fuel economy is a measure of efficiency, additives are snake oil


curmudgeon extraordinare
Thread starter #61
It's a shell game in the total energy required to produce one gallon of fuel for the cost isn't there. The ethanol and biofuel industries are heavily subsidized by the government to make them viable. Minnesota even went so far as to create an artificial market for them by requiring it be used in all states vehicles.

One needs to pay very close attention to the price paid and your actual fuel economy to justify what bought for fuel. When I drove a state van, we found out just how bad the state was wasting fuel money on forcing us to use E85.

It's nice having the flexibility, but I can't say its worth it to run all the time.

I could go home and yank out all the notes from the course on "Energy and the Environment". The numbers really surprised me when you put total life cycle costs into it. From building the refineries to their maintenance and their disposal. It's really hard to beat the cost effectiveness of petroleum.

I'm not saying we don't need to find an alternative, but we need to be wiser about a lot of these alternatives than we are or think we are. Some of them, the technology just isn't ready for them. Others, need a major infrastructure update or development.


Well-Known Member
Well, I am not so sure. Major studies have been done that show a net BTU energy output from stuff like ethanol, compared to the energy input. For every 1 BTU of energy that is used to make ethanol.... from the fertilizer, to planting, to growing, to harvesting the corn, to the final ethanol product.... there is a 1.34 BTU energy output. A net gain.


Some argue about water use. Let's see.... it takes 3 gallons of water to produce ethanol. But it also takes 2.2-5 gallons of water to make gasoline, 14 gallons of water to make a pound of sugar, 24 gallons of water to make a pound of plastics, and the all time champion.... 150 gallons of water to make a sunday newspaper! Ethanol seems pretty decent in light of this info.

Water Use for Ethanol Production - Ethanol - University of Illinois Extension

And subsidies for ethanol production were allowed to expire at the end of 2011. But the oil industry, just in the U.S. alone, enjoys some serious subsidies and benefits at the taxpayer expense. World wide it is $775 billion to $1 trillion in subsidies, grants, etc. In the U.S. alone, around $37 billion. Now considering the ethanol industry in the U.S. only makes around 13 billion gallons of ethanol a year, even if they were subsidized at $1 a gallon, it would still be a fraction of what the oil folks get.

Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Overview - Oil Change International

And one thing that doesn't ever seem to get factored in, the cost that is not reflected at the pump for gas or diesel. I don't know of one military person that has lost their life protecting a corn or soybean field, but we all know of the thousands of military lives sacrificed and the thousands wounded in keeping the oil flow going. As a disability retired Army veteran myself, I think I will use the ethanol and biodiesel as much as possible.

And we spent, on average, $14 billion a month just in the Iraqi war thing. At the height of ethanol subsidies, we didn't spend $14 billion a year in subsidies. And we got what in return for the Iraqi thing? But we have an economic gain from the biofuels thing. Again, I'll take the biofuel.
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I don't know of one military person that has lost their life protecting a corn or soybean field, but we all know of the thousands of military lives sacrificed and the thousands wounded in keeping the oil flow going.
That's not a problem associated with oil. It's a problem associated with where we choose to get our oil. There's oil reserves all over the world including right here. I read an article about oil slicks showing up on the surface off the coast of California because there is oil literally bubbling up out of the sea floor but the imbeciles won't allow drilling and pumping it out. Tapping those particular reserves would actually clean up the ocean. But you can't convince the environmentalist f***tards of anything that doesn't fall in line with their hardline belief that anything having anything to do with humans using oil is going to cause Armageddon.


Well-Known Member
And that is true. The earth is oozing oil out all over the place. Oceans cover 3/4 of the earth surface. It is well documented that oil escapes thru the ocean floor all over the globe.

But one of the major reasons for our incursions into the middle east in Kuwait and Iraq, was to secure the oil fields to keep the oil flowing. It really wasn't for our needs, as we hardly get any oil from the ME, but mostly for Europe. We get the majority of our oil from our own fields, Canada, and Mexico.

But U.S. military lives have been lost in these events. It is what it is. And if all of the cost were tacked on to the fuel at the pump, we would be paying between $6 and $10 a gallon for fuel. That is why I have advocated that all of the actual costs to secure oil fields in foreign engagements, protecting shipping lanes and the tankers that depend on that protection, etc should be applied to the cost of fuel at the pump. Then maybe the people in this country would seriously start to question how we are doing things.