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The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol

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Comments

  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    I agree that this ethanol business is pure politics and corruption. Don't underestimate the real costs of ethanol production. In our Chesapeake Bay, excess nutrient pollution is costing the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean-up. At the same time, more fertilizer is pouring in from the ridiculous corn to ethanol business.
    The real cost to American taxpayers for this totally wrong approach to foreign oil dependence should include the real and total costs of clean-ups and also include the shorter lifespans of boats, boat motors as well as cars. There is nothing good about ethanol in fuels for the US consumer.
  • pafromflpafromfl Posts: 47
    Latest news by yerth10
    ... Another news is in year-2008, the Oil consumption in US fell by over 6% and Worldwide, it fell by 0.6% even after including Ethanol (which actually grew 40%).
    Ethanol would have taken some market share from Oil. ...

    Re: Latest news [yerth10] by jkinzel
    ... Ethanol is a negative energy source; with all the energy used to plant, fertilize, harvest, process and transport, the damage to the land and 10% reduction of MPG for E10, it takes more energy to produce ethanol than is gained. ...


    Corn-based E10 is good for greedy corn conglomerates and crooked politicians, but is very bad for the economy, the environment, worldwide food production, and a fair number of engines (marine, yard equipment, etc.). The Green movement is losing credibility over E10. It's time to admit E10 was a mistake.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    The ethanol industry has applied for a waiver to increase the ethanol content from 10% to 15%. EPA is accepting comments until July 20, 2009. The corn-ethanol industry has many lobbyists working for it. But this is our chance to be heard. Often regs pass or waivers like this one are allowed because the regulatory agency received no opposing comments. If we don't take the time to comment, then we have ourselves to blame as well as the ethanol producers.

    http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-AIR/2009/April/Day-21/a9115.htm
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Anyone good with a pen that we can plagiarize and can provide us with documented facts, i.e., web sites.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    There's no need for long letters with lots of documentation. In the end, the letters are counted: so many for & so many against. Its most important to clearly state your position; a long explanation or background is unnecessary. Personal experiences are good.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"The smart thing to do would be to continue research on it so that when someone shuts off the taps again and/or oil gets scarce there is at least one alternative ready to go. Waiting until after the oil is scarce to complete the R&D is a bad move and could be catastrophic to our economy"

    The smart thing to do would be to "Drill here and drill now". There are vast amounts of oil under Utah, Montana, and Colorado. We have larger reserves than "Known" reserves in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Yemen combined. I will post the link if I can find it.

    Add to that the reserves of Natural Gas that are nearly equal to the oil reserves in energy. Also the Rocky Mountains contain an almost inexhaustible amount of oil shale, similar to what Canada refines their oil from. And least we not forget the coal reserves.

    California is whining about being broke while there are vast amounts of oil sitting off their coast. Yet they will not drill. Why?

    Kip
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,679
    The nuts than run California have successfully blocked, coal, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, nuclear & offshore drilling. Then they have mandated the local power companies to have 20% alternative energy by 2012. If not they get fined. Which of course is added to my electric bill. We need to get rid of the whole congregation in Sacramento and start over with some people that are not brain dead. That would include the courts that accept all the frivolous lawsuits against all these forms of energy.

    And yet they have accepted corn ethanol laced gas with open arms. One of the most destructive mandates ever pushed by Congress.
  • Let's not wait for America's transporation to be shut down and for our economy to grind to a halt. It takes 16 years for America to turn over (replace and retire) its automobile fleet. For less than $100 per vehicle we can safegaurd our future. FUEL CHOICE would mean gasoline competing in the market place with ethanol or methanol. Based on the cost (& profit) of American made ethanol and methanol a consumer it would never make sense for the consumer to opt for gasoline if it went above $2/gallon!

    G-E-M Flex Fuel Cars run on ANY MIXTURE of G-asoline, E-thanol, M-ethanol. A myopic focus on "ethanol" and "corn to ethanol" obscure the opportunity a rapid phase in of Flex Fuel Vehicles offers to avert America and the world's iminent ENERGY CRISIS.

    97% of the world's car & plan transporation (not just your car) relies on oil. America imports 70% of it's oil. Eight of nine top oil exporting countries are under control of dictators or autocrats, most of whom don't particularly like America. 78% of the world's oil comes from the OPEC cartel (monopoly). Oil prices have risen with signs of economic recovery. When the economy recovers expect a return of $150 barrel oil. Or in the event of a successful Al queda attack on Saudi's oil processing fields (and there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts) or Iran's threated closing the Straight of Hormuz in the event any country attempts to stop their attainment of a nuclear bomb- gas prices will go to rapidly shot above $200 .

    Methanol has been produced from wood waste for about 350 years. Today it is produced from also from forestry waste or other organic waste including municipal waste - at about half the cost of ethanol. True, it has less energy than ethanol or gas but it is still a cheaper cost per mile traveled .

    While Cellulosic ethanol production remains at "reserch quantities" we know other crops, like sugar beets, could produce significantly more energy than corn!

