The Handyguys talk about ethanol mandates with Institute for Energy Research expert Daniel Simmons. We discuss the negative impacts of ethanol on our vehicles, small engines, the environment and food supplies.
Background on Ethanol Mandate
The Federal government mandated certain ethanol production increases for 2013 and beyond. That additional production of ethanol additive led the EPA to approve an E15 blend for automobiles (15% mixture of ethanol). Various consumer groups have come out against the new mandates.
“It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle,” said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet. “Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.”
Consumers Unions Says, in regard to E15’s cousin, E85, in FFVs.
When running on E85 there was no significant change in acceleration. Fuel economy, however, dropped across the board. In highway driving, gas mileage decreased from 21 to 15 mpg; in city driving, it dropped from 9 to 7 mpg.
Ethanol Mandate on cars
One major concern with E15 is its effect on older cars. Testing has indicated that damage can occur in vehicles designed before the wide use of ethanol. If you car was built before 2001, avoid E15.
Ethanol Mandate on small engines
The Handyguys discuss the devastation that ethanol wreaks on small engines. Ethanol attracts water, deteriorates parts and gums up carburetors. If you can’t start your mower, chain saw, string trimmer or other small engine, the cause is likely ethanol in the fuel. When you buy gas with ethanol, it is best to treat it with Sta-bil and never use gas more that a few weeks old in the small engine. Stale gas can be be disposed of in the tank of your car without issue.
One great alternative mentioned during the interview is to look for a product called TruFuel. TruFuel is a premixed gas/oil with no Ethanol. It’s perfect for engines that required a gas/oil fuel mix. Just make sure you buy the correct blend for your needs.
Ethanol Mandate on Food Prices
Discussions regarding ethanol would not be complete without pointing out that the use of what is normally considered food for people or livestock (other foods) causes food prices to rise. This is natural supply and demand. When the government diverts food into fuel (by use of subsidies for farmers) then there is less food. When there is less food, food prices rise. World poverty organization, Oxfam has said “We must stop the obscene waste of food including burning it as biodiesel in our trucks and cars.”
Listen or watch the interview for all the details.