Tag Archives: gasoline

EPA never did ethanol studies required by law

The law is such an inconvenient thing: Despite a legal mandate from Congress to conduct studies on the use of ethanol in vehicles the EPA has admitted that it simply ignored the law and never did any.

The Obama administration has failed to study as legally required the impact of requiring ethanol in gasoline and ensuring that new regulations intended to address one problem do not actually make other problems worse, the Environmental Protection Agency inspector general said Thursday. The conclusion in the new audit confirmed findings of an Associated Press investigation in November 2013. The AP said the administration never conducted studies to determine whether air and water quality benefits from adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. Such reports to Congress were required every three years under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Instead, they have been pushing to increase the amount of ethanol used in gasoline, even though they have no idea whether this helps or hurts the environment, and have been told by practically every automotive industry expert that increased ethanol will damage car engines.

But then, who cares what the law says? Who cares what other experts say? The EPA is made up of righteous perfect liberal individuals who simply know better. How dare Congress, or anyone for that matter, tell them what to do!

After mandating the sale of 15% ethanol gasoline — that can damage engines and lower fuel efficiency — the EPA is now going to require that you buy at least 4 gallons in order to reduce the damage.

How nice of them: After mandating the sale of 15% ethanol gasoline — which can damage engines and lower fuel efficiency — the EPA is now going to require that you buy at least 4 gallons when you fill your tank in order to reduce the damage.

The entire auto industry has made it very clear its opposition to 15% ethanol because that mixture is harmful to vehicle engines. So, does the EPA back off? No, it instead doubles down, increasing its regulatory control in a manner that is complex, unenforceable, and impractical.

And when this new regulation doesn’t work and vehicles begin to fail, don’t expect the EPA to pay for the repair. Instead, I expect we will soon have EPA regulators standing at every gas station, checking to make sure we use the right gasoline in the right amounts, ready to fine or arrest us if we dare to do something different.

A family struggles to complete a Knoxville to Nashville trip using an electric car

An exercise in absurdity: A family struggles to complete the 180 mile trip from Knoxville to Nashville using an electric car.

The Blink fast-charge station was on the blink. Efforts to use the two available plugs yielded nothing for Stephen Smith when he and his family arrived in Lebanon in their electric vehicle.

But all was not lost as the Smiths closed in on their destination – a brother’s house only 22 miles away in Antioch. With ten miles of available power left on their car, they could take advantage of a slower charger next to the other at the Blink station at Cracker Barrel. It took about an hour, but the boost gave enough energy for a total of 30 miles.

They also had to pay attention to whether the route was flat or hilly, as any hills significantly reduced their range of about 75 miles. In addition, they found that even that number was unreliable, and that often the maximum range the car could travel was far less.

Even the fast-charge station still needed about 30 minutes to charge up the car. Imagine having to wait 30 minutes every time you needed to fill up, and imagine having to do it every 70 miles.

There is a reason electric cars can’t compete with gasoline, and this journey illustrates it.