Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Ethanol subsidies bad for America

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Congratulations are in order to the Sun for the column Sunday written by University of Alabama professor Andrew Morriss revealing how the ethanol lobby is picking our pockets even though we are using ethanol fuel in our cars.

He mentions that ethanol fuels are damaging to a car’s fuel system. The E85 blend available in most areas is OK to use in most newer cars that are flex-fuel designated; otherwise, they are very damaging to the fuel lines, reduce lubricants’ effectiveness and reduce gas mileage.

He failed to point out that as early as last year, an E15 blend was made available in some states. The EPA insisted the blend had been tested extensively for its safety. However, soon after its use, AAA issued a warning against its use in most cars. Most major auto manufacturers warned that the use of E15 would void the warranty and any claims for fuel line damage would not be honored.

Since the lobbyists persuaded Congress to force ethanol fuels on us, Americans have paid the price in more expensive cars, lesser quality fuels and higher food prices. With the ethanol subsidies, farmers change their food production to corn, seeing a real bonanza. Land converted to corn lowers the production of other crops, and the higher prices for feed corn causes the prices of meat and dairy products to skyrocket.

Who would be hurt by loss of subsidies? Distillers with their big checkbooks, lobbyists through loss of fees and congressmen with open palms.

Who would gain? The American public through cheaper food and more efficient cars. Keep gas in our cars and ethanol in whiskey.

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  1. Another bright idea from the Government's EPA that backfired. Just like Lisa Jackson's use of a bogus name and email account. The latter resulted in her resignation. The former hurts Americans in the pocket book.


  2. Motorsports et al:

    "As if our current ethanol requirements are not enough, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has upped the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent for vehicles of model year 2001 and newer. Some American consumers are astute enough to recognize that their mileage per gallon of gasoline declined with the 10 percent blend currently in use, thereby increasing the frequency of fill-ups. Now that trend will be increased if EPA has its way. Ethanol is 34 percent less efficient than gasoline, does little to decrease our greenhouse gas emissions, is heavily subsidized, and has been accused of increasing food prices both directly and indirectly through livestock feed costs.

    The EPA's decision made in October 2010 to allow a 15 percent blend of ethanol into the gasoline mix for model year 2007 and newer cars seems to be motivated largely by politics since that decision was made before the 2010 election where candidates in Midwestern corn states could tout the decision to voters. A further evidence of the politics involved is witnessed by the House of Representatives voting 286 to 135 to block the EPA from using federal funds to implement the increased ethanol volume in gasoline in the continuing resolution to keep the government funded while the fiscal year 2011 budget is being debated.

    Among those opposing the E15 implementation are the
    National Automobile Dealers Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers who fear that E15 will damage older cars whose owners mistakenly use E15, that service repairmen could misdiagnosis engine problems by not realizing that the wrong fuel was used, and that damage could occur to the engine, catalytic converter, vehicle diagnostic tests, and/or the check engine light.
    Engine Products Group who represent carmakers and manufacturers of small engines for boats, snowmobiles, and lawnmowers who fear damage to their products.
    Food industries who fear that increased corn demand will...." [you can read the rest if you like.]

    If Hollywood/Oscars gave awards for creative regulatory overreach [like the head or the agency using a bogus email account for business], the EPA would sweep the field.


  3. "and Rusty and Carmine are nowhere to be found. Let that help you figure out who is right." @ Motorsports

    I can't speak for Rusty, but can conclude that he is obviously a genius.


  4. We need to get rid of the ethanol gas....