The Folly of Biden’s Ethanol Mandate

 

President Biden has authorized the use of E 85 gas for the summer. According to Business Insider, ethanol wholesales for $2.22 per gallon, and gasoline wholesales for $3.20 per gallon. Gasoline has 33% more energy than ethanol, so the gas equivalent price of ethanol is really $2.95 per gallon (2.22 x 1.33=2.9526). So the difference in price is 25 cents per gallon, but because the increase in percentage of ethanol is only 5% (moving from 90 percent to 85 percent) the actual savings per gallon is about 1.25 cents per gallon (25 x 5% = .0125).

In other words, consumers may pay less per gallon of the blend, but they will pay essentially the same amount per mile traveled. I doubt going to E 85 will affect the wholesale markets for gas and ethanol much, but if it does the effect will be to make gas a little cheaper, and ethanol a little more expensive, reducing the overall cost differential.

So that is the cost savings. There are, of course, other consequences. The price of food will increase by some amount as more corn is turned into more ethanol. The impact in the US is likely minor but overseas, more poor people will starve. Pollution will presumably get worse, since the reason to not have E 85 in the summer was air quality. I am sure there are other drawbacks, including increased demand for fertilizer at a time when the price of NPK is increasing.

All of this is to create the illusion that the price per gallon is lower, when the price per mile is essentially the same. Why does President Biden think people won’t notice their weekly gas spend is about the same?

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  1. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Drill Baby Drill > Husk Baby Husk

    • #31
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Im more concerned with the fact that this raises the price of corn when 40 percent of the worlds wheat market just disappeared.

    Biden and the rest of the left don’t care about any of that.

    • #32
  3. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Way to go Brandon!

    • #33
  4. carcat74 Member
    carcat74
    @carcat74

    She (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I have a sticker on the inside of my gas cap that tells me not to use E85.

    A few years ago there was plenty of information from organizations like the AAA telling you not to use E85. I haven’t kept up with the data, but I wonder if there’s a difference between older cars and newer models. In any event, best to check. I do believe E85 hasn’t been tested on small engines like lawn mowers, so best to stock up (that’s what I’ll be doing.)

    My head about exploded when I heard this yesterday. As mentioned in the OP, E85 is believed to increase smog, especially in warmer temperatures (so much for the green nude eel). Beyond that, only a truly stupid person would–at a time when energy prices are soaring (increasing the cost of food); when fertilizer costs are soaring and it is becoming less available (increasing the cost of food and potentially creating shortages of food); when farmers are struggling with astronomical production costs sometimes several times what they were just last year, and labor shortages (increasing the cost of food and the viability of the smaller farms–not good news for the food supply in the long term; when the supply chains are completely screwed up (potentially causing shortages of food–decide to put the nation’s, and the world’s, food supply in his gas tank and burn it, simply because he doesn’t want to be Donald Trump and turn on the oil and gas spigots in the US.

    DO NOT EVER PUT ANY FUEL WITH ETHANOL IN ANY SMALL ENGINE!!!!  Yes, I’m telling. No lawnmowers, chain saws, string trimmers, utvs or atvs, boat engines—most of the time, the 87 octane is left in the tank over the winter, and then you wonder why it’s so hard to start done spring. It eats diaphragms, seals, tubing, gaskets, meaning a carb rebuild or replacement.

    • #34
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    carcat74 (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I have a sticker on the inside of my gas cap that tells me not to use E85.

    A few years ago there was plenty of information from organizations like the AAA telling you not to use E85. I haven’t kept up with the data, but I wonder if there’s a difference between older cars and newer models. In any event, best to check. I do believe E85 hasn’t been tested on small engines like lawn mowers, so best to stock up (that’s what I’ll be doing.)

    My head about exploded when I heard this yesterday. As mentioned in the OP, E85 is believed to increase smog, especially in warmer temperatures (so much for the green nude eel). Beyond that, only a truly stupid person would–at a time when energy prices are soaring (increasing the cost of food); when fertilizer costs are soaring and it is becoming less available (increasing the cost of food and potentially creating shortages of food); when farmers are struggling with astronomical production costs sometimes several times what they were just last year, and labor shortages (increasing the cost of food and the viability of the smaller farms–not good news for the food supply in the long term; when the supply chains are completely screwed up (potentially causing shortages of food–decide to put the nation’s, and the world’s, food supply in his gas tank and burn it, simply because he doesn’t want to be Donald Trump and turn on the oil and gas spigots in the US.

