September 23, 2012
Letter: Using ethanol has many benefits
In Thomas J. Donohue's letter, "Ethanol program rips off motorists," Sept. 15, the author fails to make a credible argument by ignoring the reality that ethanol currently makes up 10 percent of the nation's gasoline supply.
Ethanol is used in a fuel blend, and trying to compare a gallon of gas to a gallon of ethanol is unrealistic and is akin to comparing apples to oranges. As a matter of fact, refiners today are using ethanol to boost octane levels to meet federal requirements. Not only is ethanol the cheapest source of octane available, it is also the safest.
Ethanol, a domestically produced component to today's gasoline, has acted as a stabilizing factor in preventing major price swings. When there is turmoil in the Middle East, we do not have to worry about our ethanol supply.
In terms of performance and burning cleaner, a study published in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology shows a 59 percent greenhouse gas reduction. Additionally, for each BTU used in creating ethanol, there is a net positive return of 2.3 BTUs. The benefits are clear.
We are producing ethanol at home, creating jobs and revitalizing rural economies instead of importing sugar cane or importing Brazilian renewables — the whole point of using renewables is to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and establish our energy security. Importing from Brazil undermines that entire effort.
As for performance, the Department of Energy has done extensive tests with increased ethanol blends, running 6 million miles without noticing any problems. Finally, if that is not enough, just ask one of the many NASCAR drivers who use E15 and have noted only an increase in performance and horsepower. If NASCAR has run over 2 million miles and raves about its performance, that alone indicates how beneficial ethanol is to motorists.
President & COO