Monday, June 23, 2008

E85 this

Sure, corn-based ethanol can't possibly be blamed for higher food prices, even though it uses, well, food ... and the fact that GM has basically staked its future on ethanol at the expense of any other type of alternative (like, say, hybrids) probably doesn't scare you away from it either ...

but this should. Sure, it's not as bad as a low-mileage gas car, and someday maybe corn-based ethanol will be worthwhile, but right now? no.

The last thing we need to be subsidizing is something like this. Maybe in January, our new president will get the chance to start fixing crap like this. (You know, investment tax credits and stuff like that.)


  1. Ethanol doesn't suck. You've been fed too much from the national media. I'm not saying that corn based ethanol IS the answer but thanks to ethanol fuel prices are at least $.04-.05 cheaper. I challenge you to learn all you can before you start buying into what everyone and especially the national media are harping on. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has paid a large PR firm big bucks to smear ethanol. I'm sure that's also adding to the price of food. Food prices are not higher because of ethanol. Food prices are higher because of fuel costs. Break it down and really look into it. Transportation from the field to the manufacturer, to the grocery store is raising the cost. Not ethanol. It's not the full answer. I do agree with that...but there are other options that are out there. Switchgrass, garbage, etc will soon be making our ethanol and still reducing our carbon footprint. Hands are tied and the industry is aware. I work in this industry each and everyday and I challenge you to look into it further before you jump on the bandwagon.

  2. I certainly don't have any objections to alternative fuels in general or to ethanol specifically, but I'm not sure that I see how corn-based ethanol isn't contributing to higher food prices.

    The corn that goes into ethanol is corn that could otherwise be used for food, right? (Either for people or for livestock.)

    Perhaps I should have been more specific: corn-based ethanol sucks as a current option for the cars we have today. It is not at all cost-efficient (unless both the corn and the fuel are subsidized, and even in that case, the price is still the same: the government's just paying some of it for you). GM's website even points out that your MPG may drop around 25% if you use only E85 ... certainly it's an improvement in terms of gasoline used (about 80% less gasoline over the same distance), unless there isn't an E85 station nearby, but it's a lot of work to get that improvement and there are a number of side effects that aren't particularly desirable.

  3. Ethanol isn't why food prices are higher. I can guarentee you that. In past years we have produced more corn than ever. This year will not be the same. The Illinois Farm Bureau did a study to see if corn was driving the price higher and they found in fact it was not. In each gallon of milk - there is something like $.09 of corn and now with higher corn prices there is .$15 in a gallon of milk...what do you pay for it at the store? More than $3.00 many times. It's all transportation cost. Trust me here...and maybe you have no reason to, but I work as a farm broadcaster and I battle this every single day. Dried Distillers Grains is a CO-product of ethanol production. It's great for our cattle industry and not great for our hog and poultry industry so the different commodity organizations have come together and doing research to make it better. E85 may not work great in your car and some cars may actually get less but that's because they haven't figured it out yet? Hell the General Lee ran on Ethanol. Indy cars are running on 100% ethanol and getting the best mileage they have gotten and not hurting the environment as much. The car manufacturers don't know what to do to make it better they are being asked by the government to create higher MPG cars for even the big SUVs and it's not easy to do. The oil industry would like to be able to drill in Alaska and off the coast and the government won't let them. All pumps now are required to have at least E10. Minnesota just did a survey to see if E20 would work. They found that over a year they lost NO mpgs. That truly is encouraging news. I run nothing on full E85. It requires more upkeep and I'm lazy. Check out this article. It's pretty interesting and came out of Chicago,0,481881.story. I hope if nothing else you learn a little more and realize it's NOT corn and beans raising prices in the grocery story. It's not a good year for farmers...but they are trying to make it profitable for themselves and get things back under control. Blame the Government for higher prices...not the grower.


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