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The E15 saga continues with more than a dozen trade organizations uniting in an attempt to bar the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using federal money to cover costs of boosting the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10 to 15 percent.

The 15 organizations, some of which have obvious ties to the petroleum industry, include: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Bakers Association, American Meat Institute, American Petroleum Institute, California Dairies, Inc., Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, National Chicken Council, National Marine Manufacturers Association, National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, National Turkey Federation, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

The organizations collectively sent all members of the U.S. House of Representatives this letter:
The undersigned organizations urge you to support Congressman John Sullivan's amendment to H.R. 1, the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution, to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using appropriated funds to increase the amount of allowable ethanol content in gasoline to 15% (E15). The amendment is necessary to protect consumers and the environment and deserves your strong support.

Our organizations rarely agree on any public policy issue, but we are united in opposing the premature introduction of E15. Protection of the environment and the nation's motorists must take precedence over the politics of biofuels. Simply stated, this amendment will call a halt to EPA's headlong rush to introduce E15 at least until unbiased and independent testing on the impact of E15 on vehicle and off-road engines and the environment can be completed. We collectively urge you to support the Sullivan E15 amendment to H.R. 1 when it is offered this week.
As we noted earlier today, the ethanol industry in the U.S. is pretty entrenched. Still, the battle continues.

[Source: National Petrochemical and Refiners Association]
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15 Groups Seek to Bar EPA Funding for E15

NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, was one of 15 organizations signing a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives today supporting a measure by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from using federal funds to cover EPA costs involved with increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10 percent to 15 percent.

The letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), with copies to all House members, was signed by a wide-ranging collection of organizations that frequently hold varying viewpoints on energy and environmental issues.

The signers are: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Bakers Association; American Meat Institute; American Petroleum Institute; California Dairies, Inc.; Grocery Manufacturers Association; International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; National Association of Truck Stop Operators; National Chicken Council; National Marine Manufacturers Association; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; National Turkey Federation; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; and the Specialty Equipment Market Association.

The letter states: "The undersigned organizations urge you to support Congressman John Sullivan's amendment to H.R. 1, the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution, to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from using appropriated funds to increase the amount of allowable ethanol content in gasoline to 15% (E15). The amendment is necessary to protect consumers and the environment and deserves your strong support.

"Our organizations rarely agree on any public policy issue, but we are united in opposing the premature introduction of E15. Protection of the environment and the nation's motorists must take precedence over the politics of biofuels. Simply stated, this amendment will call a halt to EPA's headlong rush to introduce E15 at least until unbiased and independent testing on the impact of E15 on vehicle and off-road engines and the environment can be completed. We collectively urge you to support the Sullivan E15 amendment to H.R. 1 when it is offered this week."


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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Months Ago
      The food groups realize that the cost of corn/soybeans will soar because of fuel demand and shifting acreage to ethanol crops. The costs will have to be passed on and people will shift their supermarket dollars to cheaper substitutes. I am beginning to sense panic at the EPA to get off oil without their coming out and saying it. So even a wasteful and inadequate alternative is useful in the short term.

        • 6 Months Ago
        Its much simpler than that.

        They are influenced by the fact that the government collects and distributes vast sums of money into the control and production of corn.

        We don't do this for wheat, rice, spinach, or strawberries, just for genetically engineered corn with pattented corn that is owned by the pesticide industry with pesticides that are specifically manufactured to kill anything but that genetically engineered seed.

        Ethanol not only increases corn use, but is in itself another cash cow with its own subsidies.

        That means there is a lot of money and power for politicians to have as incentive to continue wasteful ethanol production from corn.

        Check Wikileaks and Food, Inc. for all you need to know about who is in control and why these decisions are being made.

        The government collects and controls vast sums of money into the control and production of corn. Ethanol is also a big money maker, and again contributes to increased corn use. More money and power in the hands of politicians means more money and influence in their pockets.
      • 6 Months Ago
      I haven't done enough research yet on E15, but it is not too different from E10 as a fuel. So the following is research I have done on E10.

