Why President Bush’s corn ethanol subsidy plan, supported by numerous governors and state legislatures as well as Congress, is terrible for the environment and US taxpayers, doing nothing but sending tax money down the drain, or more literally up in smoke. Independent opinions from another site, that I am not connected to, but which I agree with strongly in this case.

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By now, I have written and blogged quite a bit on this topic, so you can find more information by searching this site for ethanol or clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Feedback is welcome as always.

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  1. Start in spring and fuel your tractor. Count the BTUs untill ethanol goes into someones auto and you will see the energy from the ethanol does not equal the energy it takes to make it. Also the water table has droped dramatically on our farm here in southeast Arkansas so we will soon be dry land farmers. So much for the ethanol fad! No more water!!!!!

  2. Absolutely! Thanks for the comment, Just Watching. Jim

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with the arguments.

    As much as we may like – we cannot grow our way out of oil dependence.


  4. Uncle Sam, thanks for the feedback. I’ll be sure to read your site and the post you reference. Best wishes. Jim

  5. justin

    eth is good

  6. Dsuupr

    Corn was just the start. I agree that corn isn’t the long term answer, but sometimes you have to start the easy way, and subsidize it in order to get the ultimate solution. The next step is using our landfills of trash (at $1.00 per gallon). http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=biofuels&id=18084&a=

    I run my vehicle on E85 for this reason. The more I encourage the government and business that this is a good alternative, the more they work with it. Check out http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/hof/HofJuly07.html for current conversion information.

  7. DSuupr, thanks for the feedback. Your ideas are shared by many, but not by me. I believe that we have done damage both to the economy and the environment by pursuing corn ethanol and not pursuing truly viable alternative energy, especially cellulosic waste and the numerous “zero carbon” sources, such as wind and solar power, which help lower costs and environmental impact of hybrid or electric cars and can be used for electric power, in general. A very large number of other countries are now far ahead of us in viable green energy use, and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest ever seen. The problems in the Gulf are, I believe, largely attributable to the increasing used of artificial fertilizer to avoid crop rotation and keep a failing corn ethanol business going. With all of the tax subsidies that have gone into corn ethanol, the businesses have, at best broken even, yet they have made zero contribution to the fuel problem in the U.S. (see articles from the Economist and other sources discussed on this site) and have been a net contributor to environmental problems. The “selling” of this technology as green is simply wrong. The selling of it as a viable business idea is also wrong. I like your thoughts of what should come next, but those ideas will only be fully developed when the funds going to corn subsidies are diverted to true green approaches. Thanks again for the comment, Jim

  8. Tom Paris U


    I have a 93 stanza Altima and for 2 years now the car had problems running the new fuel E-10, I live here in FL, to start out saying Ethanol an alcohol fuel, was not designed to be ran in my car its constantly stalls, hard to start, black exhaust, I taken out my spark plugs and they are coated in black soot, I have to keep cleaning the throttle body with cleaner, to get the gunk out, and run 3 bottles ($6.00each)of fuel octane boosters and car runs fine, and runs clean no black exhaust, no stalling, so I checked the spark plugs and are clean a light brown color.

    I have noticed the gas here has a oily feel to it? and I had to replace my fuel pump 4 times this year (09) and replace the Idle air control valve, EGR valve, and fuel filters,

    the ethanol in my opinion is damaging and should be removed from gas, as i read its a solvent and some fuel injectors cant run cleaners and a solvent is a cleaner a good one.,

    From Nissan:

    Due to the introduction of contamination resistant “pintle-less” fuel injectors, Nissan no longer recommends using fuel injector cleaners in vehicles with injectors of this design. Use of fuel injector cleaner on these vehicles, while providing little cleaning benefit, may cause corrosion of the fuel injector coil and eventual failure of the injector. Do not use fuel injector cleaner on the models listed in the chart or subsequent models with “pintle-less” injectors.
    Model Engine Year
    Altima KA24DE 1993
    240SX KA24DE 1991
    Truck/Pathfinder KA24E 1990
    300ZX VG30DE 1993
    Truck/Pathfinder VG30E 1990
    Maxima VG30E 1993
    Quest VG30E 1993
    Sentra GA16DE 1991
    Sentra SR20DE 1991

    My dad 2000 chevrolet 3500HD has the same problem it stalls and its a 454 V8 7.5L,

    • Tom, thanks for the detailed information. I’m not sure of the reasons for all your various problems, but I don’t doubt that they occur.

