49 Responses

  1. MacDaddyWatch says:

    And its promotion is based on a global warming hoax.

  2. Citizen B. says:

    13 billion gallons of corn ethanol must mean little or no corn subsidies, right? Wrong, corn is the #1 subsidized crop by a factor of 2 times over #2 soybeans.

    • MacDaddyWatch says:

      Corn is very hydro-intense, one of the most water-requiring crops out there. Its not as far behind rice as some folks might think. And corn in grown in places where the water is valued more than the gasoline.

  3. juandos says:

    What’s to like about ethanol? It can ruin car engines, it’s bad for the environment, and it raises taxes, gas and food prices“…

    Ahhhhh, Just toss it in with the rest of the green corruption scams foisted off onto the taxpayer by those in DC…

  4. Noah says:

    Our one trick pony President doesn’t have the balls to stand up to the environmental campaign contributors.

  5. chuck martel says:

    The ethanol mandate would have a smidgin of credibility if the farmers that grow the corn used ethanol to power their machinery but they don’t.

    • Chuck is ignorant says:

      Except that the heavy machinery used in agriculture require diesel engines due to their ability to provide high torque at low rpm. Farmers DO utilize US produced biodiesel in their farm equipment. Get your facts straight.

  6. chuck martel says:

    There would be a smidgen of credibility to the ethanol mandate if the farmers that grow the corn for it used ethanol in their equipment but they don’t.

  7. Richard Hardy says:

    Sadly, an old story that DC chooses to ignore..See link below from 2005..dh
    http://tinyurl.com/5v6shc

  8. Benjamin Cole says:

    Ethanol: More subsidy for Rural America. GOP moonshine.

    • juandos says:

      Ethanol: More subsidy for Rural America. GOP moonshine.“…

      Hey pseudo benny are you and larry g conjoined twins?

    • LarryG says:

      Friendly amendment – GOP moonshine for the rural “takers” who vote GOP.

      how is a subsidy different from an entitlement?

      answer: when the recipient gets a subsidy but hates entitlements.

      • Paul says:

        “answer: when the recipient gets a subsidy but hates entitlements.”

        Oh, I thought it had to do with “trust funds” and bonds, and borrowing from the left pocket to fill the right and all the usual gibberish you post to justify your birthright to our taxes. Now you’re saying it’s just a matter of hypocrisy. Cool. Then let’s slash and burn entitlements and the ethanol subsidy.

    • Paul says:

      Benji,

      “GOP moonshine.”

      Your boyfriend could direct the radicals over at EPA to waive the ethanol mandate at any time. He refuses to do so.

      “The agency has not found evidence to support a finding of severe ‘economic harm’ that would warrant granting a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard,” the EPA said in a statement in November. “We recognize that this year’s drought has created hardship in some sectors of the economy, particularly for livestock producers. But our extensive analysis makes clear that Congressional requirements for a waiver have not been met and that waiving the RFS will have little, if any, impact.”

      http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010813-639798-obama-epa-bureaucracy-will-not-lift-ethanol-mandate-even-for-poor.htm?p=full

  9. kleht says:

    I agree with you regarding using corn for conversion the ethanol. I think the jury is still out as to damage caused by ethanol. However, using corn, a basic staple, is a bad idea for reasons stated above.

    However, if ethanol does prove really beneficial, why not use forms of sugar and convert tons of that to ethanol. Then we can kill two birds with one stone. Give corn back to the people and take the sugar away via pricing. We would have a useful energy source and another way to damage the obese problem.

    • Ron H. says:

      kleht

      However, if ethanol does prove really beneficial, why not use forms of sugar and convert tons of that to ethanol. Then we can kill two birds with one stone. Give corn back to the people and take the sugar away via pricing. We would have a useful energy source and another way to damage the obese problem.

      How long do you think social engineers should try to force ethanol on the public as a motor fuel, in direct defiance of the wishes of the people who vote with their dollars?

      Ethanol has been available as a motor fuel for more than 100 years, and has never, in all that time, become an economical fuel of choice. How much longer must we pay for this nonsense?

    • geoih says:

      Yeah, now you’re thinking like a fascist!

  10. Lyle says:

    Actually we need not use corn but rather take the Caribbean islands back to being rich at the time of the american revolution. Start with Cuba if we get over our mad with them, and use their cane to make ethanol (using the Rum Process) add in all the lands bordering that area that can grow can you can free the corn. Note that in the US sugar because of the price supports is to expensive to make ethanol from. Brazil already is heavy ethanol. Of course this will never happen as the primary reason for the ethanol mandate is to keep the price of corn high. But waive the tarrif on imported ethanol and the domestic corn based industry would go away. (In a way its sort of back to one of the three legs of the old slave trade, rum was shipped from the islands to Europe, and then Europe sent goods to Africa to get the slaves, who were worked to death in the cane fields.)

