The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol

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  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    Food has gone up 15% - 20%, beer is going up 20% - 30%. The list goes on.

    I’ll take the 15% increase in Gasoline over the increase in food and beer, it will be the lesser burden and my mpg will increase.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I forgot the 2 MPG or 13% loss in mileage using ethanol laced regular gasoline. For most Americans ETHANOL is a scam and not a good part of the energy bill. Steal from the masses to pay the mega ag corporations.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=acnqou1542Qs&refer=home

    April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Rice climbed to a record and corn traded near its highest ever on speculation the 3 percent annual increase in global demand for cereals will outstrip supply as governments curb exports to prevent protests.

    Rice, the staple food for about 3 billion people, rose 2.4 percent in Chicago trading today after doubling in the past year. Soybeans advanced for the third day and wheat gained. Crop supply has been reduced by drought in countries including Canada and Australia and a U.S. freeze followed by excessive rain last year.

    ``A lot of what we're seeing at the moment is not related to production, but the fact that a number of countries are implementing trade restrictions,'' said Darren Cooper, a senior economist at the International Grains Council in London.

    Corn for May delivery gained as much as 0.5 percent to $5.9875 a bushel. The commodity rose to a record $5.9925 a bushel yesterday on concern that rains in the U.S., the world's largest producer and exporter of the crop, will delay planting.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I hear there is still snow on the ground in parts of the corn belt. Maybe the Government should mandate no snow when it is time to plant corn for ethanol. :confuse:

    We need a little GW to get that crop in the ground.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    "Ethanol", it realy gives you that warm fuzzy feeling when you know the good that comes from it.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/04/14/world.food.crisis/index.html

    CNN) -- Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

    "This is the world's big story," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute.
    "The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend," he said on CNN's "American Morning," in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. "There are riots all over the world in the poor countries ... and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States."
    World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the surging costs could mean "seven lost years" in the fight against worldwide poverty.
    "While many are worrying about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs, and it is getting more and more difficult every day," Zoellick said late last week in a speech opening meetings with finance ministers.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    Yet another nasty result of our fuel addiction. A 'crime against humanity' say many of the transformation of food for the world into ethanol for our E85 Suburbans and Hummers....
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Don't forget the E10 sold for use in the Prius and Civic. As posted unleaded with 10% ethanol cuts the mileage on a Prius as well as a Hummer. Just more noticeable on the Hummer. There is very little good that can be said about ethanol. Except the bottom line at ADM and Verasun.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    We drive, they starve. The mass diversion of the North American grain harvest into ethanol plants for fuel is reaching its political and moral limits.

    "The reality is that people are dying already," said Jacques Diouf, of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "Naturally people won't be sitting dying of starvation, they will react," he said.

    The UN says it takes 232kg of corn to fill a 50-litre car tank with ethanol. That is enough to feed a child for a year. Last week, the UN predicted "massacres" unless the biofuel policy is halted.

    We are all part of this drama whether we fill up with petrol or ethanol. The substitution effect across global markets makes the two morally identical.


    511 pounds of corn to make 13 gallons of ethanol :sick:
  • sirlenasirlena Member Posts: 30
    How can our corn for fuel affect whoever they are talking about?
    We don't export our corn, mainly because no one will by it cause it is genetically modified.

    And as far as corn price here, how much corn did YOU eat today?

    The main product of corn in the US is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which you should stay away from anyway, cause it's deadly. The Food for Fuel concern is a complete myth made up by the petroleum industry.

    But ya'll are brainwashed anyway.

    Gasoline is a byproduct of all the nasty toxins from the oil industry. Cars were made to burn alcohol (ask Henry Ford), but because of prohibition, that was stopped in it's tracks and because of Rockerfeller.

    Like I have said before, keep burning your nasty, polluting, carbon forming deposit, fuel system plugging, cancer causing, water polluting, gasoline. I choose E85 the gasoline alternative (not E10 the gas additive).

    Alcohol Can Be A Gas! Fueling an Ethanol Revolution for the 21st Century

    Make your own if you hate ADM so much...
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I checked out that link. Do you really think that is an unbiased source? They have just as much of an interest in creating their own myths as the petroleum industry. It's no myth that food/grain prices are high. It's no myth that oil/gas prices are high despite the fact that the US has substantially increased it's ethanol production.

    Here's some amusing statements regarding ethanol from that website.

    It's a much better fuel than gasoline, and you can use it in your car, right now. You can even use alcohol to generate electricity.

    How does being able to use ethanol in your car make it better than gasoline? Actually, right now, most people can only use E10. How does being able to generate electricity with ethanol make it better than gasoline?

    You can produce alcohol for less than $1 a gallon, using a wide variety of plants and waste products, from algae to stale donuts.

    Really? Then why in the world would the ethanol industry need government subsidies in order to compete with $3.40/gallon gasoline. That statement in itself should cause a person to question any assertions made on that website.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    While Mr. Blume has some impressive credentials, he is hardly the focus of what seems to have become a global disaster.

    Tell me where you got the information that we, the United States does not export corn.

    http://www.iatp.org/iatp/press.cfm?refID=96657

    http://www.fas.usda.gov/export-sales/corn.htm

    http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph/agr_gra_cor_pro-agriculture-grains-corn-pr- oduction

    http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/news/stories/news3906.html

    Strength of export demand for U.S. corn will be important as U.S. corn production struggles to keep up with domestic demand for ethanol production, said a University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist.

    The USDA reported cumulative export inspections from Sept. 1, 2006 through Feb. 8, 2007 at 949.2 million bushels, 138 million more than inspected during those same 23 weeks last year. Cumulative exports estimated by the USDA in the weekly Export Sales report had reached 983.6 million bushels by Feb. 8.

    We are the biggest exporter of corn in the world. Once or twice a week we sail ships out of Tacoma loaded with grain and in most cases part if not the entire load is corn.

    I think you might want to do a little more homework before you make another post.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    The main product of corn in the US is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which you should stay away from anyway, cause it's deadly.

    While I agree 100% that we should avoid at all cost High Fructose Corn Syrup, I doubt that it is deadly if used in moderation. And if it is so nasty, why do they make it?
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    Not to mention that high corn prices can indirectly effect other food prices like beef, pork, dairy products because corn is used for feed. On top of that if farmers choose to plant more corn that implies that they will be planting less of other crops, which will inevitably drive up their prices.

    Typically the people that are the strongest supporters of our current ethanol policies have some self serving motives.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Typically the people that are the strongest supporters of our current ethanol policies have some self serving motives.

    I believe you will find our friendly Ethanol advocate sells a Rube Goldberg E85 conversion kit. That gives him a vested interest in keeping the scam alive. Maybe the 111th Congress will pull the plug on all farm subsidies and get our food prices back to where they belong. I am in Hawaii right now and a loaf of bread is $5.19. A direct result of planting corn for ethanol instead of planting enough wheat for bread.
  • sirlenasirlena Member Posts: 30
    They make High Fructose Corn Syrup because it's cheap.
    It's 7 times worse for humans than any other sugar.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    HFCS is probably what is left after they make ethanol. And yes it is bad for you. And that is the reason we do not drink any mainline soda or juice drinks. We have not bought a box of dry cereal since reading the book "Omnivore's Dilemma".

    That said it does not change the FACT that ethanol is impacting the price of food. There is a lot of things that are staples in the world made from corn that are nutritious. It is also a main ingredient in chicken feed. Eggs have doubled in price since the ethanol boondoggle got going. Naturally if a farmer is going to get paid by the government to grow corn for ethanol he will do it. Why grow wheat or Soy?
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    They make High Fructose Corn Syrup because it's cheap

    It's not so much that HFCS is cheap but that cane sugar is relatively expensive. This is largely due to high tariffs placed on imported sugar. An indirect subsidy that our government has given to the domestic sugar and corn producers.

    It's 7 times worse for humans than any other sugar.

    I'm not sure how you come up with a figure like that. There's a lot of conflicting data regarding the health risks involved with consuming HFCS. I don't know how anyone can conclusively say just how safe or dangerous it is. However most people tend to latch onto a personal opinion and regard any report that supports this position as definitive proof and any report that refutes it as a deliberate distortion.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I'm not sure how you come up with a figure like that.

    Sugar in general is not real good for us. When you look at a product and the first ingredient is HFCS you can be assured it is not real good for you to eat it. Most dry cereals fit that category. I feel so much better since switching to just oatmeal as my cereal source. I do not eat instant or 1 minute oats either. Only the old fashioned type. I quit putting butter and brown sugar on it also. I just add raisins or preferably chopped up dates. The only thing I buy cane sugar for is my hummingbirds. They drink a lot of nectar. If I add sweetener anymore it is honey.

    There are a lot of issues with the expansion in growing corn. HFCS being not good for us is a smokescreen.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Gore Ducks, as a Backlash Builds Against Biofuels
    By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | April 25, 2008


    The campaign against climate change could be set back by the global food crisis, as foreign populations turn against measures to use foodstuffs as substitutes for fossil fuels.

    With prices for rice, wheat, and corn soaring, food-related unrest has broken out in places such as Haiti, Indonesia, and Afghanistan. Several countries have blocked the export of grain. There is even talk that governments could fall if they cannot bring food costs down.

    One factor being blamed for the price hikes is the use of government subsidies to promote the use of corn for ethanol production. An estimated 30% of America’s corn crop now goes to fuel, not food.

    “I don’t think anybody knows precisely how much ethanol contributes to the run-up in food prices, but the contribution is clearly substantial,” a professor of applied economics and law at the University of Minnesota, C. Ford Runge, said. A study by a Washington think tank, the International Food Policy Research Institute, indicated that between a quarter and a third of the recent hike in commodities prices is attributable to biofuels.

    Last year, Mr. Runge and a colleague, Benjamin Senauer, wrote an article in Foreign Affairs, “How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor.”

    “We were criticized for being alarmist at the time,” Mr. Runge said. “I think our views, looking back a year, were probably too conservative.”

    Ethanol was initially promoted as a vehicle for America to cut back on foreign oil. In recent years, biofuels have also been touted as a way to fight climate change, but the food crisis does not augur well for ethanol’s prospects.

    “It takes around 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol,” Mr. Senauer, also an applied economics professor at Minnesota, said. “It’s not going to be a very good diet but that’s roughly enough to keep an adult person alive for a year.”

    Mr. Senauer said climate change advocates, such as Vice President Gore, need to distance themselves from ethanol to avoid tarnishing the effort against global warming. “Crop-based biofuels are not part of the solution. They, in fact, add to the problem. Whether Al Gore has caught up with that, somebody ought to ask him,” the professor said. “There are lots of solutions, real solutions to climate change. We need to get to those.”

    Mr. Gore was not available for an interview yesterday on the food crisis, according to his spokeswoman. A spokesman for Mr. Gore’s public campaign to address climate change, the Alliance for Climate Protection, declined to comment for this article.

    However, the scientist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore, Rajendra Pachauri of the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, has warned that climate campaigners are unwise to promote biofuels in a way that risks food supplies. “We should be very, very careful about coming up with biofuel solutions that have major impact on production of food grains and may have an implication for overall food security,” Mr. Pachauri told reporters last month, according to Reuters. “Questions do arise about what is being done in North America, for instance, to convert corn into sugar then into biofuels, into ethanol.”

    In an interview last year, Mr. Gore expressed his support for corn-based ethanol, but endorsed moving to what he called a “third generation” of so-called cellulosic ethanol production, which is still in laboratory research. “It doesn’t compete with food crops, so it doesn’t put pressure on food prices,” the former vice president told Popular Mechanics magazine.

