Big Oil trying to stop E85

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Thread: Big Oil trying to stop E85

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    Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Big Oil's Big Stall On Ethanol
    Even as it pockets billions in subsidies, it's trying to keep E85 out of drivers' tanks

    At the same time the industry is collecting a 51 cents-per-gallon federal subsidy for each gallon of ethanol it mixes with gas and sells as E10 (10% ethanol and 90% gas), it's working against the E85 blend with tactics both overt and stealthy. Efforts range from funding studies that bash the spread of ethanol for driving up the price of corn, and therefore some food, to not supporting E85 pumps at gas stations. The tactics infuriate a growing chorus of critics, from the usual suspects—pro-ethanol consumer groups—to the unexpected: the oil industry's oft-time ally, the auto industry.
    ...
    The industry collects the subsidies, but didn't lobby for them—Congress created them to encourage a larger ethanol market. While oil reps say they aren't anti-ethanol, they are candid about disliking E85. Says Al Mannato of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the chief trade group for oil and natural-gas companies: "We think [ethanol] makes an effective additive to gasoline but that it doesn't work well as an alternative fuel. And we don't think the marketplace wants E85."

    One prong in the oil industry's strategy is an anti-ethanol information campaign. In June the API released a study it commissioned from research firm Global Insight Inc. The report concludes that consumers will be "losers" in the runup to Congress' target of 35 billion gallons of biofuel by 2017 because, it forecasts, they'll pay $12 billion-plus a year more for food as corn prices rise to meet ethanol demand. The conclusions are far from universally accepted, but they have been picked up and promoted by anti-ethanol groups like the Coalition for Balanced Food & Fuel Policy, made up of the major beef, dairy, and poultry lobbies. Global Insight spokesman Jim Dorsey says the funding didn't influence the findings: "We don't have a dog in this hunt."

    ...

    Of the 179,000 pumps at U.S. gas stations, only about 1,000 pump E85. Almost none are at oil-company-owned stations. And if an independent station that operates under, say, the Exxon (XOM ) or Shell brand wants one, it can cost around $200,000 to install a separate pump when all the gas suppliers' restrictions are met. Exxon Mobil Corp. bars branded independents from buying fuel from anyone but Exxon, though it let a handful install E85 pumps for test marketing—as separate machines on separate islands nowhere near Exxon or Mobil signs. ConocoPhillips (COP ) has a similar policy. But switching existing tanks and pumps to E85 is the cheapest way to offer it, with more than 50% of costs often offset by various subsidies. Mannato says companies want to prevent consumers who don't have flex-fuel vehicles, which run on either gas or E85, from gassing up with E85. Also, they "don't want their brand associated with someone else's product."

    A FACE-OFF WITH DETROIT
    The industry's stance angers carmakers, which have more than 5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road. General Motors (GM ), Ford (F ), and Chrysler all pledge that half of new-vehicle sales should be flex fuel by 2012 but are waiting for bigger commitments to E85 pumps. "Big Oil is at the top of the list for blocking the spread of ethanol acceptance by consumers and the marketplace," says Loren Beard, senior manager for energy planning and policy at Chrysler, referring to the struggle to

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    This makes sense. With gas prices rising many of the big oil owned gas stations have squeezed out the independent gas stations. And obviously big oil doesn't like biofuels and will resist installing pumps.
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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    I agree that the government should quit paying the subsidy.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by bluecon
    I agree that the government should quit paying the subsidy.
    The government does not "pay" the subsidy. Rather, it simply allows ethanol producers to claim a tax credit so that profits from ethanol production are not taxed at the same rate as profits from gasoline. How about this: the government stops taxing all fuels equally.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    I think ethanol is a boondoggle, but it's good to see that the 'energy lobby' is not necessarily a monolith.

    Maybe it will be a good thing if different sectors within the energy lobby oppose each other - sort of likes checks and balances.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    i just got back from europe...and yes, fuel is more expensive. a 1 euro per litre, it's roughly $1.44/L (us or cdn...take your pick), or $5.45/usgal. however, their base octane is 95, they have 98 mid grade, and 100 premium. the z06 is rated at 512 hp (vs 505) in europe, and the new m3 has 420 hp (vs 414). now i understand why they call u.s. gasoline 'cat pee'.

    at the current rate, e85 is the same price as regular gas. that's 104 octane for the same price as 87! flex fuel cars currently lose ~15% mileage, but a dedicated e85 car won't have that deficit, and make more power. 104 octane allows up to 13.5:1 compression n/a, or up to 10.5:1 turbocharged...roughly 10 points more with sidi. oems could reduce displacement 14% for the same hp/tq, and get better mileage. measured emissions drop to near nothing. it's the best of all worlds.

    e.g. the 7.0L LS7 would become 6.1L, 505+ hp, 14:1 compression, sulev, and get 29 mpg highway. they could manage the fuel with the same injectors and 72 psig fuel pressure. 4.125" bore and 3.48" stroke, 6.25" rods (1.8:1 rod/stroke) and it'd rev to 8200 rpm (the valvetrain is stable to this speed).

