anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Most of the ethanol producers and plants are owned by “big oil,” and they have a vested interest in seeing E15 coming.

      Amazing isn’t it – when the Obama Administration pulled the plug on this the Trumpster cheerleaders were basically, “ya, you better do it,” and now they are, “ehhh, whatever, I’ll just deal with it.”

      Political ideology is amazing – and for the record never voted for Obama, just hate hypocrisy to my very core and hate E5, E10, E15, or for that matter E1.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I’ve gone from foaming at the mouth at the slightest mention of anti-ethanol rhetoric to just not caring one way or the other. Mostly because we’ve gotten into other crops besides corn and soybeans (or rather, we never abandoned oats, alfalfa, etc. in the first place) and it’s so much more interesting to have something different.

  • avatar

    I know the closest station without ethanol gas.

    I’m on record loathing KGB Agent Orange, but now he’s messing with my gas ? Wouldn’t change allow me a choice in gas, or, is it inevitable that Big Ag gets what it wants, no matter what the rest of us think ?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Big Ag is a mighty lobbying group and so is Big Chem.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Another obviously temporary idiotic policy which benefits very few and is detrimental to many….

  • avatar
    tonyd

    One of the reasons for e10 — energy independence.
    $50/barrel tariff on all imported oil puts a floor of $60 for domestic producers. drill/frack baby drill!
    $1 X gas%/gallon e0=1.00 e10=.90 e30=.70 etc.
    encourage installation of blender pumps with some of the money and WE DECIDE what goes in the tank.

  • avatar
    volvo

    On the bright side as a resident of California since this is a Trump proposal maybe the California State Government and CARB will now ban ethanol blended gas just because this initiative comes from the Trump Administration.
    One can hope. :)

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @brn–I started last year adding fuel stabilize to my lawn equipment gas cans after I buy my gas. I don’t fill my cans up completely so that I can add the stabilizer in and I shake the gas can every time I refill my lawn equipment. I do see E-15 as more political than environmental especially since the President is anti-environmental and believes climate change is fake science (I think he believes that all science is fake).

    Maybe the Government needs to have a program similar to Cash for Clunkers where if your vehicle is older than 2001 or it was not designed to run on fuel with a higher ethanol content than E-10 then offer a credit to be used on a purchase of a new vehicle designed to run on E-85 and require that the older vehicle be destroyed. This way you have removed the older vehicle and it is no longer an issue and you have a vehicle that can run on any ethanol blend that is no more the 85% ethanol. If the President decides that gasoline needs even a higher ethanol content than E-15 then the vehicle will be able to run on that blend without damage.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • slavuta: More good news for your favorite man – Putin. All the oil that Canada can’t route to US will be...
  • slavuta: Old_WRX There was a guy talking who was from the National Weather Service. He said, the climate in the US...
  • teddyc73: Geez, people are so quick to kill Chrysler.
  • teddyc73: Why is that funny?
  • teddyc73: How is GM mgmt a “clown show”?

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber