This is to reduce pollution and dependence on foreign oil - right?
Chuck Thomas - CleanMPG
- Nov 24, 2010
They sell - no doubt. Millions of them.
But is anything gained?
Limited E85 stations
Take a look at the E85 stations in the US
. If you live in the Midwest, you might not have problems fueling your flex-fuel vehicle. For most of the remainder of the nation, coverage is spotty to put it mildly. In other words, most flex-fuel vehicles have never run on E85, including many fleets owned by governments.
Flex-fuel Vehicles are not optimized for E85
Is reducing dependence on foreign oil the objective? Ethanol may work on the race track, but E85 vehicles go only 2/3 as far as those running on straight gas. Granted - ethanol has less BTU's than gasoline, but automakers should put more than $200 to merely allow E85 to run - make it efficient. This leads to the source of US ethanol....
The US Ethanol industry is not ecologically sustainable
Anyone notice the price of any food using corn the past couple of years? Aside from taking land from food crops, three out of four US communities will experience water shortages by 2020 - this will not help. To harvest the fuel crop we need pesticides, fertilizers, crop dusters, harvesters, plants to distill it. Since it corrodes pipelines, ethanol must be delivered by truck - taking considerably more energy. At the mouth of the Mississippi is an oxygen-deprived dead zone the size of the state of New Jersey that has killed off fish and shrimp from all the fertilizers dumped - a considerable share from fuel crops. Does this sound green to you?
The US Ethanol industry is sustained only with your tax dollars
Since the late 1970's the US government has assisted the ethanol industry. It's difficult to find areas in the US that don't have E10 gas, yet the ethanol lobby has received permission to sell E15 to help them get out of the red....does a good product need this many years of assistance?
CAFE gives automakers credit for vehicles that burn more fuel
Would you buy a hybrid without the battery pack? That's what most flex-fuel drivers are doing in principle. Now that we have established the oil saved from the US corn ethanol is questionable, when they fill up with E85 the fuel economy is decidedly less. So automakers and drivers feel good while doing nothing or worse.