Ethanol won't help, and will raise costs

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Barrons writer Curt Thacker reported recently that although consumers "will feel they're paying an arm and a leg for nearly all goods in 2008 due to rising commodity costs, the meat and poultry counter could hold some deals."

That is the good news, but the bad news is the increasing feed costs, as more corn is diverted to ethanol production. ...

Our politicians apparently never took Economics 101 or looked at the effects of using food such as corn to make ethanol. Ethanol should only be made from non-food material, to avoid inflation and reduced food supply to Third World countries. ...

They also do not understand that when full production is reached, ethanol will only replace 2 percent of the gasoline needed. They also did not consider the negative effects of ethanol, such as its corrosive effect on pipes and engines. It cannot be moved by pipeline, it requires transport by trucks we don't have, we lack storage facilities, and it must be trucked long distances from the Midwest to the users in the East.

Ethanol efficiency is 15 to 20 percent less than pure gasoline, and ethanol production requires more energy than it produces. I am waiting to hear something positive about ethanol to justify all the problems. I don't accept the claims that it will be a significant replacement for oil.

Corn prices have doubled in the past two years, which resulted in growers planting more corn at the expense of other grains. Congress, which brags about saving gasoline by promoting ethanol, is comprised primarily of lawyers instead of engineers, economists and history majors who are able to understand economics.

Perhaps that is the problem, which could be changed in November if only the voters can understand the cause of the insanity.

Robert E. Entwistle, Martinez

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DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 02/26/08 - 07:48 am
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Our politicians DID take

Our politicians DID take Economics 101 but George Bush got a D grade in that class.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 08:02 am
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Thank you for making this

Thank you for making this obvious and common knowledge point that so many choose to ignore. This point has been made in various media for the past 6 months and it's still a secret to many. I think the greenies have a power over the easily tricked and politicians that go along with this project (under its current circumstances) are just taking advantage of taxpayers and aren't helping the country.

lord griggs1947
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lord griggs1947 02/26/08 - 08:32 am
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And, Robert there is the

And, Robert there is the possibility that ethanol would further add to climate change.I didn't know of those other side effects of ethanol, I thought there would be more corn production, thus helping corn producers to make more money. What about Brazil's reliance on ethanol? Well, how can farmers then make more money ?

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 08:35 am
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Please Please Please study

Please Please Please study your topic fully before generating an article. Your articles contents appears to be gleaned from other false publications on the newswires.
Your one sided view makes you appear to be an irresponsible jounalist.

http://www.ethanolrfa.org/objects/pdf/outlook/RFA_Outlook_2008.pdf

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 08:58 am
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"will feel they're paying an

"will feel they're paying an arm and a leg for nearly all goods in 2008 due to rising commodity costs, the meat and poultry counter could hold some deals."
WHAT ABOUT THE HIGH OIL PRICES AFFECT?

That is the good news, but the bad news is the increasing feed costs, as more corn is diverted to ethanol production. ...
ETHANOL USES ONLY THE KERNELS SUGAR, NOT THE PROTEIN & STARCH LEFT IN DISTILLER GRAINS FOR CATTLE FEED

Our politicians apparently never took Economics 101 or looked at the effects of using food such as corn to make ethanol. Ethanol should only be made from non-food material, to avoid inflation and reduced food supply to Third World countries. ...
IN 1996 THE PRICE OF CORN PEAKED AT $6/BUSHEL. FOOD PRICES WERE FLAT BECAUSE OIL WAS ONLY $18/BL.

They also did not consider the negative effects of ethanol, such as its corrosive effect on pipes and engines.
U of M RESEARCH HAS PROVEN UP TO 20% ETHANOL BLEND HAS NO HARMFULL AFFECTS ON EITHER.

It cannot be moved by pipeline, it requires transport by trucks we don't have, we lack storage facilities, and it must be trucked long distances from the Midwest to the users in the East.
NEW ETHANOL PIPELINE COMING

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 09:07 am
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Ethanol efficiency is 15 to

Ethanol efficiency is 15 to 20 percent less than pure gasoline, and ethanol production requires more energy than it produces.
ETHANOL CRITICS USED TO SAY 30% LESS. ITS GETTING BETTER EVERYDAY!
I am waiting to hear something positive about ethanol to justify all the problems. READ AND LEARN BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE BEFORE REPORTING
I don't accept the claims that it will be a significant replacement for oil. I DON'T EITHER, BUT EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON DOMESTIC ETHANOL STAYS IN OUR ECONOMY AND REPLACES A DOLLAR SPENT ON FOREIGN OIL.

Corn prices have doubled in the past two years, which resulted in growers planting more corn at the expense of other grains.
WRONG! RESEARCH THE IMPACT OF HIGHER CORN YIELDS.

