Biofuel consumption

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Vehicles/Automobiles (Cars)

Ethanol in automobiles






  • House panel questions future of U.S. biofuel use, 5 May 2011 by "In 2007, Congress required the nation to use 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2022 — including 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol and at least 1 billion gallons of bio-diesel."
    • "The targets set by Congress were 100 million gallons for 2010 and 250 million for 2011; EPA reduced them to 6.5 million gallon for both years."
    • "At the same time, corn-based ethanol production and government subsidies have come under attack by some in Congress and others who argue that diverting so much corn into gas tanks raises food prices and feed prices for livestock."
    • "In February, the House voted 286-135 to block the EPA from spending any money to carry out a waiver to allow E15 to be sold at the nation's fueling stations."
    • "The EPA has granted a waiver to allow a blend of 15 percent of ethanol to be sold for vehicles from the 2001 model year and newer. Automakers and others have filed suit to block the fuel use, saying it could harm engines."[1]
  • Understanding the complicated biofuels fight, 24 January 2011 by Mother Nature Network: "The EPA said that E15 — a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline — is safe for all cars on the road that were made in 2001 or later."
    • "Until this announcement, the EPA had only approved E15 for model year 2007 and newer vehicles."
    • "Currently, most gas sold in the U.S. has at least some corn-based ethanol in it, but not more than 10 percent."
    • "Ethanol producers say they can make more ethanol than what is needed for that 10 percent, and that's what's called the blend wall. By approving E15, the EPA pushes the wall higher and makes corn states happy."
    • "Not everyone is so pleased. Environmentalists, for example, have legitimate concerns about the negative effect of corn-based ethanol."
    • "Automakers, too, have serious concerns. They worry that the new E15 fuel could damage vehicles."[3]


  • Cars and People Compete for Grain, 1 June 2010 by Earth Policy Institute: "At a time when excessive pressures on the earth’s land and water resources are of growing concern, there is a massive new demand emerging for cropland to produce fuel for cars — one that threatens world food security."
    • "Historically the food and energy economies were separate, but now with the massive U.S. capacity to convert grain into ethanol, that is changing....If the fuel value of grain exceeds its food value, the market will simply move the commodity into the energy economy."
    • "The grain required to fill an SUV’s 25-gallon tank with ethanol just once will feed one person for a whole year."
    • "Suddenly the world is facing an epic moral and political issue: Should grain be used to fuel cars or feed people?"
    • "For every additional acre planted to corn to produce fuel, an acre of land must be cleared for cropping elsewhere. But there is little new land to be brought under the plow unless it comes from clearing tropical rainforests in the Amazon and Congo basins and in Indonesia or from clearing land in the Brazilian cerrado."[4]
  • Ethanol Industry: Too Big to De-Subsidize?, 10 May 2010 by HybridCars: "The auto industry is fighting to delay an EPA rule change that would increase the allowable level of ethanol blended into gasoline from 10 to 15 percent. Carmakers say that the increase could damage catalytic converters and cause 'check engine' lights to malfunction."
    • "A 50 percent increase in the ethanol allowance would help the United States meet a 36 billion gallon ethanol mandate made law by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and help the ethanol industry—which has lost several companies to bankruptcy recently—continue to grow."
    • "The EPA is reported to be leaning toward approving the increase, despite calls from automakers for further testing. Environmentalists are also largely opposed to ethanol, citing a net carbon emissions effect that is questionable at best. Though the burning of ethanol itself produces less carbon than petroleum, emissions associated with the growth, harvesting and production of the fuel have been shown in some studies to neutralize any positive effect."
    • "Under the government’s fuel economy regulations, automakers are allowed to assign higher fuel economy ratings to vehicles that have been specially outfitted to use an 85 percent blend of ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Yet, very few of these vehicles ever use E85 fuel."[5]

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