Jerry Shenk, August 22 - If you pay taxes and buy groceries, every time you insert the nozzle to fill your tank with ethanol-blended fuel, you get hosed six ways.
Federal crop subsidies and ethanol mandates shower tax and household dollars on corn growers and ethanol refiners to produce a product we are forced to purchase, that increases fuel prices, provides less energy for our money, adds water to our gas tanks, raises food prices, and degrades the environment.
Most gasoline sold in America contains up to ten percent ethanol, a product primarily refined from corn. The inclusion of a prescribed total volume of ethanol in the national supply of motor fuel is mandated by the federal government's Renewable Fuels Standard program.
Motor fuel containing ethanol is called E-10 for the maximum percentage of ethanol currently allowed. The Energy Department is considering an increase, so E-15 could be in your gas-burner’s future. Never mind that auto makers have said they will void the warranties of cars using gas with more than 10 percent ethanol. As the federally-mandated volume of ethanol usage increases and motor fuel consumption declines, to avoid lawsuits, gasoline refiners must purchase federal renewable "credits" to make up for the ethanol they don't blend, causing higher gasoline prices even in periods of lower demand.