    DO NOT EVER PUT ANY FUEL WITH ETHANOL IN ANY SMALL ENGINE!!!! Yes, I’m telling. No lawnmowers, chain saws, string trimmers, utvs or atvs, boat engines—most of the time, the 87 octane is left in the tank over the winter, and then you wonder why it’s so hard to start done spring. It eats diaphragms, seals, tubing, gaskets, meaning a carb rebuild or replacement.

    Where do you find gasoline that has NO ethanol?

    • #35
  6. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    carcat74 (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I have a sticker on the inside of my gas cap that tells me not to use E85.

    A few years ago there was plenty of information from organizations like the AAA telling you not to use E85. I haven’t kept up with the data, but I wonder if there’s a difference between older cars and newer models. In any event, best to check. I do believe E85 hasn’t been tested on small engines like lawn mowers, so best to stock up (that’s what I’ll be doing.)

    My head about exploded when I heard this yesterday. As mentioned in the OP, E85 is believed to increase smog, especially in warmer temperatures (so much for the green nude eel). Beyond that, only a truly stupid person would–at a time when energy prices are soaring (increasing the cost of food); when fertilizer costs are soaring and it is becoming less available (increasing the cost of food and potentially creating shortages of food); when farmers are struggling with astronomical production costs sometimes several times what they were just last year, and labor shortages (increasing the cost of food and the viability of the smaller farms–not good news for the food supply in the long term; when the supply chains are completely screwed up (potentially causing shortages of food–decide to put the nation’s, and the world’s, food supply in his gas tank and burn it, simply because he doesn’t want to be Donald Trump and turn on the oil and gas spigots in the US.

    DO NOT EVER PUT ANY FUEL WITH ETHANOL IN ANY SMALL ENGINE!!!! Yes, I’m telling. No lawnmowers, chain saws, string trimmers, utvs or atvs, boat engines—most of the time, the 87 octane is left in the tank over the winter, and then you wonder why it’s so hard to start done spring. It eats diaphragms, seals, tubing, gaskets, meaning a carb rebuild or replacement.

    You can put it in, just don’t leave it in over the off-season.  Run the engine dry before storing it.

    It’s pretty much impossible to get non-ethanol fuel in many parts of the country.

    • #36
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Did I read about some kind of additive that would like “bind to” or something, the ethanol, making it chemically irrelevant?

    Does something like Sta-Bil do that?

    • #37
  8. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Its all an exercise in optics. The Biden Administration wants the appearance of doing something. Something that would appear to be designed to lower fuel prices, but only superficially, but also put upward pressure on corn prices. Corn is a super food. Because its also used as feed for live stock, increasing the price of corn will cascade through the entire food chain – increasing the prices of all meats, eggs and dairy.

    The producer price index was up by nearly 12% for March… I think inflation will be measured at 15% within the next quarter…

    No matter how cynical I become, its impossible to keep up with the industrial media complex.

    • #38
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its all an exercise in optics. The Biden Administration wants the appearance of doing something. Something that would appear to be designed to lower fuel prices, but only superficially, but also put upward pressure on corn prices. Corn is a super food. Because its also used as feed for live stock, increasing the price of corn will cascade through the entire food chain – increasing the prices of all meats, eggs and dairy.

    The producer price index was up by nearly 12% for March… I think inflation will be measured at 15% within the next quarter…

    No matter how cynical I become, its impossible to keep up with the industrial media complex.

    When we started diverting corn for ethanol production, there were corn shortages in Mexico.

    • #39
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Its all an exercise in optics. The Biden Administration wants the appearance of doing something. Something that would appear to be designed to lower fuel prices, but only superficially, but also put upward pressure on corn prices. Corn is a super food. Because its also used as feed for live stock, increasing the price of corn will cascade through the entire food chain – increasing the prices of all meats, eggs and dairy.

    The producer price index was up by nearly 12% for March… I think inflation will be measured at 15% within the next quarter…

    No matter how cynical I become, its impossible to keep up with the industrial media complex.

    When we started diverting corn for ethanol production, there were corn shortages in Mexico.

    We should at least give those places some warning that they need to start growing their own.

    • #40
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