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Corny As Kansas in August

11 Jul

In case you are unaware, there is a controversial federal mandate that requires a percentage of ethanol to be added into our fuel supply, meaning that every time you go to buy gasoline, it’s watered down with ethanol.  Last week, a bi-partisan group of senators introduced a bill to repeal this mandate in its entirety [1], and if you’ve ever wanted to be a positive influence in your government, here’s your chance. Write to your senators and urge them, in no uncertain terms, to support this bill. Ethanol is not good for engines, lowers fuel efficiency, is expensive to produce, and has led to higher food and fuel prices, and may be more polluting than traditional gasoline [2].

Ethanol is made from corn, and humans use corn as a food source and as food for livestock. When tons of corn are being turned into fuel, less of it remains to be used as a food source, and so prices for corn and corn products go up. Farmers must pay more for livestock feed, which drives up the prices of meat and dairy products.

Ethanol is less efficient than gasoline. The more ethanol that is in your gas, the lower your gas mileage will be, even if your car is designed for ethanol additives [3]. It is also ruinous to older cars and small engines, to the point where using gas with a high ethanol content voids the warranty on your mower or other small engine machines [4].

Giving control of the mandate to the EPA just made it worse. The EPA, as it is wont to do, just keeps raising the ethanol requirements that refiners must add to US gasoline, and selling “renewable fuel credits” to refineries, who then pass the cost down to the consumer [1]. I’m all for finding new energy sources, but adding ethanol to gasoline just isn’t working. Don’t forget to write your senator.

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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Environment

 

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