Wednesday, June 13, 2012
EPA Threatens to Wreck the Nation's Auto Fleet
One can hardly get through the week without learning of yet another absurd new program by the Environmental Protection Agency. The latest is a five percent increase in the amount of ethanol that must be added to the nation’s supply of gasoline.
In 2010, even Al Gore told a business conference in Athens that his previous support for blending ethanol with gasoline as a Senator from Tennessee was a mistake and based on a political decision concerning the support of farmers in his home state. At the time he spoke, corn ethanol subsidies to farmers represented $7.7 billion.
Ethanol was touted as yet another way to offset “greenhouse gas” emissions and prevent “global warming.” In 2010, ethanol production consumed an estimated 41 percent of the U.S. corn crop and 15 percent of the global corn crop.
The obvious result has been to drive up the cost of all food products that include corn and its derivatives. And there neither was nor is any “global warming”!
Two years later there is still no “global warming”, but the EPA has never been deterred by real science such as the fact that the Earth has been cooling since 1998. E15 is a diabolical mandate that will do widespread damage to autos using it and to the pumping and storage facilities to distribute it. And it is occurring as the market for ethanol is stalling.
It is by any definition, a criminal act by a rogue federal agency.
The Science Committee of the House of Representatives is trying to prevent the implementation of the EPA E15 mandate. This comes after more than 30 years of blending ethanol at a ten percent rate into gasoline; three decades of a blend that actually produces less mileage at the same time the production of ethanol generates the same level of carbon in the atmosphere as burning gasoline without ethanol.
The E115 mandate should trouble anyone with an automobile, motorcycle, outdoor or any equipment that runs on gasoline. Last summer, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WIS) sent the EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, letters from car companies expressing their opposition.
“Ford does not support the introduction of E15 into the marketplace for the legacy fleet…Fuel not approved in the owner’s manual is considered misfueling and any damage resulting from misfueling is not covered by the warranty.” Both Chrysler and Honda sent comparable letters with the latter noting “There appears to be the potential for engine failure.”
E15 will be restricted to autos of the vehicle model year 2001 and later. The Obama administration set a goal “to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years”, but the real question is why would any government even consider doing something that represents millions in damage to automobiles using it?
Additionally, why should Congress continue to provide ethanol subsidies to its producers when the evidence of the passed thirty years use has not only demonstrated that it reduces the mileage that pure gasoline would provide and, more importantly, serves no purpose whatever regarding the non-existent “global warming” that is the sole justification for the blend?
The answer is that the EPA does not care that as many as five million cars in the current fleet could suffer damage and total engine failure which is not covered by their warranties.
The EPA is the Obama administration’s tip of the sword in its war on the use of all fossil fuels for any reason. It has nothing to do with science. It portends to wreak further havoc on drivers and the economy.
What is desperately needed is the complete reform of the EPA before it further threatens the safely, health, and lives of Americans.
© Alan Caruba, 2012