Kicking the Alcohol

December/15/2015 7:34AM
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This country has had an alcohol problem since the early 80’s. It’s time for an intervention. The government puts a cute term on the alcohol calling it ethanol. It’s just a bigger version of the still they  have back in the woods in the south. Cook up a little corn mash and you’ve got white lightning. It’ll knock you on your ass and run your car.

The government has taken the program underground. After years of defending the subsidy, they took it off and replaced it with a mandate. It comes out of your tax dollars and goes on the pump. Cute, this government of ours. They have come up with all kinds of clever ways to describe the need for this program. First, it was gasoline shortages in the very beginning when Jimmy Carter created lines at the pump with his involvement in the oil business.

Next came aromatics. In the 80’s before cars had knock sensors we had vapor lock. When the weather got warmer the gasoline didn’t burn so well. Ethanol mixed with the gasoline helped with this issue which was a positive for the environment. But, when all cars had knock sensors, guess what? The requirements stayed, just like temporary taxes. Seasonal gasoline we call it now.

Then it was reducing the imports from the Middle East.

Now, no thanks to the meddling government, all needs for ethanol have been eliminated. Except one, the one that always existed and will never go away, the farm vote. Farms are corporations today. Corporations are evil according to our democratic friends. But, corporate farms are not evil. Why? Because we dumb asses refuse to recognize the fact that they are corporations.

Now, the government is raising the stakes on ethanol. If the oil companies can’t meet the mandated amounts of ethanol required because it just isn’t produced they pay a tax. If the price of ethanol goes up because of the mandated percentages set by an ignorant government, it goes on the pump. If too much ethanol is being mandated, food prices go up and that hurts the poor, democrats for the poor, against the corporation, really? How’s that work for the new Obama EPA mandate to mix 18.1 billion gallons of ethanol in motor fuel in 2016? Now 40% of the corn crops. The new figure for 2022 is 36 billion gallons. That would be 80% of corn going to ethanol. Figure that since we know it’s just a number developed by idiots in the EPA.

Remember those news shows where they showed you some con man who said we can run our cars on switch grass or garbage or wood chips or algae or orange peels? What did reduce the need for ethanol? Fracking, a technology developed by the evil oil companies.

Oh, did I mention the environmentalists hate ethanol? Yeah, doesn’t do much for the environment. Worse than gasoline for carbon emissions. And, a net energy loser when you add up all the hydrocarbons consumed in the production of the corn, the ethanol, and the transportation. See, can’t ship the stuff in pipelines, those dreaded means of transportation, like the proposed Keystone example.

Then there’s E-15, gasoline with 15% blend. Car manufacturers say you will void your warranty if you use it, but the government doesn’t care. They want it anyway. Why? I told  you why, the farm vote. The presidential primaries kick off in Iowa and if you don’t favor ethanol, you don’t win.

I say, the hell with Iowa, corporate farms, and all the BS we are fed by an incompetent government. Any politician who  is selling ethanol is a loser and should not be in public office. Simple as that.

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Comments (2)

  1. Paul Gorman says:

    Have we forgotten?
    1. Ethanol is not a substitute for gasoline. It is an octane enhancer (non-toxic) that replaced lead and MTBE-two very toxic substances.
    2. The fossil fuel industry has had 100 years of subsidies and tax incentives that still continue. Ethanol has no tax breaks left whatsoever.
    3. The 10% mandate weakens the 100% mandate monopoly that the petroleum industry has had since prohibition eliminated ethanol as the early fuel of choice.
    4. The net corn use for ethanol is far lower than petroleum industry propaganda when DDGS high quality protein feed is backed out of usage.
    5. A more enthusiastic attitude by the petroleum industry and the automotive industry could have meant Flex fuel vehicles that were optimized for higher octane instead of just compatible with old low comrpession, low octane gasoline technology.
    6. My 2013 Ford Focus flex fuel is the only vehicle I am aware of that is optimized for ethanol blends, has a 12:1 compression ratio, and a very small mpg reduction which is offset by superior performance and drivability.
    7. Think about the klunky diesels of the 1960’s and the efforts to improve automotive diesel performance in global engines today. The Focus is an example of what can be done.
    8. The ethanol plants of today have no water discharge and have input/output efficiencies thought unattainable ten years ago.
    9. The long term consequences of new petroleum extraction technology are harmful to underground water supplies and extremely inefficient in I/O relationships compared to ethanol from corn. They are not renewable or sustainable as supplies become more difficult to extract.
    10. Companies such as Valero and Koch are not in the ethanol business because they love corn farmers. They recognize it’s positive contribution and economic viability.

    • bill says:

      Paul, I stopped with the #2. Ethanol was subsidized from day one until recently. Then I got objective and went to #9. Despite every effort of the Obama administration to stop fracking they have been unable to prove your contention. Now with gasoline at $150 today, thanks to franking and despite the cost of ethanol, every family gets a $2,000 dividend this year. This is doing wonders for the stagnant economy. Valero and Koch are in the ethanol business because mandates allow them to make a profit. As most ethanol advocates do, you skipped over that little issue of net energy loss and the food cost increases to the poor.

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