Writing in the Washington Times, William O'Keefe says U.S. automakers are using their "green" E85 campaigns to divert attention from a generous federal tax loophole that is creating an artificial market for ethanol.
He notes that there are estimates that E85 production can rise to 18 billion gallons by 2015. But because ethanol contains less energy than gasoline, only 11 billions of gasoline will be saved. That's less than seven percent of the project gasoline supply.
O'Keefe says the future of ethanol can't depend on corn, but even if all other forms of biomass were turned into fuel, the net result wouldn't be a third of the demand for transportation fuel in this country.
He points to the marketing advantage of pushing E85 when the automaker's real motivation is gaining CAFÉ credits
O'Keefe says there are more readily available technologies that can improve fuel mileage by 20 percent and notes that Asian automakers "seem to understand this."
[Source: The Washington Times]