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The EPA will hold a public hearing and take comments for 60 days before the 2014 requirements are finalized

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is challenging a 2007 energy law in regards to the amount of ethanol that should be blended with gasoline next year. 
According to a report from The Detroit News, the EPA wants to lower the amount of corn-based ethanol -- as well as other biofuels -- required to be blended with gasoline from 18.15 billion gallons to 15.21 billion gallons next year. 
The 2007 energy law passed by Congress aimed for 18.15 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended with gasoline in 2014. But this number was based on the expectation that the consumption of gasoline in the U.S. would continue rising over the years, and instead, it's remained pretty "flat," mainly due to a weak economy, hefty gas prices and fuel-efficient vehicles.
It's important to note that the Renewable Fuels Standard sets requirements for how much of an increase in ethanol and other biofuels can be blended into gasoline by total gallons, not as a percentage of the fuel each year. 
The EPA will hold a public hearing and take comments for 60 days before the 2014 requirements are finalized.

Automakers and drivers have worried that fuel with higher ethanol blends (such as E15, which consists of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) could permeate and degrade rubber, plastic, metal and other materials in older vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of E15 for 2001 model year vehicles and newer, and automakers like Volkswagen AG, General Motors and Ford have even approved it for some of their latest models. But those with older models could see some real problems with E15.
E10 (10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline) is currently the standard at most gas stations in the U.S., but some -- like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which consists of Detroit’s Big Three, Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and others -- feel that increasing the amount of ethanol to E15 could be problematic without proper testing. In fact, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said just last week that the EPA was pushing E15 onto the market much too quickly. 
AAA also called on the EPA to put a stop to E15 because of its potential danger to older vehicles back in December 2012. AAA celebrated the EPA's latest decision. 
“The EPA’s proposal to decrease ethanol requirements will help drivers by preventing a surge in gas prices or the premature expansion of E15 gasoline sales. While we would like to increase the use of alternative fuels, it is a plain fact that the Renewable Fuels Standard’s original targets are unreachable without putting motorists and their vehicles at risk,” said Bob Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has tried to defend the use of ethanol, and even released a report back in September that said American consumers are paying between 50 cents and $1.50 per gallon less for gasoline due to the addition of ethanol blends. The report also said that consumers are saving from $700 billion to about $2.6 trillion annually on gas because of ethanol, and that oil prices would be $15 to $40 a barrel higher than they are today without the added ethanol. 

Source: The Detroit News

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ethanol savings
By daboom06 on 11/18/2013 11:30:27 AM , Rating: 3
while we're paying a dollar less at the pump because there's ethanol in the gas, we're also having to buy more gas to go the same distance. ethanol gas get worse mileage.

you save more money using the more expensive pure gasoline than using ethonol-ed down gasoline.

RE: ethanol savings
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 2:06:05 PM , Rating: 1
When it is mixed at 10% you don't see a real difference in real-world mileage.

I recently tested this when my local gas station ran out of regular and substituted premium for the same price:

I normally get 8.6L/100km (27.35 mpg us) with mixed driving on regular (10% ethanol). With premium gas (0% ethanol) I get 8.5L/100km (27.67 mpg us). less than half a mpg difference.

My conclusion: gas + ethanol or gas only makes no difference in my car for gas consumption. BUT for power equipment where i may leave some gas in the tank/carb for a few months (i.e. snowblower or lawnmower), using any amount of ethanol in your gas is not a good thing as it will separate and varnish up your carb with green crap that is almost impossible to remove. (I use nothing but premium gas in my lawnmower, pressure washer or snowblower)

RE: ethanol savings
By FITCamaro on 11/18/2013 2:24:00 PM , Rating: 2
What car do you have? Depending on your vehicle, between ethanol free regular and ethanol free premium, you might see better mileage with regular than premium. If your compression ratio is below 10:1, premium fuel will likely get worse mileage in your car than regular since premium requires a hotter burn to burn efficiently. Higher octane does not equal more power or better or even the same mileage in every car.

RE: ethanol savings
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 4:01:46 PM , Rating: 1
My car is a non-turbo ford focus (12:1 compression - direct injection) and will auto calibrate to the type of fuel being used (E-85 compatible).

Premium does not give me any better power for sure. However with exactly the same driving style & conditions I am seeing a very little difference between ethanol mixed regular and 'pure' premium.

The point I was making is that even though ethanol needs a lower air-fuel ratio, a 10% mix with gas does not appreciable affect performance when compared to unblended premium gas. While the premium may burn at 17:1 air-fuel ratio the blended stuff may be closer to 15:1 (AFR is dynamically controlled in most E-85 compatible cars).

RE: ethanol savings
By Alexvrb on 11/18/2013 8:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't completely disprove his point. Unless you mean to say that it doesn't matter as much for a state of the art engine design with a higher compression ratio and lots of fancy technologies. DI, VVT, higher compression, fuel alcohol content (flex fuel) sensor, etc - these help make the best of blended fuels.

