Comments about ‘Letter: Subsidize E85’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Exactly. Which is why we should take the subsidies that we are handing out to oil companies and give them to green companies.

Unfortunately, it will be difficult to do that. Oil companies love their handouts.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

apparently maverick and the letter writer are unware that ethanol is ALREADY subsidized. There is a federal subsidy for ethanol made from non-food substances like wood chips, grass, etc of $1.01 per gallon. I doubt those evil oil companies get a $1.01 per gallon subsidy.

But how is ADM, one of the largest recipients of federal subsidies, with all the genetic engineering they do to food any less evil than big oil?

are either of them evil? they both serve markets that want and need their products. they are owned my millions of individual shareholders, either through direct stock ownership or in mutual funds. those holdings are part of personal investment portfolios, company pension funds, and individual retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k) holdings, Keough plans, etc.

Tell you what Maverick, you think green companies are so worthwhile, go ahead and put your money where your mouth is, invest your own money in them.

Do oil copmanies deserve or even need subsidies? No, but then neither do greenies.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you think Ethanol can be produced without consuming fossil fuels... you have another think coming.

Goggle "how much does it cost to produce ethanol" or "Biofuels FAQs"... Read the section on "How much does it cost" and "Does ethanol have a positive or negative energy balance".

You will find that fossil fuels are still required in 3 major areas:
-the farming process (planting, watering, fertilizing, harvesting, etc).
-shipping the corn or sugar cane to processing plants, and shipping the ethanol to market,
-processing the bio-material into alcohol (mashing, heating and processing the corn or whatever organic material you use).

It looks like a good option and we should keep working on it, but we need to realize that fossil fuels are still needed even if we subsidize ethanol.

Pasedena, CA

To "Wallace Haynes" you may not have noticed a drop in mileage, but according to the Government's Fuel Economy website, and their article "Ethanol-Fuel Economy" they found that "FFVs operating on E85 usually experience a 25–30% drop in miles per gallon due to ethanol’s lower energy content". That was based on a study done by the SAE.

Sorry to tell you this, but ethanol requires more fuel for the same trip.

Bountiful, UT

Assuming what I read in the newspapers is correct, use of ethanol as we produce it in the United States (from corn) doesn't help reduce pollution or conserve energy. This due to the fact that to make gallon of ethanol takes almost the same amount of energy in fossil fuel in addition to the corn used.

South Jordan, UT

Even California Senator Feinstein is opposed to ethanol subsidies, not to mention E85 fuel is not environmentally friendly. Edmunds used one of their long term test vehicles and drove roundtrip from San Diego to Las Vegas using regular fuel and then E85 fuel. Results for regular fuel 18.3 mpg, cost of $124.66, and 706.5 pounds of carbon emitted. E85 fuel results were 13.5 mpg, cost of $155.29, and 703.1 pounds of carbon (from EPA tables). With a cost per gallon of 9.6% less than gas there was a 22.8% added cost of operation and negligible environmental impact.

Also note the tax subsidies are mainly for the growers of corn, etc., not the oil and gas industries. Another important fact is ethanol from corn contains 76,000 btu's per gallon and uses 98,000 btu's to produce while gasoline contains 116,000 btu,s at a cost to produce of 22,000 btu's per gallon. This shows Wallace is mistaken in his assumption E85 fuel use has a positive impact, it is a loser in cost and environmental impact.

Durham, NC

There is so much old and dated information being tossed around here. Based on the last complete number as of December 2013 - from a Bloomberg report we have,

"Denatured ethanol for January delivery fell 3.1 cents to settle at $1.911 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices dropped 13 percent this year, a third straight annual decline and the biggest since 2008. The quarterly drop, of 2 percent, was the second in a row.

Gasoline for January delivery slipped 0.19 cent to $2.7858 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.

Ethanol’s discount to gasoline widened 2.91 cents to 87.48 cents a gallon."

Additionally - most of the cars being tested by the likes of Edmonds are dual fuel cars, not optimized for Ethanol. Results would be much different if the engines were dedicated for the fuel. A compromise engine is never the best option.

South Jordan, UT

The UtahBlueDevil, like others drinks the "KoolAid." The important part of ethanol based fuels does not change with time. Ethanol has 33% less energy (rated in btu's) than gasoline and there continue to be tax subsidies, so all or part of the lower price is paid for by those paying taxes. And ethanol is produce with a negative carbon impact when compared to gasoline, so find a real "Green" cause.

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