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon
    The government does not "pay" the subsidy. Rather, it simply allows ethanol producers to claim a tax credit so that profits from ethanol production are not taxed at the same rate as profits from gasoline. How about this: the government stops taxing all fuels equally.
    Semantics.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Big surprise. Big oil want to continue raking in profits of tens of billions every quarter.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by ogg vorbis
    i just got back from europe...and yes, fuel is more expensive. a 1 euro per litre, it's roughly $1.44/L (us or cdn...take your pick), or $5.45/usgal. however, their base octane is 95, they have 98 mid grade, and 100 premium. the z06 is rated at 512 hp (vs 505) in europe, and the new m3 has 420 hp (vs 414). now i understand why they call u.s. gasoline 'cat pee'.

    at the current rate, e85 is the same price as regular gas. that's 104 octane for the same price as 87! flex fuel cars currently lose ~15% mileage, but a dedicated e85 car won't have that deficit, and make more power. 104 octane allows up to 13.5:1 compression n/a, or up to 10.5:1 turbocharged...roughly 10 points more with sidi. oems could reduce displacement 14% for the same hp/tq, and get better mileage. measured emissions drop to near nothing. it's the best of all worlds.

    e.g. the 7.0L LS7 would become 6.1L, 505+ hp, 14:1 compression, sulev, and get 29 mpg highway. they could manage the fuel with the same injectors and 72 psig fuel pressure. 4.125" bore and 3.48" stroke, 6.25" rods (1.8:1 rod/stroke) and it'd rev to 8200 rpm (the valvetrain is stable to this speed).
    Can you give us some technical details perhaps ? For instance, what would happen with a 4.126" bore instead of a 4.125" bore ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingElvis
    I think ethanol is a boondoggle, but it's good to see that the 'energy lobby' is not necessarily a monolith.

    Maybe it will be a good thing if different sectors within the energy lobby oppose each other - sort of likes checks and balances.

    you are dead wrong.go research the efforts of Brazil. They now import only 10% (I believe my memory serves from an article I read.) of their energy.
    The rest is all ethanol.
    FYI it's been powering Indy cars for years.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by KingElvis
    I think ethanol is a boondoggle, but it's good to see that the 'energy lobby' is not necessarily a monolith.

    Maybe it will be a good thing if different sectors within the energy lobby oppose each other - sort of likes checks and balances.


    I've often read people bashing ethanol.

    Is it true that it really uses more fuel to produce ethanol than it creates? Or is this just an oil industry supported myth?

    There are some major drawbacks to ethanol, such as the increased use of fertilizers, more land used for crops, higher food prices.
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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by ogg vorbis
    i just got back from europe...and yes, fuel is more expensive. a 1 euro per litre, it's roughly $1.44/L (us or cdn...take your pick), or $5.45/usgal. however, their base octane is 95, they have 98 mid grade, and 100 premium. the z06 is rated at 512 hp (vs 505) in europe, and the new m3 has 420 hp (vs 414). now i understand why they call u.s. gasoline 'cat pee'.
    Only difference in octane between US and EU is how the numbers are published: see http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=550823.

    Also, HP in EU is not the same as HP in US: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepo...ric_horsepower
    505/.9863201652997627=512

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by windvale
    Can you give us some technical details perhaps ? For instance, what would happen with a 4.126" bore instead of a 4.125" bore ?
    I'm pretty breathless waiting on the answer to that.

    Not to mention WGAF what the euros think of our gasoline? Or anything else?
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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Big oil is against ethanol? I'm shocked. Next thing a reporter's gonna try to tell me is that drug addicts in this country think drugs should be legalized.

    ...API released a study it commissioned from research firm Global Insight Inc. The report concludes that consumers will be "losers" in the runup to Congress' target of 35 billion gallons of biofuel by 2017 because, it forecasts, they'll pay $12 billion-plus a year more for food as corn prices rise to meet ethanol demand.
    I actually don't mind that Big Oil makes the money that it does, but to pretend that they give a rat's ass about what consumers pay for food comes across as incredibly disingenuous.

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    Re: Big Oil trying to stop E85

    Quote Originally Posted by ksr

    Is it true that it really uses more fuel to produce ethanol than it creates? Or is this just an oil industry supported myth?
    No, it is not true. This myth has been disproved many times.

    http://www.carbohydrateeconomy.org/l...a_Gallon_.html

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5173420

    The Pimentel study that everyone cites to argue that ethanol is a net energy loser is wrong for two reasons. First, it uses obsolete data. Farmers today are more efficient than they were years ago. Second, Pimentel went so far as to say, for example, the farmer driving the tractor was exerting "energy" used to produce ethanol, and counted that in his study, as if the farmer would not be burning calories if he was doing something else. Pimentel is an oil industry whore who simply looked for "energy consumption" until he got the answer he wanted: The corn farmer uses a tractor. It takes energy to build the tractor. The tractor is made in a factory. it takes energy to build the factory. The factory is made of steel. It takes energy to make steel. The steel is transported by trains. It takes energy to make trains. It takes energy to mine the iron ore to make the steel. It takes energy to make the mining equipment that mines the ore that makes the steel used to build the trains that transport the steel for the factories used to build the tractors used to harvest the corn.

    And on and on without end.

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