      A recent report done at the Argonne National Laboratory concluded that with today’s production techniques ethanol returns 34% more energy than it takes to produce it. However, since a substantial portion of that energy is in the form of natural gas (used to produce fertilizer, run irrigation wells, and complete the distillation), the real return of liquid fuel used to produce the ethanol was actually a net gain of 6.24 BTU of energy for every BTU of liquid energy used. If you haven’t noticed, practically every vehicle in this country runs on liquid fuel, and we have trillions of dollars invested in this infrastructure. While you can run cars on compressed natural gas, their range is very limited and there is only limited support for them at this time. For instance Honda makes a very nice car for this fuel system, but you could not drive from Denver to Kansas City because you would run out of fuel before the next refueling system.

      Ethanol increases the octane of gasoline it is mixed into. Much of the poor gas mileage would be offset if car engines were properly compress to run on high content ethanol fuel, due to the increased performance of I.C. engines. Think of diesel engines, they get much of their superior mileage performance strictly due to the high compression ratios that they operate at, though a secondary factor is the slightly higher BTU’s in the fuel.

      For instance normal gasoline contains 114,000 BTU, while 10% gasoline/ethanol contains about 112,000 BTU. How is that possible when ethanol only contains 76,000 BTU? Well if you mix 9 gallons of gasoline with 1 gallon of ethanol, you only end up with 9 1/2 gallons of E10 fuel due to the unique properties of the ethanol molecule. So with a change from 114,000 to 112,000 BTU are you going to see any real change in gas mileage? No, because modern automotive engines now have “knock sensors” as part of their ignition controllers, and what they do is advance the spark timing as much as possible to achieve the most power on the least fuel. So since the octane is a couple points higher with E10, your mileage may even improve slightly.

      When you process corn to make ethanol, all you are doing is removing the carbohydrates. What is left from your original 56 lbs of corn (one standard bushel) is 18 lbs of protein. If left wet, this is shipped to local feed yards to feed cattle. If dried out, is can be shipped to anywhere in the world as animal feed. There is a real shortage of protein in the world, while carbohydrates are easy to find locally (native grasses). I should also mention that in that original 56 pounds of weight, there is also slightly more than 8 pounds of water. Currently you produce about 2.7-2.8 gallons of ethanol with each bushel of corn. Anyway, it is much more cost effective to ship dried distillers grain than whole grain when you consider the net amount of protein. Not so important in a rich country, but very important to the third world.

      Finally, the money paid to farmers generally stays in the country. It takes a lot of very expensive equipment to run a modern family farm and it tends to wear out over time. Most of that equipment is produced in the United States by companies like John Deere, and Case to name large companies. But there are also many small companies involved also. Perhaps as many as 10% of all jobs in America are related to agriculture. Unlike most of America, agriculture has recovered from the recent recession and can help the rest of the country through our buying power.
      • 6 Months Ago
      If The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and The American Petroleum Institute, who are the lobbyists for the car and oil companies, are against this, it must be a good thing the EPA is doing. The blend of fuels a motorist wants to use in his car should be his choice and can easily be handled by offering a blend switch at the pump to allow him/her to do so.

      I like the idea of more alcohol in gasoline because I drive race cars and I don't want the oil companies trying to lock me in to using their oil forever when we are trying to get off foreign oil.

      The EPA is trying to save lives and the oil companies are trying pollute everyone to death.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Lad, I am a firm believer that electric cars will soon out-perform ICEs on the race track. With 4 wheel drive, precision torque control on each wheel, smooth acceleration and almost limitless power, I think it is a given. The only problem is range. Someone pointed out to me that race cars have to have frequent tire changes. If the battery could last as long as the tires, then when you pull into the pits, swap the battery along with the tires. So the goal is to make the battery last as long as the tires. How long is that?
        • 6 Months Ago
        Lad, It's a logical fallacy to claim that just because someone who is usually wrong makes a claim, that the claim is thus proven wrong. It is true that this list reads like a lobbying Legion of Doom, but occasionally self interest and public interest do merge. I'm not completely against alcohol as a fuel, but the alcohol we use now is from an awful, environmentally destructive, financially untenable, low energy source, mainly corn. Until that's not true, I'm gonna have to side with the turkeys.
        • 6 Months Ago
        Lots of pro and cons here: to me it sounds like a contest of... which is worse; subsidy for oil companies or for the ethanol industry. Each with a great deal of negative consequences.

