Ethanol and taxes


Old 04-04-07, 10:15 AM
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Ethanol and taxes

On the topic of cars and energy, letís talk alternate fuels, ethanol in particular. Could this be nothing more than a government effort to collect more tax revenue? Burning both produces CO2 (actually, any internal combustion engine will produce CO2), the only real difference is in the NOís and SOís from gas fueled engines.

What gets me is, when I use 10% ethanol, as mandated by city government, my mileage drops between 8 and 9%. Figures on E85 range from a 20 to a 30% drop in mileage because it takes more ethanol to produce the same amount of energy as a gallon of gas (1.42 to be exact). I know the government does not reduce the tax on the 10% ethanol blend, do they with E85?

In a nutshell, requiring a 10% ethanol blend results in a near 10% increase in fuel tax revenue, while E85 (unless the tax is reduced, but that is not the government I have come to know) would result in a 20-30% increase in revenue for the government.

I think I now understand why some in government are pushing these fuels. Donít ya love a good conspiracy theory?
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Old 04-04-07, 06:03 PM
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No argument, but do want to make a clarification - ethanol is considered not a source of CO2 because that which is produced by its combustion is what was absorbed when the corn was grown in the first place and absorbed back by the corn growing the following season. Fossil fuels release CO2 that was absorbed millions of years ago and is not absorbed back, so there is an atmospheric "net gain" of CO2.
Old 04-04-07, 06:18 PM
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I would disagree with the net CO2 being zero. You need to burn something to plant it (tractors and such), you need to do the same to harvest it, and you need power (more than likely from coal, more energy is required to make ethanol than is required to refine gasoline) to produce the ethanol from the corn. On top of that, had the land used to grow the corn (or whatever is used) not been used for ethanol corn, it would more than likely be used for some other crop OR would just grow grass (any plant, not just corn, uses CO2). Much of the additional land needed to grow the additional crops were at one time (or could be now) forest land, which uses more CO2 than a crop of corn. You also have to produce/transport the fertilizer, etc etc etc.

As I said, about the only thing it buys you (and it is not a bad thing) is that burning ethanol is cleaner in that there is less NOx and SOx emissions and slightly less CO2.
Old 04-05-07, 05:14 AM
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Same problems with hydrogen power - have to crack H20 to get it which takes a LOT of power.
Old 04-22-07, 10:37 PM
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"Fossil fuels release CO2 that was absorbed millions of years ago and is not absorbed back, so there is an atmospheric "net gain" of CO2."

Wow well put I have never heard it explained like that...very simple and makes sense thanks!
Old 04-06-08, 04:54 AM
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Tvtn hibrid engines need oil fuel to produce energy.
Old 04-06-08, 01:58 PM
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Although it has been a year since the OP, I think it is a relevant topic. It takes more fossil fuel to produce ethanol than the ethanol can produce, leaving a net energy somewhere below zero. Subsidizing ethanol refineries by the government is ludicrous. We are taking corn for food and producing less than zero energy. This leaves less corn for feed, bread, other food grain uses and causes the prices to go up. Checked the cost of eggs lately? Chickens don't cost more, feeding them corn does. Someone please wake me up!!!!
Old 04-06-08, 02:55 PM
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This article pretty much debunks the myth of ethanol...

Here's an excerpt from the article:

I wrote about this scam back in October in a column titled, "Shuck the ethanol and let solar shine," but apparently for some reason my expression of outrage was not enough to prevent Congress from passing a law in late December that will cost taxpayers as much as $550 billion over the next four years.

Now scientists have finally completed research that shows ethanol is not only bad business but also bad for the environment. According to news reports, the latest issue of Science magazine highlights studies showing that biofuels produce more greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels when all of their production inputs are accounted for.

Two studies shows that replacing fossil fuels with corn-based ethanol would double greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades. The studies show that switchgrass, an alternative to ethanol that's more weed than plant, would boost emissions by 50%.
Old 04-06-08, 09:17 PM
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Seems I read somewhere that the government (you and I) are underwriting the cost of E 85 ethanol to the tune of $.57 per gallon. This is a low energy fuel and significantly lowers fuel mileage. The farmers are sending their crops to the refineries and the price of my corn flakes goes up.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.
Old 04-06-08, 10:17 PM
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Follow the money. 62% of world corn exports originate in USA, with Argentina coming in second, currently. Hmm... Argentina also requires ethanol blend. So is it in these country's interests to drive the price of corn up?

You bet!

Canadian government has similar ...thing... for biodiesel. Just so happens that means canola. Guess which country exports a lot of canola.

One may similarly gain insight into why countries like France (or indeed Canada) are so opposed to Iran's plan to refine and export it's huge uranium resource. This exclusive set of objectors ...just happens to be.. exactly those countries now dominating the world uranium market.

I think it's high time Japan got serious about the environment, by requiring all domestic cars include large batteries and more microchips.
Old 04-08-08, 04:13 AM
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I think Kobuchi hit the nail on the head regarding money...It's always about money.At the risk of sounding paranoid, let me state: Every time our government tells me we should adopt their recommendation because it's, (choose one)- good for the economy, good for America, or good for the planet, I pretty much assume it's a load of hogwash.

What that really means is someone is going to get rich from the scheme, and it's probably not going to be one of us

This statement below illustrates a byproduct of ethanol:

The additional demand for harvesting corn has resulted in further deforestation as the demand rises. This deforestation depletes the land of grass and trees which in turn absorb carbon dioxide and therefore is a direct contributing cause for additional global warming. Also as the corn crops are being diverted to ethanol production, this grain is being diverted from food supplies for the earth's poorest and will result in famines throughout the most impoverished sections of the third world.

Ignoring the possible detriment of ethanol for all other purposes, what about world hunger? I'm pretty sure if given a choice in donating food (corn) I know what agriculture conglomerates will pick.

The article that I quoted earlier in this thread has a lot of debate on this topic. Always good to get differing opinions to stimulate our thinking

Last edited by connie; 04-08-08 at 04:15 AM. Reason: Never met a preposition I didn't like.
Old 04-08-08, 06:15 AM
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I wouldn't look for any relief from the snake-oil salemen in Washington after the November election. Both Clinton & Obama have spoken favorably on ethanol and although John McCain had previously spoken against it rather forcefully (the government subsidies at least), he is now singing a different tune.

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