The whole corn-to-ethanol "program" is arguably the biggest political
boondoggle ever foisted on the American people. It certainly is bad enough that
we turn food into fuel. But we not only are forced to use ethanol by government
mandate, we also are forced to subsidize its production with our tax dollars. It
also has been argued, very persuasively, that the production of ethanol uses at
least as much...if not more...energy than it saves. Then, of course, there are
the tariffs that prevent the import of less expensive ethanol produced with
non-food materials. In short, there is nothing good that can be said about this
whole food-to-fuel fiasco.
In the modern world OFTEN the solution too one major problem creates new
problems that were not intended. Government and business both need to be more
True environmentalists never wanted the program in the first place since the
farmers still use more diesel producing the ethanol than they create.It was always fake environmentalism that was really just the corn lobby
looking for handouts.My solar panels make more than enough
electricity for an electric car. My hybrid is nice but I'm looking to go
100% electric very soon.
To add a bit to the great comments of DanO, W Gronberg, and Screwdriver: Al Gore
pushed hard for biofuel and then actually admitted a year or 2 ago that he did
it just to get the votes of the corn lobby, and admitted that it is bad policy.
I was surprised that he would admit such a thing, but I wasn't surprised at
Al Gore's hypocrisy, which we have known about for a long time. It
continues to this day with his making $500 million selling his TV station to Al
"Are biofuels starving the world's poor?'OF
COURSE!!At least those fuels that use corn and other potential human
food.Only those who have not seen starving people could think
otherwise.A better option is the idea of a USU guy on using the
grass and weeds that grow on the verges and medians of the nations roads and
highways to be converted to biofuel.
Only if you are a complete economic illiterate do you not understand that
channeling away food for the production of fuel will mean less food for human
consumption. The price of the remaining food is then bid up and those who can
least afford it go without. I mean,Duh!
I second the above comments. In addition to the various problems mentioned:- Gas with ethanol gets worse gas mileage. Switching to ethanol-free gas
boosted my mileage by 5 mpg.- Ethanol gas is harder on both car engines
and small engines. A small-engine mechanic quoted in a Popular Mechanics article
"estimates that as much as 75 percent of [his repair] work is not due to
normal wear and tear, but results from the use of ethanol, which can cause rust
and carbon deposits inside the engine, dissolve plastic parts and more."- Gas with ethanol goes bad after a month or so. Most of us know that when we
put our lawn mower away for the winter, if we don't drain the gas out of
it, or treat it with Sta-bil, it will cause problems come spring. With
non-ethanol gas, I don't have that problem.Oh, and guess
what--we're headed to 15% ethanol gas!The D News won't let
me use a link, but to find stations pumping ethanol free gas, google it and pick
the first result, pure hyphen gas dot org...seems to have the most complete
Ethanol is the worst "green" idea that's ever been come up with.
It takes 1.4 gallons of diesel fuel to produce and distribute a gallon of
ethanol...compare that to 1.1 gallons of diesel fuel to produce and distribute a
gallon of gas. And it has the happy side effect of pushing up food prices
worldwide.Ethanol exists for exactly one reason: Because Iowa has
the first presidential caucus.
The link I clicked to see this article was something like, "Are biofules
unintentionally starving the world's poor?" It's an interesting
question. The far more interesting question is, "Are biofuels intentionally
starving the world's poor?" Look, it doesn't take a genius to
recognize that taking millions of acres out of food production will put upward
pressure on food prices. If you're in a policy-making position, you have to
recognize that food prices will rize and that this will have very real impact on
poorer people. Perhaps, the policy makers are disciples of Bill Gates'
philosophy that we need zero population growth and that starving poor people,
although regrettable, is worth it in order to reduce population. Perhaps policy
makers are in the pocket of big agra (just kidding, of course they're in
the pocket of big agra). I wonder if big agra benefits from higher corn prices?
So, is a regrettable consequence different from an intentional consequence? Just
a hunch here, but I'm guessing that maybe the "intentionally"
question is pretty relevant...
Ok... first comment here wasn't published, but I actually work in this
industry, and I can tell you many of the numbers being thrown around here are
totally bogus... so are many of the quotes such as the one from the mechanic.
Probably true about older cars, but newer ovehicles are engineered to handle new
fuels. GM used to make a big deal about it (flex fuel), but that
"feature" is standard on any new car. I also doubt the 5 MPG difference
quote. 5 or 10 percent, yes... probably true.. but unless the dude is getting
already 100 mpg, the thermal BTU level of ethanol blend is not 20 to 25% less
than normal gas. Gas has a BTU/GAl rating of 114,000... pure ethanol is
76,000... but blended ethanol\gas you buy at the pump has a rating of 111,800 -
not that much differentf rom normal gas. Diesel tops them all at 129,500.That said, I am not a big fan of the whole corn to fuel thing. I do see
huge social issues with the program, but other sources are being developed.
The big issue with ethanol and engines is not with automobile engines, which
UtahBlueDevil rightly notes are designed to accommodate ethanol. It's the
small engines that take a beating. I had an edger and a trimmer that were
incapacitated when the ethanol dissolved the fuel lines and dumped their tanks
of gasoline on the floor. Then there's the lawnmower, the tiller, the leaf
blower, the chain saw, and the generator. The small-engine repair people must
love it, but I hate it.My small-engine shop has a different kind of
stabilizer that's supposed to somehow neutralize the ethanol - can't
remember what it's called.
We are entering a new era on energy which should see the abandonment of
bio-fuels from food sources. With the new Lexus which is able to charge without
a plug and the already designed and proven solar electric roads there should be
a move to combine the technologies. I realize it is still some years away but