        I am aware of what alcohol does to old ICE engines and fuel systems and the food dilemma. However, each day brings us news of how damaging the use of foreign oil is to our economy and oil, in general, is to our environment.

        We have well-paid lobbyists that represent these special interests; but, we depend on our politicians to decide what is best for our people and that's where it can all go wrong, especially if lobbyists use favors and campaign funding to turn politicians away from working for the good of the people.

        • 6 Months Ago
        I like the idea of EV race cars; however, about all they can do is sprint and drag racing at this point in battery development. However, racing a hybrid makes sense until the technology catches up. BTW, some say Toyota is way behind in EVs; not true! see:
        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/07/toyota-hybrid-r.html
        • 6 Months Ago
        Think logically for a moment. If you really believe that the motivation of the oil lobbyists is to increase pollution, you've been watching too much captain planet.

        The oil companies aren't oil companies anymore, they are energy companies, and they are very well compensated for producing ethanol. In fact, they are producing too much ethanol, and in a very wasteful manner. If you look at the amount of oil, water, and pesticide goes into producing ethanol from corn, you can see how grossly inefficient the process is. The only reason it is economical is because not only is corn massively subsidized by the government, but so too is ethanol production. If anything, ethanol should be produced by something more efficient like switchgrass instead of food.

        Secondly, this is expensive for manufacturers of automobiles that have to warranty vehicles as it can and does lead to premature failure of vehicle components in part from plastic and rubber components that age prematurely, and in part because ethanol causes the gasoline to absorb water if not used quickly.

        Look at the aviation industry for example that is very safety conscious for very good reason, people can DIE when their engines fail mid-flight. While I have a certificate to run auto-gas in my airplane, it cannot contain even 10% ethanol. Why?

        Because in that industry, no amount of political lobbying is going to get over the fact that it isn't just forcing people to get rid of their old vehicles as they fail on the road, but kills people. Increased ethanol blends damage engines and reduce fuel economy and range, and in the Houston area it is NOT a choice as there are no pure-gas stations left within a 100 mile radius.

        Trust me, I know, as I have to pay a fortune for aviation fuel, when my aircraft would run just great on 87 octane gas were it not for the ethanol.
      • 6 Months Ago
      I'd like to see independent studies.

      Ethanol is great in fuel cells, not so great in ICEs. There are a good many reasons why burning larger proportions of it isn't a great idea.

      • 6 Months Ago
      BTW, the total world wide consumption of oil is currently around 27 billion barrels each year. If place together it would be a volume of oil that is 1.03 cubic miles, or a mile square that is 5,438 feet tall. Sounds like a lot, but if you spread all that oil uniformly across the entire surface of the Earth, it would take 12 years of the total world’s consumption of oil spread over the entire Earth’s surface to be as thick as a single sheet of standard copier paper.

      The USDA pegs average corn production at about 160 bu/acre, or about 0.2 lbs/sq. ft. That minor amount of corn would contain 1400 BTU’s of energy. Certainly more energy than a thin film of oil. The world’s entire consumption of energy is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy the sun produces in 500 pico Seconds. Or if you will, the length of time it takes light to travel 6 inches (speed of light is 186,000 miles/second). The total amount of energy that falls on the Earth is over 6000 times the amount we consume of “fossil fuels” as well as hydro and wind and solar combined. Agriculture is a very cost effective solar collector.

      Ethanol subsidies go to ethanol producers and fuel processors (read that as big oil companies). I would agree that the oil companies don’t really need the subsidies, but you should also understand it takes about two gallons of crude oil to deliver one gallon of gasoline to your car. The other huge cost of oil is the amount of the defense budget that is spent on making sure the oil can get here from the middle east.
      • 6 Months Ago
      energy? what about the methanol on the bottom of the ocean ?
        • 6 Months Ago
        On the bottom of the ocean is methane hydrate, not methanol or ethanol. Three different molecules. Methane hydrate is a crystalline formation of natural gas (CH4) and water, formed at great pressure and low temperature. It is estimated that twice as much energy is tied up in this form than all the coal, oil and gas reserves in the world.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Hey, if the National Turkey Federation is against it, I'm against it.
        • 6 Months Ago
        You just can't mess with the federation. they are unflappable.
        • 6 Months Ago
        2 Wheeled officially wins COTD.
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