More ethanol, please!

I just caught a side bar on television mention that an immediate increase from E10 to E15 is somewhat certain. Why are we being robbed with watered down gasoline with no complaint from the people we sent to represent us? Raising the tax on pure gasoline 25c would be better in my NSHO…

Why? Farmers, more than most of us, are hurting from the “easy to win” trade war with China. Anything that can increase demand for agricultural products like soybeans, pork, corn will raise the price the suffering farmers can get for their products and reduce the amount of subsidies the taxpayers are paying them. In place of subsidies, we will pay more per mile to drive our cars, and more for products from China we buy.


I’m trying to think who those people might be … lol …

Cars do not like too much ethanol

We would do better if they left the ethanol out but charged us for it and sent the money to the farmers to take a vacation.

Farmer and vacation are pretty close to mutually exclusive terms. One reason, here in WI and MN at least, is there are not enough agricultural workers to help run a farm or ranch. Also many farm spouses have to work off premises to provide income and health insurance.

That would be too lame easy… besides it would not give a piece of pie to the car makers to replace the older cars which will start failing on E10->E15 transition as they are plain not designed to offset that much ethanol

Are we talking an E15 option on the pump, or actually phasing out E10?
I’m fine with the first case.

Partially true, but they weren’t hurting from any trade war with China when they first foisted this little scam on the public some 20 years ago. Back then they were just looking to make more money, which is fine, and they strong-armed their political representatives to legally mandate that they make more money, which is not.

For a good many years in farm country as farmers were buying into co-ops that built ethanol plants literally in the middle of farm fields, even mentioning that ethanol was BS from an automotive point of view got extremely hostile reactions.

I remember one reporter friend of mine who ran a story about ethanol’s failure to live up to its “better mileage, cleaner emissions, saves gas” fluffery, pointing out that at some point the public would become aware of this and not want ethanol, and all those co-ops that had all the farmers’ money tied up in them would go bust. And he got angry calls and a couple of death threats, but 10 years later, a whole lot of the co-ops did indeed go bust and the farmers lost their investments.

Ethanol is a scam, plain and simple. But it’s a scam that’s backed by the farm lobby, and the farm lobby is very powerful in the breadbasket, so it’s going to take politicians of courage who are willing to sacrifice their re-election chances to stop it.


The politics of ethanol is twisted and convoluted in both parties and difficult to decipher. Politicians choose their words to enable them to deny criticism from any source. But indications are that mid-west farmers are banking on increased demand for ethanol holding corn prices high based on political double speak that seems to assure increasing the ethanol blend from 10% to 15% or higher. It’s amazing how much opposition their is to the ethanol yet so little is mentioned of the opposition in the media or press.


This is a pet issue of Liddle Donnie’s. Remember when alcohol and gasoline didn’t mix?

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I really don’t care to get into this again but back then we were under the thumb of OPEC and the economic issues that brought. Relatives made money selling corn to the ethanol plants but still it supplemented gas and seemed like a renewable fuel. Times have changed and we likely don’t need it anymore but still need to find a market for corn. Gotta remember now though that many individual farmers have been replaced by large scale corporations. At any rate I can see both sides but don’t like the stuff. The next war though is on natural gas so hang on to your seat.

I believe that it is up to 15% ethanol and not a mandate to put 15% in gasoline. Some places, like Midwest corn states, might want to mandate close to 15%, but I don’t think that will happen outside Big Corn areas. I think Maryland allows up to 15%, but doesn’t mandate it. Our new Odyssey can run on up to 15% ethanol gasoline, but not a higher percentage. It would be imprudent to demand 15%. There would likely be more than 15% occasionally, and that could hurt even the newer vehicles that can stand the higher ethanol blends.

If ethanol were as costly for everyone in time and cash as it has been for me I feel sure that there would be considerably more public outrage against it @Bing. But of course many people deal with the problems caused by ethanol and never look into the cause they just repair and replace equipment and move on. From the beginning I considered it another scam. So far everything I see confirms that.


I do agree to your take on this, but want some “accents” added.

I do agree that pushing ethanol content above certain percentage became some kind of fetish… with a strong financial strings attached

Still, some (like 5% or so) was not a bad thing from the perspective of getting an inexpensive replacement for other additives used to boost the octane rating and to make for a cleaner burn.

Unfortunately, once lobby started pulling the strings and beating the drums of ecology benefits and energy independence (?!?!?!), it went way out of hands.

I have the perfect solution. The POTUS should “order” everyone to love ethanol-laced gasoline.
If he can “order” private corporations to do certain things, certainly he can “order” US citizens to stop complaining and to fill their tanks–with glee–with this stuff.

Problem solved!


No need, as the “usual way” would work more reliably.

Every news outlet will be filled with preaching of “ecology benefit” and … pick your best next shot on why it is in our interest.

Any reasonable argument will be drowned in this flood.

Agreed. as an MTBE replacement, it was fine. Once it became “we’re gonna make gas out of this stuff, only it’s not really gas and adding it to gas in these quantities will essentially water down the gas but who cares because money,” it was very much not-fine.


And on the issue of gasoline and its value, how often will the markets re-name oil? Light Sweet Crude, West Texas Intermediate, now NYMEX(?)

And trying to get the low down on corn and ethanol from the agricultural commodities media is a real pain. But watching Ag tv has given me continued insight into how farmers put a lot of value in the 30 year old tractors with less technology than current models. Forty + year old JD 4020s bring some great prices. I wonder if like me those farmers appreciate the ‘classics’ for daily drivers?

No. They’d just as soon be running the self-driving GPS-enabled modern tractors as the old stuff, but until legislation gets passed forbidding copyright claims from preventing them working on their own equipment, some of them will stick with the old stuff.