A lot of slightly older, non-flex fuel vehicles, aren't as good at that sort of thing. Especially a vehicle with conventional MFI, no/minimal VVT, less competent O2 sensors, etc. So the impact can vary... in other words, YMMV, but that doesn't make what he says untrue. Of course, ethanol subsidies are the bigger problem, in my opinion. If it's such a cost saver, why do we need to subsidize it with tax money? :P

Also, you are very lucky some of your Premium fuel isn't blended. I have seen Petro-Canada state that their Premium now contains ethanol... but Shell's premium V-Power still is ethanol free in Canada last I knew. Now down here in the US that's very rare and even 93 Octane (R+M/2 method) is typically blended 10% like everything else in most states. There are exceptions but they're rare - you only *usually* see pure gasoline sold at marinas.

RE: ethanol savings
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 10:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
Also, you are very lucky some of your Premium fuel isn't blended. I have seen Petro-Canada state that their Premium now contains ethanol... but Shell's premium V-Power still is ethanol free in Canada last I knew. Now down here in the US that's very rare and even 93 Octane (R+M/2 method) is typically blended 10% like everything else in most states. There are exceptions but they're rare - you only *usually* see pure gasoline sold at marinas.

yeah I know about the Shell premium V-power. I got my gas at Esso that time. Esso I had to look up here:

Esso Supreme in Canada is ethanol free. Petro Can is definitely fully blended across all grades. In fact they are trying to say everyone should be blended (their competitors are thumbing their noses at them). P.C. started off cool when we Canada bought up all the BP stations and formed it as a crown corporation. It has since been sold, but still haven't lost their government roots.

Agree with you on the technologies that squeeze performance out of blended gas. I am sure I would see a bigger difference if I were driving a car that didn't have all that tech in it.

RE: ethanol savings
By ElderTech on 11/21/2013 1:10:52 PM , Rating: 1
As an early adopter of ethanol, i.e. "gasohol" back then, my company purchased full transport loads from ADM delivered to our bulk plants in Indiana where we splash blended 10% with gasoline to drop into our own stations. It made economic sense then because of the ethanol credits we earned, and it makes sense now because of the huge government subsidies to the ethanol industry. Without these subsidies there would be NO ethanol production from corn, at least in the USA. It isn't economically feasible, nor does it provide a "net energy balance" as evidenced by this 2005 scientific publication:

Note that the current substantially higher cost of corn feedstock makes this even more negative, in spite of the increase in the price of oil. And from an environmental perspective, this Associated Press article speaks to the hidden problems that the government supported program has fostered:

In summary, in spite of the advantages of octane enhancement, locally derived energy, support for our farm industry, and combustion engine system cleansing, etc., even 10% ethanol blending costs our country a massive amount in the form of government subsidies, net energy loss, more complicated delivery and engine use systems, and environmental impact, etc. To increase this percentage blend to 15% or more is absurd! (And to make the standard a fixed volume amount per the current legislation is even more absurd!!!)

RE: ethanol savings
By tng on 12/2/2013 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 2
I have seen a huge difference with no ethanol in the mix... Up to 20% better over a tankful in my car. Not sure it was worth the $4.50 ($1 over regular) that I paid for what was called "Boutique" fuel at the time, but it was really nice driving the full distance from my families house up North to my house without having to stop for gas.

How Old Is That Picture?
By drlumen on 11/18/2013 1:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
$1.60 per gallon. Geez, we'll never see that again.

RE: How Old Is That Picture?
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 3:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm turning into my dad. He likes to remind us all about how gas was only five cents a gallon back in the day.

I remember it being less than a dollar when filling up my own tanks.

RE: How Old Is That Picture?
By drlumen on 11/18/2013 3:44:32 PM , Rating: 1
The lowest I remember is 23 cents per gallon and that was full service. Checking the tires, washing the windshield, checking the oil...

Now, at $3.00, I feel lucky if I don't have to walk inside for the receipt.

RE: How Old Is That Picture?
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
I remember seeing gas at $0.23 / gallon during a gas war in Wichita KS.

But then I also remember a neighbor bringing home from the dealer a brand new 1967 Camaro Rally Sport Indy Pace car edition that same year. He paid a whopping $2500 for it.

RE: How Old Is That Picture?
By The Von Matrices on 11/19/2013 1:15:18 AM , Rating: 3
All the people getting nostalgic over historic gasoline prices should check the real price of gasoline over the past 100 years. It was remarkably stable around 2.00 (2008 dollars) per gallon until the price spikes of 2008. The average household actually spends less on fuel today than it has in the past since fuel economy has increased while the inflation adjusted price is relatively stagnant.

RE: How Old Is That Picture?
By 91TTZ on 11/19/2013 4:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
This may be true, but people also have less disposable income now.

