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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ethanol: Drinking & Driving Might Finally Go Together

You can put it in your gas tank or mix it with some orange juice and drink it. Ethanol is the new mobile energy 'chic.' The petroleum-based Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) has been banned because it contaminates groundwater, and although the Energy Policy Act of 2005 eliminated the requirements for such oxygenates, car and truck engines still need an additive to run better. So President Bush calling for temporarily lifting the oxygen content requirement in the Reformulated Gasoline Standard isn't that controversial because Congress (including Hillary Clinton) already gave him authority to do so under the EPAct.

Of course, as usual, some big boys will happily maximize profits in our wonderful capitalist system. Andersons, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Pacific Ethanol will build the appropriate liquor stills to produce the ethanol from corn. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires the U.S. to use 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2012. About half that capacity is currently available. President Bush recently talked about gasoline prices at the Renewable Fuels Association.

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