Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota says that we could soon be producing too much ethanol for our own use. The U.S. is currently using 140 billion gallons of gasoline a year. According to North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, there could be an oversupply of ethanol by 2010.
In North Dakota, site of an ethanol summit sponsored by the Senator, there are 15,000 E85 capable vehicles on the road, but only 30 E85 pumps in the state. There are issues in North Dakota when using 85 percent ethanol, even in vehicles capable of that percentage, because of the cold weather the state faces in the winter months. A possible solution is to use a smaller percentage of ethanol in the gasoline blend, perhaps 30 to 40 percent. This is a problem, however, for the owners of refilling stations, who say that offering that many blends is not economically feasible as it would cause too many pumps offering too many grades of gasoline.
Most in attendance agreed that the U.S. Government should revise its federal renewable fuels standards to require more ethanol in blends. Additionally, 80 percent of residents in North Dakota support a 10 percent ethanol blend requirement, and 87 percent believe there should be a tax benefit for using it. As is often the case, the summit concluded with just as many questions as answers as to fixing North Dakota's ethanol production versus use, and it may well be that way for the rest of the country as well. We would love to hear any of your opinions on the subject in the comments.
[Source: Iowa Farmer Today]