I know growing up, we were able to afford a house, new cars, and go on vacation all on my dad's single blue-collar salary. Try that now.

Money was tight but now it's downright impossible.

Smoke and Mirrors?
By techyguy on 11/18/2013 11:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
So we would be paying between 50 cents and $1.50 per gallon more for gasoline due without ethanol blends?

- How much more debt is America in due to corn subsidies?
- How much more do Americans pay for food because of less room to grow actual food?

RE: Smoke and Mirrors?
By JasonMick on 11/18/2013 12:00:18 PM , Rating: 5
So we would be paying between 50 cents and $1.50 per gallon more for gasoline due without ethanol blends?

- How much more debt is America in due to corn subsidies?
- How much more do Americans pay for food because of less room to grow actual food?
Agreed... Its pure market manipulation, but unfortunately not that atypical for the U.S. "free" market.

As long as you allow politicians to accept money in exchange for sponsoring bills and earmarks to give these "generous" special interests tax favors, subsidies, and laws that manipulate the market (forcing consumers to buy an unwanted product by eliminating alternatives), this is the end result.

Such acts should be criminal. But then you'd have to throw all of Congress in prison (a nice idea... If only). When criminals write the law, crime becomes the law and fighting for the law with your free speech and right to peaceful protest becomes crime.

Our government has more in common these days with mobsters than the Founding Fathers. And look at your tax bill... We're all paying for it.

RE: Smoke and Mirrors?
By ebakke on 11/18/2013 2:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
As long as you allow politicians to accept money in exchange for [...] laws that manipulate the market...
The opposite side of that coin puts the burden of the problem on the power of the state, and not the spending of individuals.

I prefer limiting the power of the politicians, and not limiting the freedom of individuals to spend their money as they see fit. If the citizens focussed their energies on restricting the seemingly endless powers of the state, political spending wouldn't matter. No one would spend millions to elect Sen. Imatool if the Sen couldn't provide you a return on that investment. Put simply, political spending is the symptom, not the problem.

RE: Smoke and Mirrors?
By dgingerich on 11/18/2013 2:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I can tell you, after being a resident of Indiana, and many years of being involved with my family's different farmer members throughout Indiana, Illnois, and Arkansas, (I have several Mennonite family members) that we (the US) have far more land to grow food than we need. That's what started the farm subsidy programs.

(This was told many times in my Indiana schools. I think I was taught this lesson about 3 times before I moved to Colorado in 8th grade.) We had too many farmers and not enough market, and the farmers were having trouble selling their products. In addition, the farmland was having trouble with our farmers growing stuff year after year, with no recovery time in between. So, the government started paying some farmers to allow their fields to go wild every once in a while. This allowed for even better growing conditions and a recovery in the farming industry.

Over the years, government corruption has lead to an expansion of the subsidy programs, and a far more biased distribution of those subsidies to corporations. The individual farmers have suffered for it, but many have switched over to "organic" farming techniques and started selling through the more fashionable farmers' markets to make up the difference, even when they don't believe in the political leanings of those in that market.

When I moved back to Illinois in 1996, I moved to the northern Chicago suburban area, near the Wisconsin state line, near the towns of McHenry and Fox Lake. I noticed that many small farms were selling their land to housing developers at an alarming rate. Easily half the farmland in the area was converted to housing developments in the 3 years I lived there. Even though it was a two hour commute to the more common business areas near Chicago, many people were moving out to these areas.

Also, if you were to drive from Denver to Chicago, (a trip I took at least 12 times between 1994 and 2006) you'd notice that more than half the farmland along the I-80 highway is just not being used.

Add to this that we are now shipping more and more of our food from our farming areas to China (They imported over 700,000 tons of pork from the US in 2012) to increase the demand for our food supply. This is a great thing for farmers. We're finally starting to use the farmland we have. We certainly don't have any problems with our potential food supply.

The big limitation in the Great Plains these days is water. The huge Ogallala aquifer has been going down at an alarming rate in recent years. ( There is now a shift in research and technology to make farming more efficient in water use, trying to reduce the possibility of using up the water supply we have.

So, in short, we don't have to worry about food prices because of the supply side. The biggest threat to our food prices is government, at least until the water become scarce.

How about...
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 11:50:13 AM , Rating: 4
...we set the requirement at 0% ethanol?

How would that be? Everybody wins, with the exceptions of whoever is f%cking retarded enough to think there's the slightest bit of sanity involved in the use of ethanol in the first place.

All those people should be deported. To the moon. Now.

RE: How about...
By Mint on 11/19/2013 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
Trust me: if you set the level to 0%, then E10 will still be as dominating as it is now.

Gas stations save money with E10. It costs less to make, because ethanol costs them $1.70/gal (futures are even less). The only way they will sell E0 is if they can sell it at a price premium, and sell enough to warrant the pump investment of having different options.