    • Its Gsatt says:

      The problem is that your talking about little islands that wouldn’t have enough room even if you leveled the whole place to plant one crop. The greenies wouldnt like that either. Oil comes from a hole, doesn’t level forests, and is more efficient. There’s no substitute yet.

  11. Robert White says:

    Some facts that can be easily found with a couple minutes of research:

    The ethanol subsidy expired in 2011. You can search for the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) to confirm for yourself.

    The AAA announcement has been explored by such groups as The Auto Channel, read their take and questions for AAA: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2013/01/08/062115-aaa-blunder-ethanol-sets-off-firestorm-criticism.html.

    The fuel economy quote is for E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) versus gasoline w/o ethanol. Almost all consumers are now using E10, and no one that has ever used E85 has experienced a 27% loss in fuel economy.

    The corn that is used in the production of ethanol is field corn, not sweet corn. The process only uses the starch. All of the other components are returned as feed for livestock. The 40% number is not even close for the corn to ethanol portion, let alone after you subtract the amount returned as feed that offsets corn demand.

    Please share you water usage data. If true, that would be the first source to make such a claim in more than a decade. Ethanol requires slightly less than 3 gallons of water to make a gallon of ethanol. In comparison, refining gasoline requires more than 9 gallons of water to make one gallon of gasoline. The worst part is that ethanol’s need for water is reducing while gasoline’s climbs nearly every year with the heavier crude being extracted from places like the Tar Sands, etc.

    E15 is now allowed by EPA for 2001 and newer vehicles. It is not a mandate for station owners to offer or consumers to purchase.

    • RonRonDoRon says:

      No matter how you produce it, ethanol is an inferior fuel (for anything other than some specialized uses) compared to gasoline – and the supposed environmental benefits have turned out to be overstated or non-existent.

      It’s an industry that only exists because of government subsidy in exchange for farm-state support.

      • Robert White says:

        What subsidy? The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expired in 2011. Guess it made it another year w/o?!

        • Ron H. says:

          Robert White

          What subsidy?

          The government mandates. If ethanol is a superior fuel why must consumers be forced to use it? Don’t you believe consumers can pick the best and cheapest fuel, or do you think the ever so wise central planners must choose for them?

          • Robert White says:

            Webster defines a mandate and subsidy different in the version I own. Yes, there is an overall usage requirement for renewable fuels, ethanol is one of them. If you want consumers to pick the cheapest option, they are doing that daily. The price of ethanol has been historically lower than gasoline, even after the ethanol subsidy expired in 2011.

          • Ron H. says:

            Robert White

            Webster defines a mandate and subsidy different in the version I own. Yes, there is an overall usage requirement for renewable fuels, ethanol is one of them.

            Surely you understand that a mandate has the same effect as a subsidy in producing something not chosen by the market.

            Why should there be a usage requirement for renewable fuels? Does some one in central planning know better than consumers what they should choose for motor fuel?

            Ask yourself why there isn’t instead a mandate for diesel fueled cars, a fuel that would improve fuel mileage AND performance, but which wouldn’t require using food for fuel. It’s political, bud; nothing more.

  12. Luther says:

    Dr. Perry,
    Is (or was, if Robert White is correct) the ethanol tax credit a refundable one? Namely, if the company’s credit is larger than its tax liability do they get a check from the govt or does the credit simply reduce their tax liability to $0?

  13. Kum Dollison says:

    Someone had better talk to NASCAR, and the Indycar crowd. They’ve been running E15 (NASCAR,) and E85/E100 (Indycar) for several years, now, with no damage to engines, or loss of fuel economy.

    What a misleading, and fraudulent post this was.

    • juandos says:

      They’ve been running E15 (NASCAR,) and E85/E100 (Indycar) for several years, now, with no damage to engines, or loss of fuel economy“…

      Hmmm, well dollison are the engines in the typical vehicle running around the same as those used in NASCAR or Indycar?

      I’ve always been told that they weren’t…

    • Rufus says:

      Nascar and Indy car engines only have to last 1 race and then they get rebuilt. They don’t suffer the corrosive effects of burning ethanol like regular cars that go 100K+ miles.

      Ethanol is less energy dense, so per gallon, they are getting worse mileage. I bet the fuel tanks had to be increased in size when they went to the ethanol fuel instead of gas. Or else, they have to pit more often.

      • Robert White says:

        That may be true of NASCAR & IndyCar, but all racing leagues are using ethanol today. Most weekend racers that don’t rebuilt weekly are using it. Most around here aare using 85% ethanol.

        The octane value of ethanol over gasoline allows them to increase compression and enhance fuel economy. The same concept being explored today by Ford, GM and others. The reason consumers see a fuel economy penalty today is because ethanol is being used in engines optimized for a fuel that is not in the current market. If that changes, so will MPG.

