Yet another call to reduce government-mandated ethanol standards

A typical fuel pump in Iowa doesn’t include E0.

I’ve written about Big Ethanol and its push to mandate that our country’s gasoline supply be augmented with gas/alcohol blended to be E15, which means 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.

No where in the U.S. is Big Ethanol bigger than in Iowa, and not just because Iowa is the state that grows more corn than any other. Thanks in large part to government subsidies both to ethanol producers and consumers, Iowa has a larger ethanol production infrastructure than any other state.

The abundance of corn and free flow of tax dollars for booze-fuel isn’t the total answer. The state of Iowa, a relatively unimportant state politically most of the time, rises to national prominence every four years – during the presidential primary election season.

The Iowa Caucus is the kickoff to the national elections and any presidential contender worth his or her delegates knows the path to the White House starts in the Hawkeye state. They also know, regardless of party affiliation, there’s no surer way to upset Iowegian Caucus attendees than to come gunning against their corn and ethanol producers. Winning contenders won’t take the chance and Big Ethanol keeps getting bigger.

Despite Iowa voters seemingly being all in favor of alcohol-imbued gasoline, they don’t show it in their buying habits. No where in the country are alcohol/gas mixtures more readily available. In addition to the E10 (10 percent ethanol gas) 87 octane car-juice available nationwide, Iowans can pick E15 (the blend Big Ethanol is promoting as the new “regular”), E-30 (for those wanting just a bit more), right up to E85, the most any car configured to guzzle “flex fuel” can burn.

So are rank-and-file Iowa drivers buying it? Are they putting their fuel dollars where their political leaders say they should – even with alcohol fuels discounted at the pump by state subsidies? No way, says a report from the Iowa Department of Revenue.

The number one fuel in Iowa and across the nation is E10. That’s no surprise – there’s  not a fuel stop anywhere E10 is not available – and at the lowest price. What is a surprise in Iowa is E-Zero is the second-most-popular fuel. E0 is not widely available. Even in Iowa, you have to hunt for a station that carries it. Often only one station in a town has it, or just a small number carry it in larger communities. Where it is found, it’s more expensive. Expect to pay up to 50 cents more per gallon – more than most 92 octane premium fuels.

That’s because Iowa is a big, spread out state that relies on cars, trucks, boats, mowers, ATVs and other gasoline-powered equipment for everyday use and they know using no-ethanol fuel is a simple preventative to alcohol fuel-related breakdowns when they least need it.

Is it a grass-roots example of how stupid bureaucratic remedies to the antiquated Renewable Fuel Standards act can be. Is it an example of how “in-the-pocket” politicians and their hired bureaucracies are indebted to big campaign contributions from the ethanol industry.

Iowans and millions of other citizens across the country say relax the standards and reduce the government-mandated ethanol production requirements. Big Ethanol says raise the amount of alcohol required in each gallon of gas. What do Iowans and other consumers know?

They know what ethanol can do to their vehicles, power equipment and boats.

Categories: Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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