Very few people are willing to pay that.

RE: How about...
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 11:36:45 AM , Rating: 2
We in Canada have a choice of using E10 regular or E0 premium in most gas stations. The difference in price is about $0.30 per liter (regular costs about $1.25/liter - premium $1.55-1.60/liter - there is 3.78 liters per American gallon which works out to be about $4.75/gal & $5.96/gal respectively).

There are no big lineups at the premium pumps. People here are perfectly happy to use E10 simply because it is the cheapest grade available.

RE: How about...
By Mint on 11/19/2013 11:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well there you go.

Premium gas in the US uses E10, not E0, and it costs $0.20/gallon (<$0.06/L). Even with that small cost people are overwhelmingly using regular gas.

Very few people have a problem with E10, so there's no reason for them to pay a lot more for E0.

By villageidiotintern on 11/18/2013 7:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
"...the EPA wants to lower the amount of corn-based 15.21 billion gallons next year."

Why stop there? If a little reduction is good, too much should be just right.

By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:35:28 PM , Rating: 1
So you are saying instead of mixing 10% ethanol gas, you should mix none and use 10% more gas?

Yep, that makes a LOT more sense.

By PaFromFL on 11/18/2013 10:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
Given the theoretical 3% gas mileage loss from E10, you would use 7% more gas, although many drivers have experienced up to a 10% gas mileage loss using E10. However, overall oil consumption is a better metric, and it takes a lot of oil to plant, water, fertilize, harvest, process, and transport ethanol.

By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 10:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
Does it take 10% more oil to do that? Perhaps that is why govs are trying to push through E15 ;)

By PaFromFL on 11/20/2013 8:10:06 AM , Rating: 2
The corn lobbyists and the government don't really care about oil consumption. It's all about profits and profit "sharing". It's the same mechanism behind our endless, pointless, but profitable wars, and a medical industry focused on expensive drug dependence rather than cures. In all cases, the 99% lose and the 1% win. The tax and consumer dollars of the 99% wind up in the pockets of the 1%.

I'm beginning to like ethanol
By 91TTZ on 11/19/2013 4:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Ethanol has been a boon for car enthusiasts. It has an effective octane rating better than race gas and it's relatively cheap.

While a few years ago people had horror stories of it eating their fuel lines and corroding their engines, now they're singing its praises and bragging how they're able to produce 600 rwhp with fuel that's cheap and available at local gas stations. Meanwhile, on pump gasoline I can't get much more than 440 rwhp without detonation.

By Monkey's Uncle on 11/20/2013 9:25:03 AM , Rating: 2
For decades those that couldn't afford to build their cars to run nitro methane used alcohol as the drag strip fuel of choice,. Granted though most they used often methanol, but ethanol was used as well. Since fuel economy was not part of the equation on a drag strip, they could run it as rich as they needed. They ran it so they could run higher compression and boost than was possible on even av-gas. Of course that higher compression and boost allowed them to run their 8 & 9-second quarter miles so all was good.

By ipay on 11/18/13, Rating: -1
RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 12:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Um, no. There's not much difference in the process to get butanol instead of ethanol. Which is to say, you're still using foodstocks and/or cultivating a crop for fuel.

Still just as stupid as ethanol.

RE: Butanol
By ipay on 11/18/2013 1:29:04 PM , Rating: 1
Um no. Four-carbon alcohol, higher yield (for corn vs ethanol), greater energy density (translate to high power and greater MPG), better cold weather starting, can be transported in existing pipelines, etc. So less stupid than ethanol.

Oh... and guess what? Doesn't have to be produced from food crops, and cultivating a crop (algae, etc) isn't necessarily bad. Surely not ideal, granted.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 2:59:49 PM , Rating: 3
Energy density and other properties may be better, but the production of it tends to be the same type of process used to make ethanol - like from corn, sugarcane, etc.

If you can find a way to scale it up in a fiscally-sound manner with a process that doesn't impact the food cycle at all, and which provides a net-positive energy output, then I'm all for it.

Haven't see that yet though. With butanol or ethanol.

RE: Butanol
By Mint on 11/19/2013 11:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know if being energy positive matters.

As an example, consider recent gas-to-liquid technology, which creates gasoline/diesel synthetically from natural gas. Due to process losses, you will always use more energy in natural gas than you get out in gasoline.

But economically, it's viable. Natural gas costs less than $4 per GJ, while gasoline costs over $20 per GJ. The reason is that gas is much easier to use as a transportation fuel than natural gas.

So would you be against using GTL to produce cheaper gasoline simply because it's energy negative?

RE: Butanol
By soccerballtux on 11/19/2013 5:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
the ethanol return from sugar cain is 7x what it is from corn.
I'm rather in favor of having domestic production of our fuel, if we can just find some better solutions than corn.

At least we're not directly subsidizing corn farmers anymore.

