The Renewable Fuels Con, by Eric Peters

Renewable fuel mandates are a racket. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

You can’t just sell gas anymore.

Most people don’t realize it, but what they’re pumping into their car’s tank isn’t actually gasoline, properly speaking. It’s gasoline mixed with ethanol alcohol – the ratio currently set at 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gas (E10).

“Diesel” often isn’t exactly diesel, either.   

The real stuff – the petroleum-based stuff – is mixed with bio-diesel, which is derived (like ethanol) from non-petroleum sources, usually vegetable matter.

The market isn’t demanding this – but the government is.

There is a law called the Renewable Fuel Standard. It  requires the “blending” of oceans of corn con ethanol and biodiesel boondoggle into the general fuel supply – ostensibly, to reduce America’s dependence on foreign (and non-renewable) oil.

Like so much that government does, it sounds good – but what it actually does isn’t so good.

The RFS has raised refining and distribution costs as well as the cost to motorists, who not only pay more for the Uncle-adulterated fuel but also for the fuel systems in their vehicles, which have had to be modified to be compatible with the not-quite-gas (and sort-of diesel) fuels the government is pushing.

These adulterated fuels are also – ironically – less efficient. A gallon of pure gas will take you farther than a gallon of 90 percent gas and 10 percent ethanol because the gallon of gas contains more energy than a gallon of E10.

As is almost reflexively true of everything the government mandates, we get less – and pay more for it.

But that doesn’t mean someone’s not making a buck – as is also usually true when government intervenes in the market.

In addition to the Usual Suspects – the ethanol lobby, for instance – there is a another group of crony capitalists making hay off the RFS mandate. These are the large refiners and chain gas stations, who can leverage – in the lingo of the federal bureaucracy – Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) credits to gain an unfair competitive advantage over smaller refiners and independent gas stations.

To continue reading: The Renewable Fuels Con

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