        • Rufus says:

          I don’t think you can get over the lack of energy content per gallon. From my link below, to get to energy equivalence, cars using ethanol would need gas tanks 50% larger than those using gasoline. Compressed natural gas or LNG, like they are using in truck fleets, is a much better option.

          • Robert White says:

            Ford, GM and others have determined that they can meet the 54.5MPG CAFE requirement using ethanol. The blend they are now targeting is above 20% ethanol. Hard to find CNG and propane at my local gas stations…

        • Ron H. says:

          Robert White

          The octane value of ethanol over gasoline allows them to increase compression and enhance fuel economy.

          The higher octane value (slower burning) of ethanol allows higher compression engines to produce more power from the same size engine. This is the reason ethanol is used in racing engines. No one who is racing is trying to maximize fuel economy, and the use of ethanol will reduce, not increase fuel economy.

          Notice the energy content of a gallon of gasoline (E10) in this table contains 111,836 BTU/ gal and a gallon of ethanol (E85) contains 81,800 BTU/gal. To do the same amount of work requires about 1 1/3 gallons of E85 and 1 gallon of E10.

          You can have high fuel economy or high power, but not both at the same time. The advances in performance and fuel economy we have witnessed in recent years is a result of continual improvements in engine design and computer management that have increased the efficiency of internal combustion engines, but the laws of physics haven’t been changed.

          The same concept being explored today by Ford, GM and others. The reason consumers see a fuel economy penalty today is because ethanol is being used in engines optimized for a fuel that is not in the current market. If that changes, so will MPG.

          The reason consumers see a fuel economy penalty today is because ethanol is being used in engines optimized for gasoline. Therefore the full penalty of using a lower energy density fuel applies. An engine optimized for ethanol – i.e. high compression – wouldn’t be able to run on gasoline.

          You understand that octane rating is not a measure of energy content, right?

          • Robert White says:

            We agree on several points. We are still designing vehicles to run on a fuel that has never existed in the marketplace. This “cert” fuel needs changes to reflect what consumers can buy so they can actually hit the estimated fuel economy stated on the Monroney sticker.

            That said, here are two articles that highlight the future aspect that I was referring to above:

            http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/04/jea-20120406.html

            http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/8858/octane-whats-in-your-fuel

          • Ron H. says:

            Robert White

            We agree on several points. We are still designing vehicles to run on a fuel that has never existed in the marketplace. This “cert” fuel needs changes to reflect what consumers can buy so they can actually hit the estimated fuel economy stated on the Monroney sticker.

            It’s not clear why you prefer top-down central planning to a free market. If alcohol is a superior fuel it would have chosen by the market long before now, and there would be no need for mandates. The efforts to force ethanol on consumers is purely political, and blatant crony capitalism.

            There are only two reasons I’m aware of to promote the use ethanol as a motor fuel, and both are bogus. One is the thoroughly discredited global warming meme, the other is the bizarre notion that the US should be “energy independent” – an idea that is political, not economic.

            Which one are you still stuck on? Or is it the general elitist idea that people, like little children, shouldn’t be allowed to make their own choices and spend their money as they wish, but instead must be told what to do?

            BTW, your references from sources that are hardly unbiased, don’t address the issues. No one is questioning octane ratings.

    • Rufus says:

      Some links / quotes:

      Popular Mechanics on how ethanol can damage engines:

      http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/biofuels/e15-gasoline-damage-engine

      Consumer Reports on efficiency of ethanol blends:

      http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/01/the-great-ethanol-debate/index.htm

      “We put our 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe FFV through our full series of fuel-economy and acceleration tests while running on each fuel. When running on E85 there was no significant change in acceleration. Fuel economy, however, dropped across the board. In highway driving, gas mileage decreased from 21 to 15 mpg; in city driving, it dropped from 9 to 7 mpg. You could expect a similar decrease in gas mileage in any current FFV.”

      “Ethanol’s lower fuel economy results from its lower energy content compared to gasoline. For example, E85 contains 75,670 British thermal units of energy per gallon instead of 115,400 for regular unleaded gasoline, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

      Seems pretty clear it lowers fuel economy and damages cars.

    • Rick says:

      Hahaha! Those NASCAR engines are like George Washington’s hatchet. They are rebuilt so often that they aren’t the same engine two times in a row.

  14. Robert White says:

    Formal Rebuttal to Professor Perry: http://bit.ly/VxsyyT

    • juandos says:

      Thanks for that link robert w

      re: Professor Flunks Ethanol 101

      Dinneen claims (sans any linked sources): ‘Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and its affiliated National Laboratories, the tests have driven the equivalent of six round-trips to the moon and have included vehicle drivability, catalyst durability, fuel pumps and sealing units, outboard diagnostic systems, and automotive fuel system components‘…

      The clowns who have a dog in this race are supposed to be believed that they performed numerous, unbiased studies on the alledged efficacy of ethanol blending for vehicle fules?!?!