RE: Butanol
By soccerballtux on 11/19/2013 5:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
per acre of crop or something

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 1:45:04 PM , Rating: 1
You're pretty good at crapping on others ideas for alternative fuels but we are not seeing you putting any of yours out there to be kicked around.

So tell us smart guy, what is your alternative to using dead dino fuels?

RE: Butanol
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 2:20:06 PM , Rating: 1
Why bother?

Oil reserves are going to last over 100 years give or take. By then we'll be at a higher technological level and can easily develop alternatives, if they haven't already.

I know you've been told we're facing impending doom and MUST do something. But its all BS.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 3:10:31 PM , Rating: 1
It is that "why bother" that is part of the problem - particularly in the U.S. which is the 2nd largest fossil fuel consumer in the world (China is at the top but then they are also the world's largest producer of manufactured goods in the world too). The U.S. goes through oil at a rate of 6-7 billion barrels of oil per year. The current proven U.S. reserves are at 26 billion barrels. That my friend is good for about 5 years unless you find ways to stretch it (ethanol? ;) ).

The 100 years you are thinking of comes from successfully implementing fracking technology to extract the oil locked in the shale beds. There is a LOT of oil locked in shale and most countries are currently fighting over the horizontal drilling required for fracking (especially when it crossed country borders). Reserves from fracking is NOT proven - it is today only estimates.

Sure new tech will come along to make the dependence on fossil fuels go away - but only with we look at them with an open mind and ideas of our own.

RE: Butanol
By Murloc on 11/18/2013 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
the US consumption of fossil fuels is due to disproportionally power-hungry consumers and thermoelectric plants.
Build more hydroelectric plants and increase the cost of energy.

RE: Butanol
By Sivar on 11/18/2013 5:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
This seems am obvious win. It did to me, too, until I spoke with some engineers specializing in the matter at the INL.

There are no practical locations left in North America to build hydro plants. :/
Even many of the current ones have problems with water supply.

RE: Butanol
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: Butanol
By Spuke on 11/18/2013 5:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
We're also a net exporter of oil. Remember that?
I find this knee slappingly funny! Awesome that we achieved this sooner rather than later (5-10 years later was the prediction). Although the real laughter would occur if we lived on our own oil supply. Then when the ME's oil supply starts circling the bowl and the smug starts shutting off in Europe, we can raise prices 600%. Then we vote that the gov to take over the oil companies and cut everyone in the US a Rolls Royce Ghost from the profits. What's the color of tears again?

RE: Butanol
By Mint on 11/19/2013 11:47:54 AM , Rating: 2
Except it's not true.

The US is an oil-PRODUCT net-exporter. It exports more gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc than it imports. But that's because it has a large refining capacity, and very few markets need to import refined products.

The oil it uses to make those products is still net-imported to the tune of 8 million barrels per day:

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 1:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure that when fracking is in full production in another couple of years the U.S. will have a lovely surplus of crude to export. Would most certainly be a welcome change considering the monster debt it has to pay.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
lol with the Anti-American liberalism.

Just pointing out some simple facts. I'm in Canada and we use just about as much oil relatively speaking (U.S. has 10 times our population).

We are right there beside the U.S. in emissions and fuel economy standards.

The point is that you were touting a 100 year reserve. At the present the 100 year reserve is hinging on the U.S. being able to bring fracking into full-scale production. It is not there yet. Instead the U.S. has at the most 5 years of reserve unless a means of stretching that oil is in place NOW. At the present that is ethanol, like it or not. In the future it may well be something else, but that is not available in the real world yet.

Oh, did you know CANADA (not Saudi Arabia) is the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S.? Go figure that the U.S. gets its gas cheaper than we do :/

We all know alternatives will present themselves. I also know that no matter what alternatives are presented there will be the same crowd right here on DT that will crap all over them. Nothing will please everyone, but there are some that will hate everything just because it is different.

But yeah I agree with you on this: I'm liberal (actually more of a socialist).


RE: Butanol
By Spuke on 11/18/2013 7:27:40 PM , Rating: 1
I doubt you're Canadian. Sorry but you sound like an American liberal to me. I know many Canadians personally and none of them sound like dipshit American liberals although they're mostly more left leaning.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
Emigrated from the U.S. to Canada in 1969. Cool eh?

RE: Butanol
By 91TTZ on 11/19/2013 4:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
Draft dodger?

RE: Butanol
By Spuke on 11/19/2013 5:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
Draft dodger?

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 6:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
How'd ya guess?

RE: Butanol
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 8:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm liberal (actually more of a socialist)

No kidding?? What a shocker...

The point is that you were touting a 100 year reserve.

Wtf man!? I didn't make that number up. People who predict this stuff for a living did!!! Go troll them.

It is not there yet.


Fracking is responsible for the biggest oil boom we've had in like a century! How in the hell is it "not there yet"?