    A Harvard professor of environmental studies who has advised Mr. Gore, Michael McElroy, warned in a November-December 2006 article in Harvard Magazine that “the production of ethanol from either corn or sugar cane presents a new dilemma: whether the feedstock should be devoted to food or fuel. With increasing use of corn and sugar cane for fuel, a rise in related food prices would seem inevitable.” The article, “The Ethanol Illusion” went so far as to praise Senator McCain for summing up the corn-ethanol energy initiative launched in the United States in 2003 as “highway robbery perpetrated on the American public by Congress.”

    In Britain, some hunger-relief and environmental groups have turned sharply against biofuels. “Setting mandatory targets for biofuels before we are aware of their full impact is madness,” Philip Bloomer of Oxfam told the BBC.

    Biofuel advocates say they are being made a bogeyman for a food crisis that has much more to do with record oil prices, surging demand in the developing world, and unusual weather patterns. “The people who seek to solely blame ethanol for the food crisis and the rising price of food that we see across the globe are taking a terribly simplistic look at this very complex issue,” Matthew Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association said.

    Mr. Hartwig said oil companies and food manufacturers are behind the attempt to undercut ethanol. “There is a concerted misinformation campaign being put out there by those people who are threatened by ethanol’s growing prominence in the marketplace,” he said.

    The most obvious impact the food crisis has had in America, aside from higher prices, is the imposition of rationing at some warehouse stores to deal with a spike in demand for large quantities of rice, oil, and flour. The CEO of Costco Wholesale Corp., James Sinegal, is blaming press hype for the buying limits, which were first reported Monday in The New York Sun.

    “If it hadn’t been picked up and become so prominent in the news, I doubt that we would have had the problems that we’re having in trying to limit it at this point,” Mr. Sinegal told Fox News Thursday. “I mean, I can’t believe the amount of attention that is being paid to this.”

    The Sun’s article, which came as food riots were reported abroad, circulated quickly on the Internet, was republished in newspapers as far away as India, and prompted local and network television stories.

    Speaking in Kansas City, Mo., yesterday, the federal agriculture secretary, Edward Schafer, blamed emotion for the spurt of rice buying at warehouse stores. “We don’t see any evidence of the lack of availability of rice. There are no supply issues,” he told reporters, according to Reuters.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    Thank you, good information.

    There is a concerted misinformation campaign being put out there by those people who are threatened by ethanol’s growing prominence in the marketplace,”

    This of course is the kind of response I would expect. If one looks back on recent history I don’t believe there has been a food crisis such as this until we started diverting food stuffs for fuel.

    The most obvious impact the food crisis has had in America, aside from higher prices, is the imposition of rationing at some warehouse stores to deal with a spike in demand for large quantities of rice, oil, and flour. The CEO of Costco Wholesale Corp., James Sinegal, is blaming press hype for the buying limits, which were first reported Monday in The New York Sun.

    I have to agree. The PRESS contributes more to our problems, (to all, not just this one), than we can imagine. They love to create hysteria, it sells.
  • newdavidqnewdavidq Member Posts: 146
    Ethanol is just another in a long list of bad outcomes caused by government meddling in the marketplace. The environmentalists and the press together have helped to convince our spineless politicians that they must "do something" about all the bad things caused by burning fossil fuel. Just think how powerful a gallon of gasoline is; it can move a 4000 lb. car up and down hills 15 or 20 miles. Did you ever try to push your car a few feet in your diriveway? Its not easy to replace all that energy and without government subsidies, ethanol would be back in bottles where it belongs.
    IMHO, Electric plug in vehicles with small gasoline, diesel, coal to liquid/gas back up power and nuclear electricity generation can get us over the hump until more esoteric solutions are found i.e. hydrogen, fuel cells, super battery technology, etc.
    In the meantime we must conserve and exploit all the resources we have: Clean coal, Drilling where we know we have petroleum in the US; shale, natural gas.
    We need to call and write our congressmen and make them do the right thing.
    Some bad news: The Chinese are travelling up and down the African continent locking up oil deals by building soccer fields and bribing the local politicians. (We, of course are not allowed to pay bribes because it's "bad".) People, we are in a very tough world and we must do more that throw taxpayer money at problems.
    If we must use ethanol, lets buy it cheaper from the Brazilians!
    There, I feel better now.
    DQ
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Member Posts: 2,743
    The Chinese are travelling up and down the African continent locking up oil deals by building soccer fields and bribing the local politicians. (We, of course are not allowed to pay bribes because it's "bad".)