Congress, which brags about saving gasoline by promoting ethanol, is comprised primarily of lawyers instead of engineers, economists and history majors who are able to understand economics. READ THE ETHANOL IMPACT STUDIES BY THE EPA AND THEN PRINT A RETRACTION

Perhaps that is the problem, which could be changed in November if only the voters can understand the cause of the insanity.
AGREED, VOTERS MUST EXAMINE BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE. YOURS IS GROSSLY ONE SIDED.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 02/26/08 - 09:07 am
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Thank you, Mr. Entwhistle,

Thank you, Mr. Entwhistle, for reminding us that ETHANOL PRODUCTION REQUIRES MORE ENERGY THAN IT PRODUCES.

fredinaiken
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fredinaiken 02/26/08 - 09:09 am
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For the umteenth time DON'T

For the umteenth time DON'T USE CORN TO MAKE ETHANOL, USE CELLULOSE! We can and do produce enough cellulose to make all the motor fuel we need. When we studied ethanol production at SRP in 1980 Dr. Bud Webb, head of Ag. Engineering at Clemson, pointed out that we could turn corn stalks and wheat straw into all the motor fuel we need, and that the underused lands of the Southeast can and do produce massive amounts of cellulose (pulp wood).

Sure ethanol production requires significant quantities of energy; thus the proposal that we cluster ethanol plants around new power reactors at SRS.

Let's happily use the the oil we have, including shale oil if that is economically feasible, and then ease into ethanol from cellulose using new SRS power reactors to make SRS neighbors all as rich as arab oil kings!

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 09:25 am
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I am in the business of

I am in the business of selling gasoline and I will tell you now that this is all "politics." Gasohol is stupid because it does not address the problem.....consumption. It is called "CORNOGRAPHIC" because it was promoted by Bob Dole and the midwest farm industrial complex. It is being sold in Augusta now.....why....because the tax exemptions on ethanol brings the cost down to below straight gasoline. But when there is a short supply of the ethanol, the cost WILL go up. Ethanol is actually only 66% as efficient as gasoline, so where will you first notice the difference? In your miles per gallon. Ethanol amounts to nothing but a filler. If you went to the Fresh Market and bought hamburger meat you would think you are getting the best, right? But what if on the news that night you heard that Fresh Market puts oatmeal in their hamburger meat. I mean it has benefits....good for your cholesteral, fiber, etc....but they use it as an extender, a filler, to keep the price down, make it go further, would you be as satisfied as before the news. Well that is the way you should feel about ethanol in your gasoline.

mojo
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mojo 02/26/08 - 09:49 am
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Robert - here are a few

Robert - here are a few points you failed to find in what was undoubltedly flawed research: Ethanol is in use today in most vehicles on the road (along with boats, motorcycles, etc.) - it's blended into fuel (up to 10 to 15%) in vehicles built to accomodate the fuel (all cars manufatured - it's a government required specification). Today millions of vehicles are on the road that can accomodate up to 85% ethanol. Yes source products can be home grown - a point with many benefits - first it would allow us to reduce the amount sent overseas every day for oil imports over a BILLION dollars A DAY. That's a TRILLON dollars a year with much ending up in the hands of enemies of this courtry. Farmers are not your personal charity - they're business people - if demand for a product goes up then so will the ability to produe said product and prices will equalize. Stop looking for answers to the wrong questions in the wrong place. All-in-all a pathetic example of an uninformed LTE writer.

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 10:04 am
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Mojo- that "billion dollars a

Mojo- that "billion dollars a day" is just plain wrong. How do you think they make the ethanol.....with fossil fuels. And the E85....why do you think the car manufacturers even make them when there is no access to a supply of E85? Because they can comply with the CAFE mileage standard mandate. How? Because they only count the 15% that is gasoline to calculate the mileage! All of this is baloney politics. And no it is not everywhere. If you owned a $25000 bass boat would you choose gasohol or gasoline? I want my customers to know what they are getting. Better keep some extra fuel filters with you out there on the water. Ever heard of phase separation because of water?

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 10:09 am
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E20/E30 ethanol blends

E20/E30 ethanol blends actually increases fuel mileage in some domestic cars.

Critics should read the entire study before commenting.
http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/ACE_Optimal_Ethanol_Blend_Level_S...

backpage
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backpage 02/26/08 - 10:11 am
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what he said!!

what he said!!

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 10:15 am
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readthis- As a seller of

readthis- As a seller of gasoline, your allegiance to the gas industry is clear.
But refering to the 2008 Ethanol industry as 1977 "Gasohol" is equally clear your out of date with your research of the Ethanol industry and its clear benefits for the future.

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 10:17 am
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scob
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scob 02/26/08 - 10:22 am
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I remember watching a show on

I remember watching a show on discovery or the science channel about alternate fuel. They said that Buffalo grass produced twice the ethanol that corn does and without all the upkeep that Corn requires. Cat tails were also found to be a better source than corn, just harder to harvest.

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 10:31 am
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History of Gasohol and

History of Gasohol and Ethanol

readthis-and become educated

http://www.runet.edu/~wkovarik/papers/fuel.html

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 10:43 am
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Gasohol and E10 are the same

Gasohol and E10 are the same thing. I am prepared to test your mileage claim. I want 100 car drivers to sign up. 50 will use gasoline for a month and 50 will use gasohol for a month. A record of the odometers will be kept, all purchases will be made at the same stores, the grades of fuel will be the same. The average miles per gallon for the 50 cars of each fuel will be compared. The winning fuel will get a full page ad in the Chronicle announcing the winner, paid by me. I want to know instead of relying on third party research. And I want my customers to know the truth.

