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  1. #1
    Charter Member # 545 Gold Member Beak Boater's Avatar
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    Dec 2000
    Port Tobacco MD/Cape Coral Fl

    Al Gore "Ethanol a Mistake"

    Thanks alot for all the problems!! May have been posted before.

    Al Gore: Votes, not science, led me to back corn ethanol
    Earlier support of 'first generation ethanol' was about his presidential bid
    Then Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore chats with farmers in Perry, Iowa, on Jan. 21, 2000.Reuters
    updated 11/22/2010 1:29:57 PM ET 2010-11-22T18:29:57
    -ATHENS, Greece In a mea culpa of sorts, former Vice President Al Gore on Monday said he made a mistake in supporting corn-based ethanol while he was in office, admitting he was more interested in farm votes for his presidential run than what was best for the environment.
    Like most politicians in the late 1990s, Gore supported huge subsidies for ethanol made from corn a decision that was later blamed for higher food prices.
    Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year, according to the International Energy Industry, and many of those tax credits will soon be up for renewal.

    "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens, Greece. First generation ethanol refers to the most basic, but also most energy intensive, process of converting corn to ethanol for use in vehicle engines.

    "First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small," he said, referring to how much energy is produced in the process.

    The U.S. ethanol industry will consume about 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop this year, or 15 percent of the global corn crop, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.

    Gore explained his own support for the original program on his presidential ambitions.
    "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president" in 2000.
    A food-versus-fuel debate erupted in 2008, in the wake of record food prices, where the biofuel industry was criticized for helping stoke food prices.

    Gore said a range of factors had contributed to that food price crisis, including drought in Australia, but said there was no doubt biofuels have an effect.

    "The size, the percentage of corn particularly, which is now being (used for) first generation ethanol definitely has an impact on food prices.

    "The competition with food prices is real."

    Gore said he instead supports so-called second generation technologies that do not compete with food using farm waste or non-food sources like switchgrass to make ethanol.

    "I do think second and third generation that don't compete with food prices will play an increasing role, certainly with aviation fuels," he added.

    Gore added did that he did not expect a U.S. clean energy or climate bill for "at least two years" following the mid-term elections that saw Republicans increase their presence.

    Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Platinum Member CigDaze's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    St. Petersburg, FL
    Well, ya!

    This whole goddamned ethanol issue just infuriates me! It's preposterous to even contemplate using ethanol as a fuel, yet alone mandate it.

    This should truly illustrate to everyone how idiotic our environmental advocates and politicians are!!!!!!


    Regular gasoline yields 115,500 BTU's of potential energy.
    Ethanol yields 76,000 BTU's of potential energy.
    That's 33% LESS!!!

    That means that:
    E10 lowers mileage by 3.4%, and
    E15 lowers mileage by 5.1%

    And it would take 1.52 gallons of ethanol to drive the same distance as you could on 1.0 gallon of gasoline!


    And if that's not bad enough, consider that it costs more to produce a gallon of ethanol than it's worth, and it requires more energy to produce ethanol that it will ever yield!!

    Where's the sense in that? There is none! Welcome to the U.S. government.

    Between fertilizer, pesticide, farm equipment fuel, irrigation, electricity and bulk transport, it requires about 81,000 BTU's of energy to simply grow the corn.

    The energy economics get worse at the processing plants, where the grain is crushed and fermented. As many as three distillation steps are needed to separate the 8 percent ethanol from the 92 percent water. Additional treatment and energy are required to produce the 99.8 percent pure ethanol for mixing with gasoline. This all amounts to an additional 50,000 BTU's of energy per gallon of ethanol.

    131,000 BTU's of energy in to get 76,000 BTU's out.


    An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol.

    But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $385 per acre. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

    In total, Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline.

    if it weren't for government subsidies no one would dare venture into producing ethanol. It's a $ loser.

    It's no wonder that corn farmers and processors burn gasoline in their equipment and not ethanol. They couldn't afford to.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Knot 4 Me's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Central IL
    I'm just glad our local FS gas station still carries non-ethanol 87 octane to run in my vehicles. Our marina carries non-ethanol 89 octance. Fug E-10.

  4. #4
    Diamond Member #001 Charter Member C_Spray's Avatar
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    Coastal North Carolina
    Thank God that we live in a open society where fiascos like this cannot survive. There were more than a few people who raised these points from the very start, but the political and press hysteria drowned them out.

    Ethanol may reduce our dependence on PETROLEUM, but it is not an efficient energy strategy as it has been executed in the US so far. The Brazilians, who generate ethanol from sugar cane, are figuring it out...
    Retired! Boating full-time now.

  5. #5
    T2x is offline
    Allergic to Nonsense Platinum Member T2x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Spray View Post
    Thank God that we live in a open society where fiascos like this cannot survive.
    Really? I must have missed the part where ethanol is being pulled from the market, and/or the farm subsidies are terminated.

    In fact the current "flavor of the week" is the addition of Urea (Cow urine) to diesel engines starting this year to "clean up" the environment. Anybody sense another farm subsidy in the middle of all this?

    I hate politicians.
    Obsolete and proud of it

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Mentalpause's Avatar
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    In my F150 E10 lowers the mileage by closer to 10%. Luckily I can buy non ethanol at FS, like Knot said. And when I am in Missouri most of the 87 octane is still non ethanol.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Steve 1's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Beautiful Fort Lauderdale
    Instead of contains 10% ethanol, the gas pump should read warning 10% contamination of the fuel.
    Slippery when wet. "POD" Free Tunnel through Common Sense Engineering

  8. #8
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    Troy, Mich
    Ethanol from corn is a total sham. It is a net energy user, that is it takes MORE energy to grow and distill the ethanol than you get out of the fuel itself. Then you get higher food prices by using it. the only positive aspect is it is renewable, you can grow more.


  9. #9
    S.O.B (single O/B) now Platinum Member t500hps's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Richmond VA
    Why is it all the ethanol producing states have the option of non-ethanol fuel but in VA I can't find a non-ethanol station within 80 miles of my home? (and I've been looking!!!)

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Mentalpause's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t500hps View Post
    Why is it all the ethanol producing states have the option of non-ethanol fuel but in VA I can't find a non-ethanol station within 80 miles of my home? (and I've been looking!!!)
    Ironically enough, the only place in central IL (Bloomington) we have non ethanol is the Farm Services store. Any other station has ethanol. Same for Iowa when I travel through it. Missouri sells 10% in their 89 octane gas, but 87 is still pure petro.

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