    Nono, you've got it wrong. Bribes must stay within our borders in order to stimulate the American Economy. It's only JOBS that we can send overseas. :shades:
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    You are blaming the wrong guys. Environmentalists aren't big on ethanol. The big culprits are Big Ag looking for free handouts, pandering politicians and, yes, a press that is asleep at the switch.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    I am not answering for Mr. Grice, this is my personal opinion.

    Yes, Ethanol has some drawbacks,

    You are too kind. It has many drawbacks.

    Where do you think the price of oil would be without ethanol?

    Between $110 and $120 a barrel.

    If ethanol is so important to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and stabilizing our economy it might be in our best interest to drop the surcharge on imported alcohol.

    One of the biggest reason oil prices are so high is the weak dollar brought to you by the same people who provide the $0.50 a gallon ethanol subsidies, the U. S. Government.

    While some day in the future ethanol might provide us with a mainstream energy supply, right now it is creating a burden to the land, the economy and the world food supply.

    As discussed before, the transportation for ethanol has many draw back. To my knowledge the public can still not purchase E85 in WA state.

    Im happy that you can purchase E85 for $1.05 less than gasoline. The price difference about makes up for the 25% energy loss of E85.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Yes, Ethanol has some drawbacks, but where do you think the price of oil would be without ethanol. We are well on our way to cellulosic ethanol, which is the best thing. But holy crap, we're supposed to sit around and just feed our dollars to the oil pigs in the middle east.

    I think that gas in CA and Hawaii would be less if not for the mandated ethanol content. The cost to haul that crap from your part of the US to my part has raised the cost of fuel for all that are not close to the source. If you really believe that ethanol is good for the USA, I cannot help that. It is not a consensus with everyone that is paying for your cheaper fuel.

    As was stated if ethanol was a legitimate alternative to buying oil from those you love to hate. We would be buying as much as possible from Brazil who I believe is a friendly country. That 53 cent tariff was put on during the Carter administration as payola to our ethanol industry. I hope you are holding your breath until we see ethanol from biomass other than corn. I am not...
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Let's not let differences of opinion take a personal turn please.

    Thanks for your participation and cooperation.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    Thank you.

    I will point out that separating the issue from the individual doesn't have to be tricky. If you only looked at this topic you'd think that gagrice and I are joined at the hip. We agree almost totally. Move to another topic and you'll find that isn't so.

    A couple of good points were made - the savings of ethanol only bring it to be being competitive with gasoline and the only reason that savings exists at all is government subsidies. So we are all paying for that gallon of ethanol that only goes into your tank.

    If we're serious about ethanol lift the tariffs. We're not.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Our voracious appetite for CORN and the massive amounts of chemical fertilizer Corn requires, is having expanding repercussions.

    Wednesday April 30, 3:35 pm ET
    By KEITH BRADSHER and ANDREW MARTIN

    XUAN CANH, Vietnam — Truong Thi Nha stands just four and a half feet tall. Her three grown children tower over her, just as many young people in this village outside Hanoi dwarf their parents.

    The biggest reason the children are so robust: fertilizer.

    Ms. Nha, her face weathered beyond its 51 years, said her growth was stunted by a childhood of hunger and malnutrition. Just a few decades ago, crop yields here were far lower and diets much worse.

