Big Oil companies help keep renewable fuels out of your tank, a new report shows. No surprise there, right? The Renewable Fuels Association published a report card grading the country's largest retail gasoline chains on fuel offerings like E85 and E15. The report gave failing grades, with less than one percent of stations offering E15 or E85, to "Big Five" companies Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, among other oil company and convenience/grocery store brands. The only major oil comp
At the end of the month, Missouri will begin to allow the sale of the controversial E15 fuel. Currently, most available gasoline is sold as a blend with up to 10 percent ethanol. Missouri will become the 13th state to approve the 15-percent ethanol blend to be sold at the pump.
One recent report from Nature Geoscience will have ethanol advocates convinced that Big Oil's political influence goes far beyond the reach of US borders. That publication, according to Nebraska's Grand Island Independent, says that greater use of ethanol as a light-duty vehicle fuel actually boosts smog levels. That runs counter to many other reports on the subject, though ethanol's environmental prospects have, like everything else related to the subject, been a subject of debate.
The fight over converting the national supply of gasoline from a maximum 10-percent ethanol blend (known as E10) to E15 have quieted down somewhat when it comes to passenger cars. For other applications - like "motorcycles and nonroad products" - the struggle continues.
The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."
Some of the largest retailers in the US are trying to inject either a little good sense or paranoia into part of their customer base. Lowe's, Walmart and True Value are putting out written warnings about the dangers of filling up non-light-duty-vehicle engines with fuel that contains a higher ethanol blend. It's all part of a campaign backed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), which represents 100 small-engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment makers.
Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency to issue its final ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Over 110,000 signatures were collected by the group VoteVets.org (often politically active on energy issues), which delivered its petition with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Over 35,000 of those signatures were from veterans and military family members.
In late 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed – for the first time ever – a slight slacking of the 2014 renewable fuel standard. The reason was that the US is coming up on the 'blend wall,' the overall level of ethanol in the national gasoline supply where adding any more biofuel would push the average blend in 'normal' gas above 10 percent. As we know, this is a contentious issue. So contentious that, as the EPA collects comments about the rule change, almost 1
How bad is ethanol for your engine? There's been a lot of debate on this issue as the US considers upping the biofuel content in the national gasoline supply from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15). The ethanol industry and some scientists say higher ethanol blends show no "meaningful differences" in new engines while the oil industry says ethanol creates health risks. Researchers working at the Ford Research and Innovation Center decided to take a closer look at how a wide range of gas-ethano
In the simplest terms, when higher-ethanol blend fuels spill, they can make buildings go boom. And the study that says this was funded, in part, by Chevron and Shell as well as the American Petroleum Institute, while the report was generated by Rice University in Houston. All clear on the players? Good. Let's proceed.
A public meeting room was packed recently as the US Environmental Protection listened to comments about its recent Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) decision. About 300 people packed the room, and the two sides were clearly marked. Some people were biofuel producers or Iowa farmers wearing "Don't Mess with RFS" buttons; others wore "Save my Engine" t-shirts handed out by Energy Citizens, a group funded by American Petroleum Institute.
December 1st marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first gas station in the US. It's an interesting anniversary, and ethanol advocates are using the occasion to tout the advantages of corn-based fuel, Domestic Fuel reports. The Renewable Fuels Association says Americans can save as much as a dollar a gallon using ethanol and about 65 cents a gallon (in Michigan, at least) using an 85-percent ethanol blend (aka E85). About 15.5 million US vehicles are of the flex-fuel variety, while
The story of Neil Young and his Lincvolt has had its ups and downs. From an idea first made public in 2008 to its SEMA debut in 2010, the 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible was shepherded through a lot of engineering work by the Canadian rocker to become an E85-burning plug-in hybrid. In late 2010, the car caught fire but Young brought it back to life earlier this year. Long may you run, indeed.