Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted October 24, 2013
Posted October 9, 2013
A tactic used by ethanol backers trying to defend the relatively defenseless Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is attempting to frame the RFS debate as one between America’s oil and natural gas companies and renewable energy.
That’s faulty for a couple of important reasons. First, we’re Big Ethanol’s biggest customers, buying billions of gallons a year, as a useful additive in E10 gasoline. Second, our companies are for renewables, not against them, investing $81 billion in renewables and carbon-reduction efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2012 – nearly as much as all other U.S. industries ($91 billion) and more than the federal government ($80 billion).
Posted October 7, 2013
It lurks on every car or truck dashboard, the little indicator light that indicates potentially big problems with your vehicle’s engine. If you’re like me, a glowing “check engine” light elicits a groan, a facepalm and maybe some choice words – if not instant fear that the engine might conk out right then and there. In any case a visit to the repair shop is in my future. There, my mechanic will try to figure out what the heck could be causing the “Malfunction Indicator Light” (MIL), to come on. It might be a problem, or it might be a false alarm, in which case you’re still out the time and inconvenience of a wasted trip to the mechanic.
Things to keep in mind as we revisit the issue of E15 fuel and falsely illuminating MILs, because research indicates that fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol could cause check engine lights to falsely illuminate.
Posted October 3, 2013
Thanks for your recent invitation to your “Ride & Drive” event. We agree that teaching the public about cylinder leakage in engines using E15 is valuable. Unfortunately, your invitation was sent to the wrong recipient.
You say that the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), which has been the gold standard in terms of vehicle testing for the better part of a century, used an “arbitrary threshold” for cylinder leakage during E15 testing. You seem upset about the results on vehicle damage. Surely you meant to address the invitation to the auto manufacturers, who have stated their concerns that E15 will damage engines, void warranties and reduce fuel efficiency.
Posted October 2, 2013
Results from a new public opinion poll strongly suggest that action by EPA and Congress is warranted on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Key findings from the Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,000 registered voters:
- 77 percent said they’re concerned that using fuels containing ethanol blends above a 10 percent level can cause severe damage to car engines and fuel system components. They’re concerned that most auto manufacturers do not warranty their vehicles if the car’s owner runs it on fuels with a 15 percent ethanol blend.
- 69 percent are concerned that diverting more and more corn into making ethanol will result in higher food costs.
- 66 percent say regulation by the federal government could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers.
Posted September 10, 2013
Posted August 19, 2013
Posted August 12, 2013
Posted August 6, 2013
Posted June 27, 2013
Important testimony at a House hearing yesterday from U.S. Energy Information Administration chief Adam Sieminski on flaws in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including its mandates for increasing ethanol use.
Sieminski, who heads the government agency charged with counting and quantifying energy of all sources, testified before the House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on energy and power, basically saying the current RFS is broken:
· “The RFS program is not projected to come close to achievement of the legislated target that calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable motor fuels use by 2022.
· Substantially increased use of biofuels can only occur if they can be used in forms other than the low-percentage blends of ethanol and biodiesel that account for nearly all of their current use.
· The implicit premise that cellulosic and other advanced biofuels would be available in significant quantities at reasonable costs within 5 to 10 years following adoption of the 2007 RFS targets has not been borne out.”