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GasBuddy News Article

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Ethanol likely to stay even if mandate ends

Minneapolis Star Tribune -- Ethanol, the best-performing energy commodity this year, is cheaper than gasoline, encouraging refiners to use the biofuel even if President Obama's administration ends a requirement to do so.

A 44 cent-per-gallon discount to gasoline provides companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. an opportunity to profit by blending the corn-based additive into fuel, while easing prices at the pump for consumers. Marketers may use ethanol as they look for the cheapest way to boost engine performance and reduce pollution.

The most severe U.S. drought in 56 years has prompted lawmakers from both parties to ask the Obama administration to suspend the mandate because of the potential impact on food costs. Ethanol will consume 42 percent of this year's corn crop, ...


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Submitted Aug 23, 2012 By: BurntOrange
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Author Topic: Ethanol likely to stay even if mandate ends Back to Topics
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fredtheturd
Sophomore Author Kansas

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 9:45:27 PM

Why not stop using corn to grow beef? Most people think that corn is essential for beef production but it's not required. IF we used corn as an interim fuel source until we could find another abundant source for ethanol production AND produce beef on grass (which is healthier for the land, animals, and people), ethanol production wouldn't be such an issue for debate.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 9:10:49 AM

ROGERB quotes VETTEFAN: "Like it or not ethanol is a major contributor to using less imported oil. "

. . . and then says: Let us drill our own oil!

We can produce much more fuel by drilling than we could ever grow! PLUS, it cost less, works better, and is more efficient!
______
Let's do some reality.

Both claims are wrong.

First, ethanol has very little impact on oil imports.. Secondly, we will NEVER drill our way to oil independence. The US has only about 2% of the world's proven reserves of drillable oil. Our hopes lie with the Alberta oil sands and the North Dakota Bakkan shale formation and possibly other shale formations as well. It is because of these sources that oil imports from OPEC are the lowest they've been in years.

As for costing less, that's untrue as well because US domestic energy costs more to produce since recovering oil from shale or oil sands is an energy-intensive process. It is only because world oil prices are high that the oil sands and the shale deposits are viable sources. If a barrel of oil cost $35, US domestic energy production would virtually collapse.

And what of the Gulf of Mexico? Undoubtedly there is oil to be had there but at what cost and in what time frame? And at what risk? Deep sea oil drilling is a complex and dangerous undertaking. And new deposits often take years to exploit and deliver to consumers. Meanwhile oil from the oil sands and the shale deposits are being delivered now and the potential reserves from those sources alone dwarf the expectations from the Gulf.

And does regular gasoline work better? Only in some ways. Yes, a gallon of gasoline as opposed to E10 will give one better mileage because there's more energy in that gallon of gas but we still need an oxygenate of some sort to promote complete combustion and what are we going to use for that if we don't use ethanol. Many forget that the real reason we started using ethanol was because we needed a replacement for MTBE. Also, because refineries are now geared to producing fuels that are intended to be blended with ethanol, the supply of regular gasoline will be somewhat constrained for some time even if it becomes a national priority.

We need a national energy policy and the Obama administration would give us one that leverage all the potential sources of energy. The Republicans who are beholden to Big Oil are the ones who have fought a broadened energy portfolio that includes Green Energy and therefore a real long term energy policy. Will we get that policy? Only if Mr. Obama is reelected and the Democrats once again have majorities in both the House and the Senate because the current form of the GOP has proven that it will fight just about any Obama initiative just because it is an Obama initiative.

[Edited by: Houckster at 8/24/2012 10:13:39 AM EST]
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KrsnaDragon
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 4:34:15 AM

I believe ethanol is far too susceptible to phase separation to be used practically as a motor fuel.
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kgbellman
Champion Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 2:38:26 AM

Are we too far down the rabbit hole for this to ever change?
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:25:09 PM

"Like it or not ethanol is a major contributor to using less imported oil. "

Let us drill our own oil!

We can produce much more fuel by drilling than we could ever grow! PLUS, it cost less, works better, and is more efficient!
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rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:22:46 PM

Corn for animal feed......not ethanol.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:22:07 PM

I've got nothing against ethanol, if it can survive on an open market without mandates and subsidies.

(while we're getting rid of ethanol mandates and subsidies, let's get rid of the EPA also!)
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mpg611
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:20:38 PM

Who didnt see this coming?
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crreed1
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:18:46 PM

whatever the crooks want
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VetteFan
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:18:15 PM

Like it or not ethanol is a major contributor to using less imported oil. The U.S. has more vehicles on the road, most requiring gasoline. Ethanol mixture in those means less oil needed to produce the fuel to fill them.
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RogerB
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:17:49 PM

"Its not like they are using sweet corn to make ethanol- this isn't going to affect our dinner tables directly. If feed corn it would have affected beef, pork, etc prices back in the day when farm animals lived on corn instead of hormones."

This guy doesn't know much about hormones OR livestock.

