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6.48 billion gallons of ethanol made in the U.S. in 2007
Another 23% increase predicted for 2008

The weekly email from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) arrived today and it contains one important number: 6.48 billion gallons. That's how much ethanol - almost all of it from corn - was made in the U.S. last year, a total that comes to an average of 423,000 barrels per day. Compared to 2006, this is an increase of 34 percent. Still, more corn will be needed to reach the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007's new Renewable Fuel Standard for 2008: eight billion gallons. A problem? Not according to the Renewable Fuels Association, which says that current biorefinery capacity is 13.4 billion gallons per year. With 57 new refineries on the way, the eight billion gallons will be here before we know it.
 

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We need more stations in small and mid sized cities. Houston has a million E85 stations, Atlanta has 3, Baton Rouge has 2.....it's doesn't add up.

More stations are key to increasing demand for E85 and lowering demand for regular gasoline.
 

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Was watching Glenn Beck's show last night. He was bashing the government's push for ethanol. He was saying no way should food be used for fuel and was trying to attribute all the run up in food prices to ethanol. He was even linking the wheat shortage to ethanol. I can usually agree with most of his thinking but he's way off on this issue. I wish we could get folks to realize that corn based ethanol is not the destination, its the first step to where we need to go with alternative fuels and where we should have been going for the last 30 years.
 

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We need more stations in small and mid sized cities. Houston has a million E85 stations, Atlanta has 3, Baton Rouge has 2.....it's doesn't add up.

More stations are key to increasing demand for E85 and lowering demand for regular gasoline.
Let's not forget the ability to buy something other than a full-size truck or SUV or Impala to use that E85 in. Something like, say, a Honda Fit or Chevy Cobalt? I'm tired of the only vehicles that can use E85 are large trucks, cars or SUV's. What about those of us who like compact cars or sports cars? Come on, GM. Retrofit kits would be nice, as well. A computer reflash, some new O-rings for the injectors, some gaskets...then all of us could use E85 (if our car were OBD-II compliant). They've said it costs less than $100 to make a vehicle E85 capable so let's get them out there! I'd pay $100 extra to get it, especially with E85 being $0.65 less than E10.
 

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Let's not forget the ability to buy something other than a full-size truck or SUV or Impala to use that E85 in. Something like, say, a Honda Fit or Chevy Cobalt? I'm tired of the only vehicles that can use E85 are large trucks, cars or SUV's. What about those of us who like compact cars or sports cars? Come on, GM. Retrofit kits would be nice, as well. A computer reflash, some new O-rings for the injectors, some gaskets...then all of us could use E85 (if our car were OBD-II compliant). They've said it costs less than $100 to make a vehicle E85 capable so let's get them out there! I'd pay $100 extra to get it, especially with E85 being $0.65 less than E10.

Here's a conversion kit site:
http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront

I personally am too chicken to do the conversion myself. I don't have enough experience with more modern cars (particularly the electronics involved) to be confident I did it correctly.

However, I do agree with your dismay on the lack of choice from GM on FlexFuel cars. When we purchased our Maxx, I had driven an E85 capable Impala, but it was more car than we really needed. I was bummed to find that even with the same mechanicals, there were no E85-capable Malibus for sale.

I have noticed, that Dodge sells an E85-capable Avenger, which is the size of car we generally purchase. I would hope that GM rectifies the choice issue soon, otherwise I may end up over at the Dodge store. And that only would happen if the Volt doesn't show up soon...
 

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Well thats good news, glad to see progress is being made. Its encouraging reading articles like this and the oil pooping bugs.
 

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means nothing if there are no pumps. i have yet to see one in massachusetts or long island.
 

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Here's a conversion kit site:
http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront

I personally am too chicken to do the conversion myself. I don't have enough experience with more modern cars (particularly the electronics involved) to be confident I did it correctly.

However, I do agree with your dismay on the lack of choice from GM on FlexFuel cars. When we purchased our Maxx, I had driven an E85 capable Impala, but it was more car than we really needed. I was bummed to find that even with the same mechanicals, there were no E85-capable Malibus for sale.

I have noticed, that Dodge sells an E85-capable Avenger, which is the size of car we generally purchase. I would hope that GM rectifies the choice issue soon, otherwise I may end up over at the Dodge store. And that only would happen if the Volt doesn't show up soon...
The Avenger is E85 capable? Cool....hold on a second....gonna go look at it. BRB....
....
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Well that figures. It's the 2.7L V6 that's E85 capable, and not the 4cyl model. Never mind. I want a 4cyl that is E85 capable, not a V6.
 

