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EPA Death Sentence For Your Car . . . Boat . . . Snowmobile . . .?

The EPA is supposed to announce today a move to encourage sale and use of E15 gasoline for 2007 and newer gasoline fueled cars.

Many vehicle manuacturers say E15 will cause corrosion problems and say that more testing needs to be done, first.

Some claim that using more corn for fuel will drive up food costs.

Many gas retailers don’t want the problems that go with having to sell E10, E15, and E85.

Is the EPA on the right track or out of control ?


Out of control!!! You get less MPG with ethanol. It ruins engines that are not designed to run on it. The only thing it does is make corn farmers richer. Food costs will go up, remember just a few years ago when they started pushing ethanol, food cost increased. It is negative for the environment, fuel for fertilizer, fuel to plant, fuel to harvest, fuel to process into ethanol fuel for transport. This does not include all the land needed to grow and all the water it takes to grow. This is nothing more than a government subsidy for farmers & a screwing for the consumer.

I’d say out of control. At the very least they should be required to post, on the big sign you can see from the street, if the gas is E10, E15, etc. I only own older cars which this stuff is supposedly bad for. I’m sick and tired of pulling into a gas station only to find a sticker on the pump, in about a size 8 font, which states, “The gasoline dispensed from this pump may or may not contain up to a blend of 10% ethanol.”


Hell here in MN they’re trying to push mandated E20.

I’m seriously considering filing a lawsuit against the state if they do. I have 3 cars that will not be happy on E20, and the state should pay to refurbish them if they want to make me buy the gas.

Why lay it all on the EPA? Lift the curtain. Behind most every state action is a fairly clear set of interests. In this case, as knfenimore noted, a very large and powerful agricultural interests. States are certainly actors in their own right, but more often than not are tools.

IMHO ethanol is absolutely a screwed up path to take (esp. if its going to come from corn).

[i]Personally, I reserve my outrage for actual happenings, not speculation about what might happen.[/i] In addition, you speak of the EPA [i]encouraging[/i] the sale of E15 for [i]cars[/i] made after [i]2006[/i]. If that holds true, they would have to keep E10 until there are very few pre-2007 cars on the road.

CSA, based on the information in your original post, E10 isn’t going away, and assuming it would go away any time soon would be crazy.

This reminds me of a story my conservative friend told me yesterday. He said “they” are planning to seize all of our 401(k) accounts and make them public property. When I pressed him for specific information about who “they” are, he answered “Congress.” When I kept pressing him for more information, he finally admitted is was discussion in a House sub-committee. I explained to him lots of bad ideas get discussed in committees that never see the light of day. I told him to let me know when something this outlandish has an actual possibility of being enacted. Until then, I refuse to make mountains out of molehills.

…if they want to make me buy the gas.

Fortunately, even if this happens, nobody is going to hold a gun to your head and make you buy fuel that would hurt your vehicles.

Selling an additional type of fuel wouldn’t necessarily mean not selling E10 anymore. If E20 is recommended for cars that can handle it, they would still need to keep E10 around for the millions of vehicles on the road that can’t handle E15 or E20.

The EPA is so wildly out of control they want to regulate CO2 as an unwanted emission even though it’s not regulated in the Clean Air and Water Act (the courts have blessed this crazyness), have banned incandescent lightbulbs as of 2012 in favor of flourescent bulbs, which contain mercury vapor (breaking one is a hazmat spill), and even want to regulate bovine methane emissions. The EPA is definitely an agency run amok.

And I agree with Cigroller that ethanol is a screwed up path to take and is driven by the politics of the powerful agriculture lobbyists far more than actual science. Producing and distributing ethanol in any significant amount requires huge amounts of petrochemicals and it contains less energy than gasoline, which means it drops gas mileage.

The “using corn” argument is about 5 years behind. There is a lot of new technology whereby the ethanol need not come from the actual grain. Switchgrass, corn husks, cobs, etc can and will be used for future production, lowering cost and having no negative effect on food cost. Let alone the food cost argument was specious to begin with. We grow millions of pounds of surplus every year, much of which goes to waste.

None of those ‘new technologies’ produce significant ethanol at this point.

Yes, but MN is considering mandating that ALL gas be at least E20. So they would be making me buy fuel that would hurt my vehicle.

Great. When they start actually using this, instead of corn, to provide ethanol in the US, let me know and I’ll revisit the issue.

I think the problem is that people aren’t very well-versed in science. If someone tells them that ethanol is awesome because you’re getting your gas from CORN, dude!, then they get all excited about it, and start envisioning dropping a couple ears of corn in your tank and going 300 miles on them. They don’t stop and think about the energy required to get that corngas in your tank.