    Then the widespread use of inexpensive chemical fertilizer, coupled with market reforms, helped power an agricultural explosion here that had already occurred in other parts of the world. Yields of rice and corn rose, and diets grew richer.

    Now those gains are threatened in many countries by spot shortages and soaring prices for fertilizer, the most essential ingredient of modern agriculture.

    Some kinds of fertilizer have nearly tripled in price in the last year, keeping farmers from buying all they need. That is one of many factors contributing to a rise in food prices that, according to the United Nations’ World Food Program, threatens to push tens of millions of poor people into malnutrition.

    The demand for fertilizer has been driven by a confluence of events, including population growth, shrinking world grain stocks and the appetite for corn and palm oil to make biofuel.
  • sirlenasirlena Member Posts: 30
    "Im happy that you can purchase E85 for $1.05 less than gasoline. The price difference about makes up for the 25% energy loss of E85"

    Well if you can add, Nascar57 is actually GAINING 5%. If national avergage price of gas is $3.60, he is saving almost 30%. And if he is really losng 25%, which I doubt highly (my OEM FFV 2008 F150 V8 loses 20%), then he is AHEAD.

    Most vehicles lose 1-2 mpg. If you have a high mpg vehicle, like 25 mpg, the % of mpg loss is more than made up in the price difference. There's a calculator on E85Prices.com to figure it out ...if you need one.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    Maybe he is saving money but only because of the ethanol subsidy. So it's an illusion with the taxpayers picking up the rest of his fuel tab.

    I read this article today, which, by the way, I'm very skeptical of it's claims.

    cheap, homemade ethanol

    For the sake of argument let's say that this product/company is legit. If you're someone that is really pro-ethanol then you'd be saying this is great. If your really pro farmer then you might see this as somewhat of a threat and have to adjust your position.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    I saw that 'home fueler' article, too, and am also skeptical, for these reasons:
    If it's such a money maker, why not do it in a big plant, instead of hundreds of small, less-efficient units?
    Can cars even run on E100?
    Would the feds let you make hundreds/thousands of gallons of 'moonshine' in your basement?
    What's the delevered price of this supposed inedible sugar? If it's even $0.10/pound, and you're paying $0.25/gallon for power, it'll take you years to pay off th $10,000 price tag.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    The other thing that I was skeptical of was the claim that late model vehicles could run on this ethanol with no modifications. How is that possible? I thought that you needed an E85 FFV to run on anything more than E10. You'd think that cnnfn.com would feature credible articles but I believe they dropped the ball on this one.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    With the subject of ethanol it is always about loss of MPG. Even the pro ethanol folks have to concede that there is a loss of MPG.

    WHY, and I have asked this question before with no response. Why do we not put the effort we are putting into ethanol that nets a loss in MPG into bio-diesel that nets a gain in MPG?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    WHY

    That is the question I have asked since the day they passed the stupid mandate forcing all Americans to waste their gas money on Ethanol. My anecdotal evidence is via mileage on my Hybrid PU truck and my Sequoia. With the Shell E10 they sell us in CA I get 15 to 16 MPG in our Sequoia. When I drive to AZ and use the gas over there without E10, as it is available, I consistently get 17-18 MPG. That may not seem like much. When you consider the E10 laced gas is CA costs more than the non E10 in AZ it is a double whammy. My GMC hybrid PU was even more radical. I rarely got over 16 MPG in CA. On a trip to NM we averaged over 19 MPG and got as much as 22 MPG with REAL unleaded and not that ethanol laced crap we get here in CA.

    If the average driver realized that CA gas is costing them over a dollar per gallon extra to add ethanol. That takes into consideration the lower mileage, up to 28% with my Hybrid PU truck. We would have an uprising against Congress and their buddies at ADM that keep them fed at the Lobby trough.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    Why do we not put the effort we are putting into ethanol that nets a loss in MPG into bio-diesel that nets a gain in MPG?

