Friday, April 25, 2008

Factoids You Can Use

If you've read this blog, you know I'm not much of a fan of turning our food supply into ethanol. It's a terrible waste of resources and the energy return is miserable. But did you know that it's also not cost efficient?

Each day, the club posts not just the straightforward per-gallon price of so-called E85, the high-ethanol blend of fuel touted by fans as a potential substitute for gasoline, but also an adjusted E85 price to reflect how much a driver would have to spend on the corn-based fuel to drive the same number of miles as he or she would using conventional gasoline. The adjustment reflects a little-discussed quirk of chemistry: There’s less energy packed into one gallon of E85 than a gallon of gas.

While regular-grade gasoline hit a record $3.577 a gallon on average nationwide Friday, the adjusted price of E85 was even higher, at $3.855 a gallon. In fact, over the course of time that AAA has been tracking adjusted E85 prices, they’ve never fallen below the daily price of regular gasoline.

Can anyone tell me why we've embarked on such a policy? Oh. Yeah. I forgot. This ethanol program is essentially an arm of farm subsidies.

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