Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ethanol-Gasoline Mix, Good or Bad?

Ever since the roaring gas prices of the late-Bush era, Ethanol has been promoted like crazy. Unlike gasoline, ethanol is a fuel made mostly from corn, a source we can regrow in a short time unlike fossil fuels which take millions of years. Now it's good we have back-ups in reserve, I doubt it will stay king on top of alternate fuels,  I truly believe electric cars will outperform both when technology advances. When will that happen? Who knows, but to the average car driver it sure isn't soon. 
Now there has been some rage over Ethanol making it to the pump. Not because it has it's own nozzle, but because most gas stations today mix a little bit of it with our regular gasoline at a rate usually around 10% or less. Recently my local newspaper has a bunch of hicks outraged at Obama and liberals, and actively search the county for gas stations that carry pure gasoline. 
You will actually see little signs like this across the road when gas stations do carry pure gas. So if they make signs, you have to assume there's a considerable amount of people who want it. Why do they want it so bad? Well all I've heard heard from the other crowd is that it's "better" for your car, and you can get "5 more miles per gallon" at most off of it. 
However how much is that 10% really damaging your car? How much can 10% damage your car? I'm not a scientists so I'm not even going to throw figure out there, but my family have been driving the same cars since ethanol mix came out, and they don't have any irregular car trouble. Unless they bought a lemon, but that's a whole different story. 
Let's say pure gas gets the average car around for five more miles a gallon. Is that worth it? If the average gas tank holds 20 for example, then you could save 100 miles on a single fueling. That sounds great if that figure is true, but there's something else conservative pundits have to take into account. 
Ethanol for the most part has taken gas prices down. Now they say it takes more money to produce a truck full of ethanol versus a truck full of gasoline, so how can that be? Let's remember, the gas industry is such a criminal enterprise that it doesn't take more than a middle east rebellion to shoot the price 30% up on a single event. Corn is not taken from the middle east, so the market is less tampered with than with oil. 
I look around the pumps everywhere I go, so at least locally and on a state level I know my gas industry. Some stations carry E-85 which is mostly ethanol, which doesn't matter to me since my car runs on gas. However the last time I checked, gas was over 3 bucks at that station and E-85 was about 2.75 a gallon. It's always stayed below that. I've also driven by some of these shanty gas stations that carry "pure gas" and their prices are usually about 10 to 20 cents more expensive a gallon than any other station. Now that five extra miles, doesn't seem like such a bargain. 
Like any new product and service, there will be pros and cons. Ethanol mix or pure ethanol is not going to save us forever or a lot of the current moment. However if the mix brings down prices for slightly less performing issues, then I can see it as more of priority. I don't believe however that the mix should be increased passed 10% and defiantly not 20%. There's also one more bright side to it since if the U.S. uses 10% less gasoline, that's one more gallon out of 10 that we've can use later. 
Let's face it,we will run out of fossil fuels eventually. The search for other methods of energy is important down the road since even a crappy expensive fuel is better than no fuel at all. Don't fall into the same logic fed to conservative goofballs by their Republican radio and TV show hosts. Those people don't even believe in evolution or climate change, so how smart can they really be? If the Republicans take back the Senate and the White House, then I can see the ethanol mix out the door. It's better for the oil companies and the ultra-rich, and that's all who they care about. 

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