Instead the U.S. has at the most 5 years of reserve

Socialists like you were saying that 30 years ago! Hell 30 years ago the entire world was supposed to be out of oil years ago...

At the present that is ethanol, like it or not.

I don't think you understand what a failure the ethanol program is. It's caused a massive INCREASE in gasoline consumption. How is that helping to stretch our reserves?

It's also responsible for a world-wide increase in food prices. Yes, people are literally starving to DEATH in third world nations because of this goddamn boondoggle.

Nothing will please everyone, but there are some that will hate everything just because it is different.

No. There are legitimate reasons to be against ethanol blends. If you can't see that, I'm sorry.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 11:10:16 AM , Rating: 2
Ooooo, such hate bro :(


Fracking is still ramping up all around the world - not just in the U.S. It won't peak in North Dakota for another couple years and longevity has still not been firmly established. Other shale deposits (Oklahoma, Texas) will peak a few years later.

The problem with simply tapping more oil is that it makes us complacent. After all with no urgency in finding alternatives, why dump money funding alternative fuels. Investors demand short term payback on their investments. With no immediate pressure driving the R&D investment dollars, the investments will be spent elsewhere that provides that immediate payback.

Right now the lion's share of investment dollars is going into fracking - not alternative fuels.

RE: Butanol
By Reclaimer77 on 11/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Butanol
By Spuke on 11/19/2013 6:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody driving vehicles, no more freedom to travel, no more pollution. You should be CHEERING for us to keep using oil
That's the day I move to a 10,000 acre ranch in Wyoming and setup my 50 caliber, heat sensing turrets on the properties perimeter.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 7:23:47 PM , Rating: 1
You wrote this when I asked for people hating on ethanol to provide alternatives:

Why bother? Oil reserves are going to last over 100 years give or take. By then we'll be at a higher technological level and can easily develop alternatives, if they haven't already. I know you've been told we're facing impending doom and MUST do something. But its all BS.

Why Bother... It is the "WHY BOTHER" attitude that is a part of the problem. Not you specifically unless you really believe there is no problem. Not just Americans either, but us Canadians and Chinese as well and any other country that is more worried about finding more oil rather than curbing their appetite of the oil they have. At least in North America we are making the effort to stretch our oil reserves by supplementing it with ethanol. Are the Chinese doing the same?

There's plenty of oil for the next 100 years, so Why Bother , right? Why bother looking for alternatives. Who cares that burning this shit is fucking up the atmosphere that we all have to breathe. Who cares that while there is plenty of oil for the next 100 years there is absolutely no incentive for investors to spend megabucks developing alternatives, right? I'm an investor too. I won't spend money on research that will not pay off for another 50 years. Why should I, because there's more than enough oil and I can invest that money in fracking instead. So, Why Bother even looking for alternatives? That's expensive and will take longer than I have to live to actually be put to use.

So yeah, let's all keep on sucking up that oil for as long as it lasts. F*** our kids and grandkids - it will be their problem to fix. They can worry about coming up with alternative renewable energy. Why Bother.

I've got nothing against you personally or anyone else here. It is simply attitudes like that that really troll me. So sue me.

RE: Butanol
By Mint on 11/19/2013 12:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Ethanol is an example of pushing something on the market by creating an artificial demand. Pure free market forces would NEVER have allowed this farce to continue.

Then why were ethanol credits (D6 RINs) so cheap during the rise of E10? If the free market didn't want it, then it would rather pay up for credits rather than buy E10.

Instead, credits were almost free because nobody needed them.

RE: Butanol
By Kiffberet on 11/19/2013 9:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
Why bother?

Oil reserves are going to last over 100 years give or take. By then we'll be at a higher technological level and can easily develop alternatives, if they haven't already.

So who is going to 'easily develop alternatives', if nobody bothers .

Might want to think, next time you log on.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 2:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
I've stated before *many* times that I'm all for pretty much any kind of biofuel that:

1. Doesn't interfere with the food supply in anyway, which isn't just limited to using actual food crops.

2. Produces a fuel in a financially-sound manner

3. Produces a fuel that is net-positive in the energy it provides...which is to say, you didn't have to put as much (or more) energy into it's production as you get back out of it.

Algae systems might do that. I've seen trials of plants that use refuse from poultry plants that might do that. And probably other things.

...but I'm repeating myself. Again. Because I've actually said these things a very large number of times.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 3:36:28 PM , Rating: 1
Good possibilities there if it is something that can be implemented cheaply and on a very large scale in a short amount of time. Algae has a lot of promise, but actual large scale production is a long way off - at least 25 years. Algae farms and processing plants will be pretty expensive to set up. But once they are it will hold a lot of promise.