    Let's strengthen America and weaken the grip foreign oil holds on our country and our future! Watch the 2 minute video at SETAMERICAFREE.org The primary focus must be to ALWAYS keep our vehicles and economy running.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Why even bring up methanol? There is no consideration being given to methanol by anyone related to transportation. It is extremely reactive, and would be incompatible for our current liquid fuel infrastructure. A red herring.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    America imports 70% of it's oil.

    It's 60% and our biggest imports come from Canada and Mexico.
    http://www.quoteoil.com/oil-imports.html

    If you truly want energy independence, why are you not promoting diesel and bio-diesel a fuel that has 40% more energy than gasoline?

    My concerns are that your motivation is not solely based on energy independence.

    In my opinion, FLEX Fuel is a sham and one of the reasons GM got in trouble. I will never buy a FF car.
  • galongagalonga Posts: 50
    "If you truly want energy independence, why are you not promoting diesel and bio-diesel a fuel that has 40% more energy than gasoline?"

    Where did you EVER get this number from my friend? Diesel engines are not even EXPLOSION, but COMBUSTION engines, and that's because oil-based fuels do not even explode, so low is their energy content!

    "In my opinion, FLEX Fuel is a sham and one of the reasons GM got in trouble. I will never buy a FF car."

    It is so much a sham than an ENTIRE COUNTRY has MORE cars running on ethanol than gasoline (Brazil). And that's been going on for over 30 years! Hard to say anything to that huh?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,679
    It is so much a sham than an ENTIRE COUNTRY has MORE cars running on ethanol than gasoline (Brazil). And that's been going on for over 30 years! Hard to say anything to that huh?

    It looks to me from your misinformation you are drinking the Corn squeezin' rather than running it in your car. Better check your facts on Brazil. I have already posted the facts on the subject for you several times. You just refuse to see the truth. And yes diesel has a lot more BTUs of energy per gallon than Gasoline. And as my friend has posted the FFVs sold in the USA are a joke. I know as I have one. Of course in all of So CA there is only one station selling E85 for about a buck a gallon more than RUG. Kind of a novelty fuel for the totally uninformed wannabe enviro wacko crowd.

    I have no problem with people in the midwest running ethanol in their vehicles. I don't like it forced onto the rest of the country with the loss in mileage that is well documented. !0% ethanol equals 10% loss of mileage. Add to that the huge subsidies and it becomes apparent to an educated individual that we are getting screwed as a payoff to the Congress people in the Midwest.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Where did you EVER get this number from my friend? Diesel engines are not even EXPLOSION, but COMBUSTION engines, and that's because oil-based fuels do not even explode, so low is their energy content!

    ?
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    >"I don't like it forced onto the rest of the country with the loss in mileage that is well documented. !0% ethanol equals 10% loss of mileage."

    Yep!

    And amazing to me how the Ethanol crowd can't seem to understand that, with a 10% drop in mileage, we are forced to buy 10% more fuel to go the same distance.

    So we are burning the same amount of Dino PLUS the Ethanol.

    Does 11 gallons of 10% Ethanol produce less emissions than 10 gallons of pure Dino ?

    Kip
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    Does 11 gallons of 10% Ethanol produce less emissions than 10 gallons of pure Dino ?

    See? Now THAT is an interesting question that we'll probably never get a straight answer to because an ethanol proponent's answer would likely be, "You can't compare emissions from different amounts of fuel". But I'm like you. I understand that I'm not burning any less gasoline or doing anything to decrease demand on gasoline production because ethanol has been added to the mix.

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Seems to me that even if Ethanol required absolutely ZERO energy and emissions to produce, we would still be polluting more with the 10% increase in fuel volume to go the same distance.

    Add in the emissions to produce the stuff and we are paying more to pollute more. Somewhat of a Loose-Loose situation for the masses and a Win-Win for the corn producers.

    Kip
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Even if we assume that the emissions are the same, that ignores the problem of the pollution that results from the production of the corn. Where corn is replacing soybeans, the increased nitrogen runoff is polluting the water that receive it. Here in the Chesapeake Bay region, the state and fed govts are spending millions to attempt to remove a tiny fraction of the pollution from nitrogen runoff. A classic case of unintended consequences that should be taught in every environmental biology class in the country.
  • pafromflpafromfl Posts: 47
    In addition, the corn-derived ethanol depletes the Midwest aquifer and drives up the worldwide price of food. If ethanol actually reduced oil consumption, some of the side effects might be tolerable. However E10 actually increases net oil consumption. Word is spreading. The Greenies should quickly admit E10 was a mistake or they will lose all credibility with the public.
  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    Yeah, I'm having a hard time getting why anyone continues to prop up this ridiculous failed experiment.

    I happen to live down the street from a few gas stations that have non-ethanol blended fuel, and I always have to remember to fill up if I head eastward - once you get about 10 miles from here, it's all ethanol-blended.

    I can't remember the last time I saw even a semi-reasonable argument for ethanol.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    I happen to live down the street from a few gas stations that have non-ethanol blended fuel,

    Your lucky, we, i.e. WA State has a 10% law. There is no pure gasoline for sale in Washington State.
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