Same with the bulbs. Yes, CFL lamps do indeed use less energy than incandescent lamps. They also cost more to make, don’t last as long as claimed (oftentimes 3 years, MAYBE, if you’re lucky, instead of the claimed 7), have to be disposed of as hazardous waste, and as you said, are a hazardous spill if they break. But they don’t think about that stuff. They only see “uses less energy” and so it must be good, right?

Do they force you at gunpoint to drive your car? Do they stop you from crossing state lines or going to Canada to buy your fuel?

You make it sound like you are the marionette and your state government is pulling the strings. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.

To its credit, the agricultural community has found and/or developed markets for almost all of their byproducts, including but not limited to foodstuffs for the livestock industry, fillers for other animal foood industries, and recycling to replenish the soil. The perception that millions of tons of byproduct exist that could be used to produce ethanol has, I believe, proven not to be correct.

PBS had a special a while back on the impact that ethanol production in the southwest has had on the cost of food staples in that area, and it has been substantial, raising the price of corn to a level that’s causing suffering amongst the poorest peoples along the border. And that special did not even address the costs in terms of petrochemical use to produce ethanol, it only addressed the impact of ethanol production on the corn prices and its impact on the poor of the region.

OMG, do you sound like an alarmist! A broken CFL isn’t a “hazmat spill.” The amount of Mercury in a CFL is so small, the only way for you to poison yourself would be to lick the broken glass.

…the amount (of mercury) contained in each bulb is barely enough to cover the tip of a ballpoint pen, and won’t cause any bodily harm as long as simple precautions are taken. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association has voluntarily imposed a limit of 5 milligrams per bulb on all CFLs sold in the United States?about 1 percent of the mercury contained in an old home thermometer. Since manufacturers are well aware that health fears are preventing the widespread adoption of CFLs, most have committed to making bulbs with even less mercury than NEMA’s standard. The average CFL bulb now contains around 4 milligrams of mercury, and that figure should drop closer to 2 milligrams in the very near future. Much of the credit for these reductions goes to Wal-Mart, which has pressured GE, Royal Phillips, and Osram Sylvania to cut down on the quicksilver.

The irony of CFLs is that they actually reduce overall mercury emissions in the long run. Despite recent improvements in the industry’s technology, the burning of coal to produce electricity emits roughly 0.023 milligrams of mercury per kilowatt-hour. Over a year, then, using a 26-watt CFL in the average American home (where half of the electricity comes from coal) will result in the emission of 0.66 milligrams of mercury. For 100-watt incandescent bulbs, which produce the identical amount of light, the figure is 2.52 milligrams.*

You will get no argument from me about corn-based ethanol being a failure, but when you rail against the EPA regulating smokestack emissions, which happens to be its job, you lose me.

Here is a list of common-sense precautions to take when cleaning up a broken CFL ---->

So you think I should have to use half a tank of gas driving to another state or another country to buy gas? That’s kind of impractical isn’t it?

As for forcing me to drive my car: Public transportation here, while it’s getting better, still sucks. Unless I’m going into the Twin Cities from a suburb or vice versa, there are no public transportation options for me to take that will go where I need them to go. So yes, thanks to its lax attention to public transportation, the government is forcing me to drive my car in order to conduct normal daily life.

Keep in mind that Minnesota is one of the states that gleefully allowed the car makers to buy up all the streetcar lines and shut them down. They dove headlong into the car era. Fine. Then don’t pass laws that damage the cars that your actions forced us to have to use.

No, I don’t think you should have to drive to another state or country, I just think it is melodramatic to act as though this is being forced upon you when (a) it hasn’t been, (b) it probably won’t be, and © you control your life choices, not the government. In other words, if this were passed, your choices would be (a) buy your fuel elsewhere, (b) don’t buy fuel, or © become active in government to undo this poor choice, whether through activism or running for office. The fact that you think this would amount to you being forced to buy harmful fuel seems silly to me when you would have other choices at your disposal. Yes, those alternative choices are unpalatable, but they are choices.

Are we jumping the gun here a bit? What exactly and specifically is the EPA proposal? We get all fired up with opinions and paranoia without taking time to get the facts.

Settle down. The world isn’t coming to an end.

Right now it is not a good idea. Encouraging alternatives like Corn based fuels. is a good idea. Requiring a high percentage of use, is not yet good. We need more experience. We also need to do additional research on the real cost of using corn or other plant sources of energy. One of many has found that based on their study, the use of corn for fuel is more expensive than oil and more harmful to the environment. You need to consider all the cost (like fertilizer, running the tractor etc.) and the environmental harm caused in producing the product.

This is going to go on for a long time before we get really trustworthy data.