The EPA’s current gas attack…

Personally, I think that most of this current spate of double-speak about carbon dioxide is a bad case of bureaucratic alchemy — they’re trying to find a way to turn carbon into gold.  Read more

No more carbon dioxide, the final chapter

If you are an avid reader, the final chapter of any book always brings promise. You know you will learn who the villain is, and, the hero and heroine will live to see a brighter future.  With this final chapter there is neither promise, nor a brighter future.

EPA’s decision to declare carbon a danger just as Congress was considering the Cap and Trade legislation was no coincidence.  If the EPA ruling was reasoned it would have been accompanied by regulations defining, among other things, how much carbon can be emitted, and by whom.  It didn’t.  Were I a suspicious person, I would think that the administration had something to do with the timing of the  EPA’s “finding”.  You make your own decision.

The EPA took the highly unusual step of not accompanying its endangerment finding with actual proposed regulations. For now, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson claims her agency will only target cars and trucks.

If you believe that, I have a nifty bridge in Brooklyn I would love to sell to you.

Which brings us back to the Obama Administration’s political roulette. Democrats know that their cap-and-tax agenda is losing ground, notably among Midwestern Senators. The EPA “endangerment” is intended to threaten businesses and state and local governments until they surrender and support the Obama agenda.

And, if you think business and non-federal governments won’t surrender, think again.

Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey [a co-sponsor of Cap and Trade] put it this way at MIT recently: “Do you want the EPA to make the decision or would you like your Congressman or Senator to be in the room and drafting legislation? . . . Industries across the country will just have to gauge for themselves how lucky they feel if they kill legislation in terms of how the EPA process will include them.”

Final chapter…Rahm (Dead Fish) Emanuel, tells the EPA to declare carbon a threat.  Ed (Dirty Harry) Markey asks Congress “how lucky do you feel”.  And the President gets his way.

Hope and change.  I hope that within my lifetime technology will catch up to the change being forced down our throats.  If not, well, I’m told the Amish live quite comfortably.

Can your car handle more ethanol?

It seems appropriate on Earth Day to write about a story that received little publicity last week, but which could have a major impact on you. The EPA is considering a petition to allow gasoline to contain as much as 15 percent ethanol, up from the current 10 percent. Hence, before you buy a second-hand gas-guzzling metal piece, perhaps you could consider via het schade verleden to see if it lives up to the mark.

The 10 percent figure was selected years ago because testing showed that no damage would occur to vehicles using that mixture.  Beyond that percentage, things got a bit fuzzy.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering why the EPA is headed in that direction.  Well, here’s the answer in a nut shell:

An oversupply of ethanol has prompted a wave of bankruptcies and made the ethanol industry eager to expand its market. Ethanol producers are being squeezed as corn prices stay relatively high and as ethanol prices stay relatively low. Todd Alexander, a partner at Chadbourne & Parke LLP, estimates that some ethanol producers are losing up to 10 cents on every gallon of ethanol.

Actually, that statistic should not come as any real surprise given the price of gasoline today, and the fact that it costs (according to a 2005 Department of Agriculture report) $2.53 to produce a gallon of ethanol.

But, not satisfied with the EPA’s somewhat slow process (by law, it has until December 1 to make a decision on the petition), the ethanol industry has turned to Congress for help. Some lawmakers have held meetings with the EPA designed to “urge” the EPA to allow blends of 12 percent to 13 percent immediately pending the decision on the 15 percent figure.

There is only one small problem with either “fix” for the ethanol industry’s dilemma.

Auto makers offer so-called flex-fuel vehicles designed to accept up to 85% ethanol fuels. But many current and older model cars aren’t designed for ethanol concentrations above 10%.

And, as a result, most car warranties use that standard when it comes to fuel system components.

Too much ethanol can, among other things, cause corrosion in a car’s fuel delivery pipes. To that end, when speaking about the proposed increase in allowable ethanol, Alan Adler, a spokesman for General Motors has said, “we want to make sure we’re not on the hook for vehicles” still under warranty should a problem arise in the fuel system.

No one disagrees with the fact that this country should become more energy independent. But, to enact a regulation that will put more money in the pockets of a company like Archer Daniels Midland, one of our larger ethanol producers, by reducing the “oversupply” of ethanol, but which could put all of our existing car warranties in jeopardy seems more than a bit foolish.

Were I the EPA I would want an agreement from every car manufacturer that they will honor the existing warranty should a problem arise with a 15 percent ethanol mix before I mandated a 15 percent mix. But, then again, that’s just me.