      Chemically speaking, ethanol is a solvent for many things, but not everything. Gasoline itself is also a solvent for many things, though it doesn’t have the same solvent properties as ethanol.

      One particular problem with ethanol is its ability to “pull” water out of the air. This might be a serious matter in Florida, where the air can be quite humid (of course, the air is humid in many places). Some of the hard-core ethanol supporters claim that there is no problem with accelerated corrosion due to increased water in gas lines when ethanol is used, but I have a hard time believing that (in the absence of more data, anyway).

      Thanks for your comment! Jim

      • Tom

        Hello again I found gasoline gold to me and I have been using it for a month now, I have been getting it at a boat yard, and my 93 nissan no longer stalls, no more black exhaust, and a increase in gas mileage back up to 39 instead of 30, the KA24DE engine in this Altima can run again and im happy.
        it does not run well with ethanol fuel.

      • Thanks for the feedback on how your car runs with ethanol!

      • Tom

        you blistering snap, it does not run on ethanol it stalls, found non-ethanol fuel. and now my car does not stall runs better and the engine runs quit now, not rough like ethanol that shit fuel.


      • Big Joe

        ha ha ha, I cant stand when people cant read whats on these comments,
        I too would like to see ethanol fuels taken out of the gas is causes problems with my car too its a 92 chevy S-10 4 cyl and it will not run at all,
        this truck has the one fuel injector in the throttle body design and ethanol is coating it with a slim like feel thats cloging my injector, so now I have a truck I cant use cause it stalls as well.

        this is the governments way of controling us, and to buy new cars, I tell you what I’d wather buy a horse to ride then go to there level of decite and lies.

      • And what is this supposed to mean, big Joe, or whoever you are? Who can’t read the comments? They are there for everyone to read, plain as day. All you have to do is click. You know how to click, don’t you?

        As for the government controlling us, yeah, sort of, maybe- it is more like the huge and small farmers, you know, the salt of the earth, who own our state legislatures and much of Washington and who are pulling these strings. This is the kind of socialism that kills our country, but most people approve of, as opposed to a national health plan that would save our country but is being labeled as evil because it would interfere with the wealth acquisition of the same corrupt lawmakers who gave us corn ethanol. Where I live, the state legislators are farmers in many cases, and they voted themselves big tax cuts for putting in ethanol plants that just waste money and damage the environment (and make fuel that doesn’t work in some vehicles). Sounds like a conflict of interest to me.

        So what is it again that you think is being hidden from you and the world on my blog? You must have an active imagination, and don’t seem to have read the actual post itself.

        Thanks for your feedback.

      • Big Joe

        Thanks for the feedback on how your car runs with ethanol!

        for give me sir for mis-understanding you I guess I took it a differnt way for being “thanks for the feedback on how your car runs on with ethanol”
        I took it worng, for that im am deeply sorry

      • No problem. I could have been more generous in my response… I’d just been dealing with a few pretty unpleasant comments on a different site so I wasn’t in a great mood when I read your remarks. No harm done by you, and none meant by me. In fact, I do welcome dissenting comments, even if it didn’t sound like it: it is more important for people who disagree to communicate than it is for people who already agree to just keep agreeing with each other, IMHO. Best wishes, and thanks for stopping by. Jim

      • I understood your comment 100%, Tom. Your car runs very poorly on ethanol. Why you would misunderstand my response is beyond me. This is an anti-ethanol post and site in the first place, and I thanked you for the information about how your car runs on ethanol, which is not well at all, in fact extremely poorly. Did I need to repeat your remarks word for word to make it clear that I comprehended your rather simple, though important, message? It isn’t mysterious and didn’t require a complex response, IMHO. So, be insulting if you want, but, I repeat, thanks for the feedback on how your car runs with ethanol. If you don’t get it, maybe you should learn English, you snapping blister (WTF?).

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