Sunday, May 22, 2016

Couldn't We Just Drink it Instead?

The new EPA ethanol mandate will break the Blend Wall
The EPA is getting ready to finalize their new ethanol blending mandates for the nation’s gasoline supply beginning next year and industry experts are already raising the alarm. This latest chapter in the saga of the Renewable Fuel Standard will drive almost an addition three quarters of a billion gallons of the “biofuel” into our gasoline and it’s going to bust through the blend wall which small engine manufacturers (as well as the automotive industry) have been warning us about for ages. (Washington Times)
The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to add more ethanol to gasoline will wreak havoc on lawn mowers, snow blowers, boats and even cars, say critics.
Mixing an additional 700 million gallons of ethanol and other biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply to meet a goal of 18.8 billion gallons in 2017 will raise the biofuel percentage to 10.44 percent, or past the “blend wall” after which car engines can be damaged, said Heartland Institute research fellow Isaac Orr.
“It’s hard for anyone to argue that the renewable fuel standard has been a good policy, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to increase the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply means this train wreck of a policy will continue for at least another year,” Mr. Orr said in a Thursday statement.
“Owners of small engines like lawn mowers, snow blowers, and boats are hurt by ethanol mandates because ethanol is hard on these engines,” he said.
I have too much direct experience with this subject to simply ignore what the EPA is up to this time. We’ve already had to deal with the issue of boat engines for years since we spend a fair amount of time each summer fishing in my family. You can’t put ethanol laced gasoline into your boat’s outboard motor for any period of time without it simply dying and requiring costly repairs. There are gas treatments which alleviate the problem to a large degree, but not everyone trusts them 100% and it’s just another added operational expense.
The only time I have ever had to be towed off the Bay was caused by water in the gas, due to ethanol in the gas (ethanol free gas is not available in our area).

Ethanol laced gasoline, so called gasohol, has been a bipartisan folly. It doesn't save carbon, it's benefits as a fuel are nearly offset by the loss of mileage (what good does having 10% ethanol in the gas doe, if your mileage drops 10% as a result), it drives up food prices, puts more land into agricultural production (and most farm equipment doesn't run on ethanol). But it makes farmers money, and it makes environmentalists feel better, so it just Keeps on Keepin' on.

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