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Was watching Glenn Beck's show last night. He was bashing the government's push for ethanol. He was saying no way should food be used for fuel and was trying to attribute all the run up in food prices to ethanol. He was even linking the wheat shortage to ethanol. I can usually agree with most of his thinking but he's way off on this issue. I wish we could get folks to realize that corn based ethanol is not the destination, its the first step to where we need to go with alternative fuels and where we should have been going for the last 30 years.
Glen had his moments.

Equating wheat prices with corn ethanol is pretty dumb.
 

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GM definitely needs to broaden the number of E85 capable vehicles that it sells. Even if most people's decisions won't be affected currently by E85 capability, future resale of those vehicles could be. If ethanol becomes big during the next 5 years and GM gets more E85 ethanol cars on the road than other manufucturers, GM cars could see some much improved resale values in the next 5-10 years. This is an area where GM and other American automakers have lagged.

I definitely understand that $100 per car ends up being a lot of $ that could go to R&D, but I think it's a worthwhile investment.

I read somewhere that GM is planning an E85 capable 3.6. I think that's great b/c that will cover a lot of vehicles (since the 3.6 is becoming the ubiquitous 6 cyl engine for GM). I also think that a 4 cyl or two (2.4L and ????) should get the E85 treatment. That would broaden the family of E85 engines to nearly every type of car that GM sells.
 

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Here's a conversion kit site:
http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront

I personally am too chicken to do the conversion myself. I don't have enough experience with more modern cars (particularly the electronics involved) to be confident I did it correctly.

However, I do agree with your dismay on the lack of choice from GM on FlexFuel cars. When we purchased our Maxx, I had driven an E85 capable Impala, but it was more car than we really needed. I was bummed to find that even with the same mechanicals, there were no E85-capable Malibus for sale.

I have noticed, that Dodge sells an E85-capable Avenger, which is the size of car we generally purchase. I would hope that GM rectifies the choice issue soon, otherwise I may end up over at the Dodge store. And that only would happen if the Volt doesn't show up soon...
The cost to convert my '05 Ion is $369, not counting the $9.95 'FlexFuel' badge for the trunk lid :D. The cost in fuel savings per year, for the amount of miles I drive (assuming the same price for gasoline during the whole time - just to do the math) is $359, so the conversion could pay for itself in about a year, 85% of my fuel dollars stays here in the U.S., my car emits fewer pollutants and I get an octane bump. True, the fuel economy might drop a little, but again I'd only be using 15% of OPEC's product instead of 90% or 100%. Scared to try it, but I'd like to.
 

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I always wished that they would have made the GMT 360's E85. I have thought about converting my Envoy.

Also I was watching Glenn Beck last night and I was yelling at the TV. Did he ever think about the price of food might just be going up because of the cost to transfer the food !!!
 

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Yes, but most of the fossil fuel used to make ethanol is domestic coal and natural gas, not foreign oil. And a net energy gain is still a net energy gain.
Good points. However, a couple of points. Most of the natural gas used to make ethanol is from Canada and coal is a dirty fuel source. However, I agree they are overall better than oil from hostile countries.

Mark
 

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Glen had his moments.

Equating wheat prices with corn ethanol is pretty dumb.
Well, I guess his basic idea is that farmer's would plant corn (or whatever crop) for ethanol, and less acreage for wheat. That would make wheat more expensive. Of course, that would be true for all crops, not just wheat. A farmer is going to plant the crops that he feels will return the best profit. Wouldn't you?

But, of course, the MAIN reason why wheat (and other food prices) are going up is because the price of oil is skyrocketing. You can't run a farm, process your crops, or ship them without fuel. But I would think replacing a lot of that oil with ethanol (biofuels, or other alternatives) would lower the demand for oil, thus dropping the price, which would benefit the economy all the way around.
 

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Did anyone complain about the taxes that go fund to ethanol yet? You would think someone stole there corn taco or something they always get so nasty about ethanol.
 

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Keep in mind almost every modern Vehicle can trim quite a bit of ethanol, Lately I've been using 3 gallons of E85 with each tank of regular to make my "homebrew" super. and That's about an E20 mix and the car just does not care. I can run it as high as E85 but I have to reset the ECU so it re-learns. I'm going to make a bold statement, since Gasolina in Brazil is 25% ethanol I'm going to bet most cars are built with this much headroom.
 

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Isn't Brazil 100% Ethanol?
 

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