    I think it is primarily due to the fact that, other than commercial, there aren't many diesel vehicles in this country. Europe is the opposite. They aren't wasting much effort producing ethanol but are producing a significant amount of bio-diesel primarily from canola and soybeans. Other parts of the world are producing biodiesel from oil palms. This tree seems to produce the most biodiesel per acre. However I'm not sure it can be grown in the US but I know that you can grow canola and soybeans throughout large portions of the US. Now you can get more gallons of ethanol per acre than biodiesel from canola or soybeans but when you factor in that you are getting less energy per gallon it becomes somewhat of a wash. BTW, biodiesel won't give you quite the mileage of regular diesel but it will be more than unleaded gasoline so obviously much more than ethanol.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    Biodiesel has a whole set of other problems. The food-based sources (canola, soybeans) result is less food, of course, and the oil palms sources have resulted in massive destruction of rain forests. Not good.
  • nascar57nascar57 Member Posts: 47
    Biodiesel really isnt the answer here either boys! Your super smart EPA has implemented such tough emission controls on diesel engines that they are no longer achieving acceptable fuel mileage. Last year all engines had to meet the Tier 2 requirements with Tier 3 coming soon in 2010. New Dodge and Chevrolet diesel pickups now get roughly 15-16 mpg with the ultra low sulfur diesel which is fetching 4.40 a gallon up here. Biodiesel does NOT pencil out right now with the cost of soybean oil and canola oil.
    You boys out west better watch the damn commodity markets and understand what biodiesel is made from before you talk. None of you have answered my point I made before about how the price of oil is affecting food prices compared to actual commodity prices. Very interesting in that you dont hear about that, its really BS. Bitching and moaning about tortilla prices when ya dont even think about other factors. Interesting fact for you to ponder, in a loaf of bread, the plastic wrapper costs more than the wheat that is actually in the bread. Think about that, start bitching about oil companies not building refineries, thats where the blame should be put.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    "start bitching about oil companies not building refineries, thats where the blame should be put"

    Yes, they should build more refineries when the government is trying to drive them out of business with ethanol mandates...don't think so!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I think you have hit on a very good point. Until we get oil from algae working or some other less invasive alternate solution, it should be taboo messing with our food stocks. Clearing of the rain forests to plant anything causes more problems than it solves. The rush to provide alternatives has caused more of an environmental and sociological crisis than the diminishing oil problem.
  • nascar57nascar57 Member Posts: 47
    Simply amazing, yes, we are for sure gonna drive the oil companies out of business. If we used all the corn in the US, it could displace 12% of our gas consumption. This is simply a start, the final solution will probably be hydrogen which just aint ready right now. Simply stupidity in most of these arguments, yeah pull the mandates and progress still wont be made, there werent any mandates 10 years ago and the oil companies still havent built a refinery since 1976. Debate that one, hmmmm wonder what your answer is to that.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Member Posts: 2,743
    Why would they build refinieries to increase the supply of gas? That costs them money to build it, and then costs them profits because of the increased supply. Much as I hate it, it doesn't make sense profits-wise to build another refinery, especially if it will be useless in 50 years when we run out of oil.

    Of course, that may just mean that a for-profit corporation may not be the best way to ensure our energy supply...
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    While I suspect we'll be refining oil for more than 50 years you are correct. The real reason new refineries aren't getting built is that the increased supply would drive down prices.

    There are other factors at work here as well. While no new refineries have been built here in decades, existing refineries have been greatly expanded. The question that should be asked is what is our refining capacity now vs then?