Ethanol isn't perfect - we all know it. Nor is anybody looking at it as a permanent solution - not even our beloved gooberments. Thing is we need something out there now. As you are already pointing out there are other alternatives in the pipe. it just comes down to what can be made available, when and how much will it cost to set up the infrastructure for it.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 7:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thing is we need something out there now

No we don't. We're not even close to needing something now. At a bare minimum we are *decades* away from needing something.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:31:02 PM , Rating: 1
Really? What makes you think that?

Do you honestly believe you can keep consuming oil, with no measures at all to reduce that consumption, for decades still?

This is exactly the attitude that tells the rest of us that we need these viable alternatives, and interim measures in place immediately.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 8:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, pretty much.

Don't get me wrong...we're running out. But we're not running out *now* - and we won't be running out in 10 years, or 20 years, or probably even slow down much in our lifetimes.

There's not any need to panic and force the market to swallow piss-poor alternatives like what the EPA has been doing with ethanol. We're proceeding well, doing R&D, and I have no doubt we'll have an appropriate replacement ready to go by the time we need it.

Which is no time soon.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 9:04:51 AM , Rating: 2

The fracking work going on in the North America & other parts of the world over the last couple years is relieving that pressure (sit on THAT and rotate Saudis!).

But that will run out as well before long. Maybe not in what's left of my lifetime but certainly in our kids & grandkids lifetimes. We will be needing the fruits of that R&D by then for sure. We don't want to sit back on our laurels & cut funding to these projects simply because we have more oil to use up.

In the meantime, ethanol in my gas is not hurting my cars and there is more than enough food available to buy. I will still use premium gas in my power equipment since I really hate replacing carburetors that are completely clogged with that green ethanol crap from settled blended gas.

RE: Butanol
By Mint on 11/19/2013 12:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
The issue is not running out. EVs will replace oil before we run out.

The issue is that banning corn ethanol will add enormously to the trade deficit.

It's also very anti-capitalist, which I'm surprised to hear from you. You won't get rid of corn ethanol simply by getting rid of the mandate. It's too much cheaper than gas, now that the technology is developed.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/19/2013 10:17:50 PM , Rating: 2

You're a moron.

Please stop talking.

RE: Butanol
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2013 8:51:57 PM , Rating: 1
Look I don't think you understand. The entire politically stated purpose of the ethanol program, that it was to reduce fuel consumption and increase our reserves, NEVER materialized. It didn't happen, and will NEVER happen! Do you understand that?

Virtually every independent assessment of ethanol has shown that it's unjustified by either science or economics. The official effort to push ethanol has failed to live up to any of its stated goals.

Anyone touting it as any 'solution', even a stop-gap, is ignorant. Do you like being ignorant?

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 7:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
So, you don't like the solutions that are on the table now. I get that. So I will ask yet again, what is *your* solution?

I haven't seen it yet.

Do you have something that will reduce our need for fossil fuels beyond mining even more fossil fuels?

All I know is this: for every 10 liters of gas I put in my car I will actually burn 9 liters of petroleum. If we had E85 up here and I ran that, I would be burning 1.5 liters of petroleum for every 10 that I put in my car.

Unless you are going to try and tell me that one liter of petroleum was used to cultivate, harvest and distill that single liter of ethanol, I would call BS on any claim that I am NOT reducing my use of petroleum.

Don't get me started about droughts caused food shortages. There is enough water being used to frack that oil in North Dakota to irrigate those corn fields!

RE: Butanol
By Argon18 on 11/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 3:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
That is horrifically ignorant of you to say.

The fact that you're growing a dedicate crop of *anything* on land that could be otherwise used for food is a catastrophe. For the simple fact that it drives up the cost of food everywhere, and on the flipside decreases the supply of food everywhere.

It doesn't matter what crop you're using. The effect on the food cycle is negative in every example. The only way you can justify growing a crop for fuel is if you're doing it in such a way that the food cycle isn't impacted. And that precludes using arable soil that could otherwise grow food.

RE: Butanol
By syslog2000 on 11/18/2013 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 1
It doesn't have to be a food crop at all. Look up switchgrass. Its very energy dense (many times more than corn), grows rapidly, is drought resistant and requires little if any fertilizer. What would be wrong with using that as a fuel source?

Good write up at

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 7:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is where do you grow it, and how do you harvest it?

If you plant it on land that could otherwise be used to grow food, you're negatively impacting the food cycle. If you plant it on land that, for whatever reason *can't* be used to grow food...well, there's something wrong with that land, now isn't there? Like, it's too rocky to cultivate...or too swampy to harvest from.

No free lunch here.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you get hard up and eat the corn you were growing for ethanol ;)

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/18/2013 7:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
You are hypothesizing that the land *would* be used to grow food. Who says land should only be used for food or that a farmer must only grow food?

That's not a given. A farmer won't grow more food than he can sell. Farming is still a business and has to make money whether than is from food crops, fuel crops or both. If the crops he is growing can be used for either purpose, then it is a bonus for him because what he can't sell as food can be sold as fuel.

