02 May 2006

"Ethenol!" Cried the Easily Led

Shakespeare at the pump:

If there were ever a time when the truth in advertising standards should be put back into place, it's now -- during the current (third) attempt to convince the public that the massive use of corn-derived ethanol in our gasoline supply will alleviate our need for foreign oil. Ultimately, the answer to just one question determines ethanol's actual usefulness as a gasoline extender: "If the government hadn't mandated this product, would it survive in a free market?" Doubtful -- but the misinformation superhighway has been rerouted to convince the public its energy salvation is at hand.

At the site, www.fueleconomy.gov, which confirms the 25% to 30% drop in mileage resulting from the use of this blended fuel, another feature lets users calculate and compare annual fuel costs using regular gasoline to costs using E85. But the government site's automatic calculations are based on E85 selling for 37 cents per gallon less than regular gasoline, when the USA Today article reports that at many stations in the Midwest E85 is actually selling for 13 cents per gallon more than ordinary gas. Using the corrected prices for both gasoline and E85, the annual cost of fueling GM's Suburban goes from $2,709 to $3,763.

Darn facts . . .

1 comment:

flamer said...

We use something like 400 years of oil every year. That is to say, we use about 400 years worth of fossils to power our planet for one year.
So we need to grow 60 years worth of corn every year to have enough for the E85 program.
No problem.
There's a ton of rainforest acreage we're not using...