Ethanol “Gross Exaggerations”
Proponents (generally investors) say that ethanol is the hope of the
future and the answer to energy independence. They say it reduces
air pollution, and greenhouse gasses.
They also say that it is
economically competitive, and that it is a renewable energy source.
Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Now let’s apply ‘factual and
mathematical’ data to each claim.
Claim 1: Ethanol will provide energy independence!
Reality, there simply
isn’t enough land.
If “all” corn (every stalk) grown in the United States last year
were used to produce ethanol (not food, not feed), it would address
only 18% of fuel needs for gasoline powered vehicles. If we convert
“all” of our current farmland to nothing but corn production we
could cover possibly 80% of our need!
Claim 2: Ethanol is economically competitive:
Reality, it is more expensive.
According to a detailed 2005 report by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, corn-based ethanol costs $2.53 (several times more than
it costs to produce a gallon of gasoline.)
What goes into that cost?
1.) You have to plant the corn – plowing and planting requires
2.) You have to grow the corn – requires fertilizers and tractors to
3.) You have to harvest the corn – requires tractors or harvesters
to pick the corn
4.) You have to truck the corn to the processing plant – requires
trucks (and/or trains)
5.) You have to process the corn into ethanol which requires energy
in the form of electricity
Claim 3: Ethanol will drive gas prices down:
Reality, it increases the price
Adding this more expensive concoction to gasoline raises the price
of gasoline. Ethanol is twice as expensive as gasoline in the
Claim 4: Ethanol reduces air pollution:
Reality, it produces more pollutants
A thorough review of a scientific study conducted by Robert Niven
found that, when evaporative emissions E10 fuel (10% ethanol and 90%
gasoline) total hydrocarbons, non-methane organic compounds, and air
toxics emissions increased over conventional gasoline tested alone.
With ethanol use there are greater concentrations of photochemical
smog and toxic compounds. The bottom line, the pollution is worse
for E85 or ethanol-based fuels.
Claim 5: Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions:
Reality, it produces
emissions equal to gasoline use.
Virtually all scientific studies
show that the greenhouse gases associated with ethanol are virtually
equal to conventional gasoline once we examine the entire life-cycle
of the two fuels. Ethanol as part of an anti-global warming policy
is what academics refer to as “crazy talk.”
Claim 6: Ethanol helps make gasoline go further:
Reality, it reduces your
In a number of tests conducted by various automotive industry
publishers and independent labs, it has been ‘validated’ that
ethanol actually reduces the miles-per-gallon efficiency of your car
by 10% (it lowers the octane rating).
Doing the Math: If your car gets 30 miles per gallon and you drive 600
miles you use 20 gallons of gas. (600 miles divided by 30 mph =20
Now if you use E10 (which is 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline), you car
will now require 22 gallons of fuel to do the same trip. Considering
that E10 costs as much as regular unleaded, what have you saved? The
answer is easy . . . nothing!
The Danger They Don't Want You
to Know About!
public has not been told that E-85 is very volatile and quite
dangerous . . . instead it is promoted as a clean and renewable
"Green" fuel source for the future. (E-85 is composed of 85%
ethanol and 15% gasoline.)
If you spill one gallon of E-85 and try to wash it away with
five gallons of water, you have now created six gallons of highly
Think about that . . . if a tanker over turns on the highway, your
local fire department will have a serious problem on it's hands.
Can you imagine thousands of gallons of explosive E-85
running through the sewers under your home or business.
One such accident did occur this
year on U.S. I-95 and the raging fire burned out of control and
melted a railroad overpass.
Body shops are required to have special equipment and follow special
safety and storage precautions when dealing with vehicles using
E-85. Also special foam fire extinguishers are required.
(Do you have an E-85 vehicle in your garage?)
Many people are now using E-85 in older cars not equipped to burn it
thinking that they are somehow benefiting the environment by using
it. CAUTION if your car is not designed to run on E-85
DO NOT USE E-85 your car may catch fire (violently).
E-85 and Ethanol are highly
corrosive and cannot be transferred through a pipeline and must be
stored in special containers until mixed with gasoline. Think
about what it is doing to the internal components of your car.
(gasoline was engineered to be non-corrosive) Think about a
neighbor who may be storing a couple of gallons of E-85 in his
garage. How close is his house to yours?
Boats and personal water craft that now use E-85 leak some amount of
the fuel into our lakes and rivers . . . See Danger #1. and
remember Cleveland Ohio's Cuyahoga River that actually caught fire
in 1969 due to industrial pollutants. Do we want that?
Health: New medical studies indicate that fuels like E-85 and
Ethanol appear to contribute negatively (a higher risk) to
individuals with or a pre-disposition toward respiratory ailments
such as asthma.
So why are we being told it's safe? Easy answer . . . there's
not much profit in the word "dangerous."