    One other note. We have greatly increased the amount of refined product that we import because it's cheaper to refine it in Mexico and other countries than it is here. It's the same for everything else - why should gas be different?
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    oil companies still havent built a refinery since 1976. Debate that one,

    We did not need them if there was no shortage. The only shortage in the last 10 years was during Katrina when two refineries were knocked off line. There is not an oil shortage. The price of oil did not rocket up until the stupid ethanol mandate came about. Ever think it might be the oil companies flexing their muscle against our ignorant Congress or the big AG companies that are trying to rip US off. CORN Ethanol has not Done ANYTHING to cut oil imports. It has only forced up the price we pay at the pump. Now you can debate that. The facts are in front of you every time you fill your vehicle. I also have a 1999 Ranger FFV. Does me no good without an E85 source. There was also the issue of states not allowing any new refineries to be built. You should study recent history. We went through this same Corn Ethanol boondoggle in the late 1970s. You might want to ask the people that live in the 90+ towns where those corn stills are no longer operating what they think about this stupid idea of food for fuel. The whole ethanol program is built on GREED. Has nothing to do with alternative energy. IF they do come up with an ethanol from waste that works it will require all new production facilities. That will make the current corn stills WORTHLESS. Our tax dollars WASTED for the greed of a few people.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    None of you have answered my point I made before about how the price of oil is affecting food prices compared to actual commodity prices

    Maybe it's because nobody believes it. I'll concede that transporting food to the market makes up part of the price we pay. So if diesel prices go up then that will affect transportation costs. However when you break down the price of a loaf of bread into all it's components I do not believe that fuel costs are as big as wheat costs. So if diesel doubles in price that will not have the impact of wheat doubling in price.

    Between 2001 and 2005 fuel prices doubled. There was no corresponding increase in food prices. How do you explain that if food prices are so sensitive to the price of fuel? Food prices are high for several reasons. One being that there is a relative shortage of these commodities compared to other periods. This would be true regardless of the price of oil. Turning corn into ethanol is simply aggravating this problem.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    and the oil companies still havent built a refinery since 1976. Debate that one, hmmmm wonder what your answer is to that.

    I believe that numerous refineries have actually been shut down since 1976. So what? The number of refineries is irrelevant and I'm not sure why people focus so much on it. What's important is refining capacity, which has increased significantly since 1976. It is far easier for the oil companies and others in the refinery business to expand an existing one rather than build a new one. This is what they've been doing. As far as the consumer is concerned it just doesn't matter.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Between 2001 and 2005 fuel prices doubled. There was no corresponding increase in food prices.

    Very good point and very true. I was paying about $1.50 a dozen for eggs less than a year ago. Now they are over $3 per dozen. Corn is the main feed for chickens.

    Why I think oil prices are a direct result of ethanol being mandated.

    If someone is trying to force you out of business the natural thing to do if you can is squeeze them. Could it be that OPEC does not like to be manipulated by ADM and ethanol. They cut back on production the price of oil goes up and they make more per barrel and do not use up their supply as fast. The last time we messed with the big oil suppliers in the 1970s we paid the price. We are doing it today. There are other factors such as increased demand from China. There is still no evidence that the demand is outstripping the supply.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    There is still no evidence that the demand is outstripping the supply.

    I don't believe demand can ever outstrip supply because the price will simply go up. If oil was to magically drop below $30/barrel I think the demand would definitely exceed supply and we'd have shortages. Then you'd have oil companies capping wells where the extraction costs were high, which would cause greater shortages.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Let's stop the personal commentary now please and move on.

    I've removed the recent postings where this has gone over the edge to stop this in its tracks

    Any further posting involving name calling or commenting on other users will be removed.
  • eliaselias Member Posts: 2,209
    nascar57, please note that hydrogen/fuel-cell is not an energy source, it is just a means with which to store energy produced from something else.

    it's debatable whether ethanol is an energy source or an energy sink, but from what i've seen, it can indeed by a net energy source.

    cheers !
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,248
    Looks like ethanol plants are not such money-makers with corn prices high. This very plant was in a recent National Geographic, where the owner boasted that they would be the one that will be left standing when all other large, non-feed-lot-integrated plants fail.

    Ethanol Plant Bankrupt
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