Daddyrabbit
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Daddyrabbit 02/26/08 - 10:43 am
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If more and more corn is

If more and more corn is diverted to make fuel meat and poultry prices will also balloon! What do you think these animals eat? Fuel prices could be brought down by regulation, but, there's no interest in that it appears. Isn't if strange how these fuel prives jumped over night. Check your local merchant also. some of them are buying off brand gasoline and selling at their inflated prices. Gasoline is not all the same. Have any of you ever bought gas from a certain location and the next day you check engine light is on until part of a fresh tank? Another thing is that everyone is conditioned to expect higher prices. Couldn't they be helping it along?

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 10:51 am
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I can tell you anything you

I can tell you anything you want to know about the price of gasoline and diesel.

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 11:03 am
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readthis-After reading the U

readthis-After reading the U of M study, I personally tested differant ethanol blends in a non-E85, 1995 Ford Taurus Wagon.

Splash blending in the tank is simple.
3/4 tank 10% ethanol gas, topped off with 1/4 tank E85.
for a 13 gallon tank this amounts to between 25-30% ethanol blend.

For over 6 months my vehicle burns cleaner, more power, no cold start issues, and believe it or not, I get 8-12% better mileage.

I'm getting premium grade fuel at an overall cost of 20% less than regular unleaded gas.

Oh, Your 100 driver challenge is an interesting marketing tactic to increase your business, unless your willing to fund the fuel to prove your point.

facts
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facts 02/26/08 - 11:05 am
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"I can tell you anything you

"I can tell you anything you want to know about the price of gasoline and diesel."

From a strictly biased point of view?

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 11:30 am
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I doubt your personal

I doubt your personal experience and I certainly doubt the possibility of finding a linear experience with 50 other cars. Why would you consider this a marketing tactic? I could not possibly pay for the fuel for such an experiment. The only thing you are getting is more octane. Ethanol has a 119 octane rating. You are putting out more nitrous oxide (smog), no carbon monoxide, about the same carbon dioxide. And again, the net effect is NOTHING......except politically.

Mrs Genevive Bait
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Mrs Genevive Bait 02/26/08 - 11:44 am
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I run my car on rendered hog

I run my car on rendered hog fat. Whenever I cook bacon I save the grease and pour it into my gas tank. (after I strain the little bits of bacon out, of course) This is cheap and works very well. It also means that I have a delicious bacon and egg breakfast each morning so I can get out and about. My cholesterol is not that high and I feel great. The only downside is that dogs chase me wherever I go.

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 11:49 am
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That would actually almost

That would actually almost work if you had a diesel car instead of gas.

Lou Stewall
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Lou Stewall 02/26/08 - 12:25 pm
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This was a great letter Mr.

This was a great letter Mr. Entwistle. The destruction of forests (which absorbs CO2) to plant 15% more corn makes this biofuel effort rather ridiculous. Consider that 15% more fertilizer gets washed into the Gulf creating an even bigger dead zone where no fish can live. World unrest is growing due to food shortages. Riots have happened in Mexico and Indonesia due to the increased soybean and corn prices. The fact that biofuels have to be subsidized is a strong argument that the idea is stupid. Invest in POT and SYT and you could make enough to offset food price inflation in this false economy which creates false demand and rocks the world's supply of food.

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 01:07 pm
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If anyone is serious about

If anyone is serious about oil dependence then work on consumption. I could cut the demand for fuel in half with only three rules. Reduce the maximum speed limit to 55. Give a fuel tax break to vehicles with more than one driving age occupant. Charge a fuel tax premium for cars with only one driving age occupant. What do you expect would happen to the price if only half of the refined products were needed...it would go down. What do you think would happen to the imported oil dependence....it would go down. What do you think would happen to pollution worries....it would go down. What do you think would happen to the Age of Oil....it would last twice as long.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 02/26/08 - 02:59 pm
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Why argue with the old

Why argue with the old fashioned people here still living in the 1800s. Augusta is so old fashioned and the people here so willing to rely on their so called conservative politicians they do not study issues for themselves. If the Republicans told them the earth was flat they would believe it.

Lou Stewall
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Lou Stewall 02/26/08 - 03:37 pm
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It is liberals living in the

It is liberals living in the past, still thinking oil is a "finite resource that comes from dinosaurs". And what's proposed by "read this" is ridiculous. Just get your spouse to ride to the filling station every time you need some gas. Improving transportation infrastructure would reduce consumption. People in Atlanta are taking 30 minutes to go 5 miles.

read this
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read this 02/26/08 - 04:16 pm
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You would rather pay more so

You would rather pay more so that the people in Atlanta take 15 minutes to go 5 miles instead of 30? Believe me, at some point you will be carpooling....or else walking. Wait until those billion Chinese start wanting your gas and can pay for it because they have jobs. Consumption is the problem. In the future, the roads will be empty but for Road Warriors. Like I have said before....solve gravity and friction and you will have your alternative fuel. Until then, it is oil. Take care of it.

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