Growing fuel crops that can't alternately be used as food would not make a lot of sense to a farmer. Likewise growing too much of a food crop and being able to sell surplus as fuel is also a big win.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/18/2013 8:33:06 PM , Rating: 1
This is very simple. So I'm going to type it out very slowly to help you understand.

If you grow a crop on arable land that isn't for food, you decreased the food supply. Because you *could* have grown food. Even if you farm on land that's never been farmed *could* have grown food. You could have improved the supply and lowered the cost.

But you didn't. You grew fuel. Which, by that very fact, negatively impacted the food cycle.

Using arable land to *not* grow food is always...ALWAYS...a stupid idea. That is irrefutable and there's no way around it.

I'm all for biofuels. Just do it without using land that could grow food.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 10:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
*Could be used* and *is being used* are two very, very different things.

You forget what is being grown on that otherwise unused arable land. CORN
And what do we use corn for?

Human and animal food (duh!).
Cooking oil
Fertilizer (omg. fertilizing corn fields with ... corn? O.o )
Paper products
Paint and Varnish
Porcelain (electrical insulators msotly)

oh and .... Fuel.

Why aren't you upset over everything else corn is used to make that is not food? After all is it such a crime that the house/apartment you are living is was grown from what should have been food? How about that beer or the spark plugs in your car? Did you remember to bush your teeth with your corn this morning?

Do you have such an issue with soybeans being used to make biodiesel? They are food too. And yes there are several non-food products out there made out of soybeans.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/19/2013 11:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
Food includes beer and cooking oil. I'm not sure whether or not drugs are made directly from corn or from a byproduct after the corn was used to make other stuff, but that's what the case is with pretty much everythinig else on your list.

Growing a crop of corn to make ethanol for fuel though removes it entirely from that cycle. This isn't hard to're purposefully being hard-headed about it.

It is an irrefutable fact that the usage of corn for fuel has already driven up the cost of foods across the board, especially beef and other livestock. This *has* happened and you can't claim that it hasn't. Taking cropland out of the foodcycle to make fuel - especially that there's not any good reason to do so - is an act of insanity. Pure and simple.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/19/2013 11:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
Can you feed a kid on beer or cooking oil? Well, you probably could, but the kid won't get much nutritional value from it.

Most uses of corn comes from cornstarch. Once you have extracted the starch from corn, there is no food value in what is left behind - not even for animal feed. In fact is that same cornstarch is what is needed to make ethanol. If you use corn for its starch it stops being food unless you eat that starch directly. It is removed from the food chain every bit as completely whether you make drywall or ethanol from it.

RE: Butanol
By iowafarmer on 11/19/2013 1:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Distillers grains are one of the byproducts of ethanol production.

nutritional value of maize (corn).

nutritional value of distillers grains

There seems to be most of the nutritional value of a raw bushel of corn left in distillers grains after ethanol production.

RE: Butanol
By Motoman on 11/19/2013 10:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a shocker: I'm not an expert on drywall. Or most of the other things you mentioned.

If they're truly removing a corn crop from the food cycle, then no rational person can support them either.

It doesn't matter what you do with a food crop, or cropland that could be used to grow food, in a non-food manner...whatever it is, you're decreasing the food supply and increasing food cost.

And that injures EVERYONE.

RE: Butanol
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/20/2013 2:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a shocker for you.

Look at iowafarmer's post just above yours - some very interesting info there that is kinda blowing your entire argument away. We have both assumed that the byproducts from corn used for ethanol distillation is useless & has no food value. Looks like we are both wrong about that.

Corn used to create ethanol apparent can, and is still be used for food afterward *gasp!* in the form of distiller's grain.

RE: Butanol
By Scannall on 11/19/2013 11:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
Sawgrass can be grown in places that food crops cannot be. You don't get as many tons per acre, but if you aren't spending water, fertilizer or valuable food crop acreage then it's fine.

RE: Butanol
By Samus on 11/19/2013 4:52:12 AM , Rating: 2
You should be careful running straight butanol or ethanol in your STi. These fuels aren't regulated for octane requirements (just like E85) and the rating can vary from 85 to 105+)

If your tune is set for 95 octane and you don't have a J&S safeguard on your knock sensor, you could hit a low-octane batch from a pump at even the same station you previously hit and engine will go bang. Seen it happen a dozen times. Everything from rod bearings to pistons completely destroyed from seconds of detonation under load.

RE: Butanol
By ipay on 11/19/2013 10:03:02 AM , Rating: 1
Thank you. Yes, I'm well aware of the risks, and am prepared to pay to play for the joy of experimenting. It's a hobby, not a daily. I run full forged internals, data log, have numerous extra sensors (including dual knock), routinely do full dyno-tuning, and even lab test fuel blends I make to test octane. I expect things to break, and that's all part of the fun. :)

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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