Corn makes up a major portion of the diet of most beef and dairy cattle, likely even more this year, with the drought reducing grass and hay production.
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stratlinetime
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:15:03 PM

Ok
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pastorpaulcg
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:14:17 PM

I doubt ethanol could compete with straight gas on a level playing field
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bobdec
Champion Author Miami

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:13:53 PM

If true, bad news
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N5EXY
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:12:53 PM

Take out the subsidy as well as end the mandate. Let it stand on its own and see what happens. If food prices are impacted then the subsidy is not needed.
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C.Carpets
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:12:16 PM

If the mandate disappears stations will start popping up selling 100% Gasoline. Which in turn, customers will realize they get better mileage with real gas. Ethanol will go the way of MTBE.
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Rooster922
Champion Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:11:50 PM

Money talks, I wanna be money talks.
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pyndasky
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:11:42 PM

in a world where people are dying of starvation, it seems a little evil to turn food into gas... (just sayin')
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zdcatc12
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:11:05 PM

Of course
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mrbee
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:10:58 PM

No ethanol.
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PrinceLH
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:09:54 PM

How unfortunate.
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gocatgo
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:09:52 PM

Ethanol SUX.
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hamdriver
Champion Author Lansing

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:08:47 PM

Boo
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joel27nc
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:08:23 PM

Why
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12766
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:08:20 PM

OK
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RichWLIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:07:30 PM

"Marketers may use ethanol as they look for the cheapest way to boost engine performance and reduce pollution"

Boost performance? Huh?
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SteelPenny
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:06:59 PM

The mandate ends right after the November election.
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vibdata
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:05:48 PM

The fallacy is the "easing prices at the pump for consumers." There will be none of this. NONE.
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discgolfur
Sophomore Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:04:09 PM

Its not like they are using sweet corn to make ethanol- this isn't going to affect our dinner tables directly. If feed corn it would have affected beef, pork, etc prices back in the day when farm animals lived on corn instead of hormones.
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DustyHorse
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:00:11 PM

Hope mandate ends.
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my3sons
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:54:43 PM

at higher food prices again
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bonzoonfmb
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:51:59 PM

The price per gallon of ethanol has no effect on the price that the oil companies and gas stations are charging for their 'gasoline formulas.'
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toytech3
All-Star Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:51:22 PM

You get all that with ethanol and worse gas mileage
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Jeeputtputt
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:50:53 PM

really don't care
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wbpprint
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:48:25 PM

If the mandate disappears, then corn is not needed and therefore cost of ethanol may become cheaper since the Govt. won't have a stranglehold on the refineries
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RevDrCBJ
Veteran Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:48:16 PM

42% of the corm crop going to ethanol . . . that's a lot of corn that could go on a hungry person's table.
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beachmanglen
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:48:06 PM

Forty-two percent of the corn crop going to ethanol means higher meat, cereal, and other food prices, which has a regressive effect on our nations most vulnerable folks.
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Darwin00
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:46:42 PM

I don't know how they are calculating its cost but if it is affecting food price it is more than what they are saying.
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wbpprint
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:46:22 PM

Save the Corn, we need to eat.
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THZebra
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:45:12 PM

HEY knot2swift !!! Speak for yourself. I thought everyone enjoyed a nice big bowl of algae with some sugar and 2% milk on it in the morning. Maybe not every morning but occasionally I like ....uh....oh....never mind....I think that was Grape Nuts.

[Edited by: THZebra at 8/23/2012 11:46:17 PM EST]
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EmperorsFinest
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:43:38 PM

I don't believe ethanol is good for any car...
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96sc1
Champion Author El Paso

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:42:51 PM

"Marketers may use ethanol as they look for the cheapest way to boost engine performance and reduce pollution".

It does neither and that's why we need "marketers".
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HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:42:23 PM

This whole ethanol racket is a rip off. The American public knows it. TIme to put this fraud to rest for good.
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mitchell6597
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:38:35 PM

Who thought this was a good idea anyway?
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THZebra
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:35:17 PM

Less fuel efficient than pure gasoline, harder on the engine, drives food prices higher and (as we know now) is worse for the environment than pure gas. One of the reasons is ethanol uses more fuel than pure gas, thus burn more fuel (including more gas). There are 7 other ways also but some of the words are REAL BIG.

But, in fairness, the upside to using corn for fuel.........(sound of crickets chirping)



[Edited by: THZebra at 8/23/2012 11:38:30 PM EST]
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:35:10 PM

“Ethanol is a very clean fuel.”

It may be clean but that is about the end of its virtues. It has a very low net energy content, reduces the mileage of vehicles using it to the extent that no petroleum is saved, causes damage to some engine parts, and is especially hard on small engines.

The tenor of this article assumes that people are dumb and will continue to use E10 if the price is a little lower. Some will but a lot of folks now understand that E0 is a better buy even if it is few cents more per gallon. If the mandate is removed more people will be able to get E0 and the demand for it will grow, causing the supply to increase.

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Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:35:01 PM

Alas it cannot all come from corn. Sugar cane is better that is the way they make it in Brazil, but alas they cut down forests to do that. There is no one good answer but they will find better ways. Ford had picked ethanol as the fuel of choice in the beginning until Standard Oil convinced him to change.
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knot2swift
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:32:04 PM

Why can't we make the $hit from pond scum? End this idiot "Food for fuel" argument once and for all.

Nobody eats algae.
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Taxrefugee
Champion Author Arizona

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:30:00 PM

Guess we could always drink it.
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mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 10:26:39 PM

no food for fuel
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