      From USAToday dated 11/30/2012: AAA warns E15 gasoline could cause car damage
      E15, a higher blend of ethanol and gasoline, has rolled out in a handful of states. But its use in older vehicles is generating warnings from AAA, which says E15 could be harmful to pre-2012 vehicles.

      From Green Auto Blog dated 5/7/2010: Report: Test shows raising ethanol blend to E15 could damage engines

      Maybe its Dinneen that needs some schooling…

      • Robert White says:

        You believe a Big Oil funded study over one paid for by taxpayers and conducted by the U.S. Dept of Energy?

        Here is The Auto Channel’s response to AAA: http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2013/01/08/062115-aaa-blunder-ethanol-sets-off-firestorm-criticism.html

        Here is the response to the CRC study and report you refer to in your links, one that has as vehicles fail on gasoline w/o ethanol: http://energy.gov/articles/getting-it-right-accurate-testing-and-assessments-critical-deploying-next-generation-auto

        • Ron H. says:

          Robert White

          You believe a Big Oil funded study over one paid for by taxpayers and conducted by the U.S. Dept of Energy?

          It isn’t important to believe one study over another, especially ones from organizations with obvious biases, and that includes the DoE. After all, without an energy policy to promote, there would be no need for a DoE, would there?

          What IS important is to acknowledge that alcohol is corrosive, and can damage some types of materials, including many used in gasoline engines and their fuel systems, as well as storage and transportation facilities. We know, for example, that ethanol in high concentrations cant be delivered in existing pipeline systems due to it’s corrosive nature.

          Those who have reservations are right to be concerned. There are many legitimate questions about the safe use of ethanol in lawnmowers, outboard motors, and many other small engines, as well as older cars, so it’s not good enough to cite a study of newer cars that tolerate E15 or E20 without significant problems.

          It’s not a question of whether ethanol can be used safely in some cars, because we already know it can. The question is whether it’s safe to introduce higher concentrations to existing gasoline systems that may be damaged.

          And again, keep in mind that consumers are not demanding fuel with higher ethanol content, or it would already be widely available. It is being forced on them.

          As for offering choices, would you, as a station operator spend the money to offer an additional blend without knowing how much demand there was for that blend? I think not. So, your solution, no doubt, would be to take money from taxpayers to pay for that additional pump and thus reduce the financial risk to station operators, right?

        • juandos says:

          white asks: “You believe a Big Oil funded study over one paid for by taxpayers and conducted by the U.S. Dept of Energy?“…

          Absolutely! Why should a collection of parasites leeching of the taxpayer be considered a realible source?

    • Ron H. says:

      Robert White

      A formal rebuttal? Did you mean an unsubstantiated opinion piece by someone with an obvious dog in the race?

      Mr. Webster defines the word “formal” differently from the way you’re using it.

      You haven’t responded to my earlier comments. Are you busily scurrying around looking for more articles from biased sources to link to?

      What are the reasons we should all prefer ethanol, but don’t realize what’s in our own best interest, so that those who know best must force it on us?

      • juandos says:

        Mr. Webster defines the word “formal” differently from the way you’re using it“…

        OK white, what’s your point?

        You haven’t responded to my earlier comments“…

        You made earlier, notable comments worth responding to?!?!?

        Sorry, my bad…

        What are the reasons we should all prefer ethanol, but don’t realize what’s in our own best interest, so that those who know best must force it on us?“…

        I’m not sure what you’re trying to say in that sentence but let’s go old school and ask the simple question, do you white think the federal government should be foisting off E-15 onto consumers?

  15. Stephen says:

    Here is a petition I created on whitehouse.gov calling for the end of corn subsidies. Please sign it if you have a moment:

    http://wh.gov/mUwo

  16. Don Breton says:

    And no one had even mentioned that it ruins engines in boats, motorcycles, power equipment. Ethanol is a solvent and it destroys engine components when it sits and absorbs water. There is nothing good about ethanol in gasoline

  17. Arthur Hyde says:

    While I respect the Intelligence of Mark J. Perry it is clear that he has a bias opinion on this topic as while most of what he says is true he has declined to share the positives and has not properly addressed the negatives.

    In short.

    1) ethanol is better for the environment as the carbon cycle evolved in production is significantly shorter.

    2) motors are already in use in south america that can run safely and undamaged on up to 25 percent ethanol.

    3) there is no way around the fact that you will not have a choice when there are no fossil fuels left in the ground.

    for more information on a 2 sided assessment of ethanol please do the research yourselves as apposed to trusting the word of a potentially bias and ill informed economist.

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