More Ethanol

November 25, 2016

All Posts, News

More Ethanol

The day before Thanksgiving, the Environmental Protection Agency – which President-elect Trump has threatened to ban – announced that it intended to increase the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply next year. Within about an hour, the American Motorcyclist Association announced that it was objecting to the increase. The timing of the EPA’s announcement means you are probably just hearing about this now.

Ethanol is the same alcohol in whisky. Most of it is distilled from corn. The ethanol you drink is cut with water. The ethanol the EPA wants to use as fuel is called anhydrous alcohol which means it has no water in it when it leaves the distillery.

This year. 2016, the EPA mandated the release of 18.11 billion gallons of ethanol, or moonshine, into the American fuel supply. Last May the government announced that it wanted to add 18.8 billion gallons of moonshine to American gasoline. The AMA objected to that. This week the EPA announced it intended to add 19.28 billion gallons of biofuel, or corn liquor, to the gasoline supply.

Big Money In Biofuel

The EPA’s decision is a valentine to the new and growing biofuel industry. The government’s summary of its very, very long and virtually undecipherable proposal explains:

“In this action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to update both its renewable fuels and other fuels regulations to reflect changes in the marketplace and to promote the growing use of both ethanol fuels (conventional and advanced) and non-ethanol advanced and cellulosic biofuels. The EPA is proposing to make several changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program regulations that would align them with recent developments in the marketplace to increase production of cellulosic and other advanced biofuels. There are several companies that have developed renewable fuel production technologies that produce a “biointermediate” at one facility that is then processed into renewable fuel at another facility, and we are proposing regulatory changes to allow fuels produced through such methods to qualify under existing approved renewable fuel production pathways. “

If you can understand that paragraph, you might want to read the EPA’s entire statement and comment on the proposed increase here.

Bad Gas

With the possible exception of the Iron Order patch holder in the video below – speaking on behalf of the Ethanol Renewable Fuels Association, “the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry, working to advance development, production and use of ethanol as a beneficial renewable fuel” – most motorcycling enthusiasts object to an increase of ethanol in the gasoline supply.

Ethanol stores less energy than gasoline, so adding it to gas leans out the fuel air mixture. Harley-Davidson objects to gas blends that contain even 10 percent ethanol. “You may find that some ethanol gasoline blends affect the starting, drivability, or fuel efficiency of your motorcycle. If you experience one or more of these problems, it is recommended you operate your motorcycle on straight unleaded gasoline.” The problem is, that the more ethanol enters to national fuel supply the more difficult “straight unleaded gasoline” becomes to find. Ethanol corrodes metal, plastic and rubber parts and absorbs water from the atmosphere. Gasoline contaminated with water causes numerous engine problems.

In its Wednesday statement, AMA vice president Wayne Allard said, “Increasing the amount of ethanol in our fuel supply is going to result in higher-ethanol blends, such as E15, at more pumps and stations. The widespread availability of E15 and higher-ethanol fuels increases the risk that owners will inadvertently misfuel their motorcycles.”

The AMA also thinks that “By increasing the amount of ethanol in America’s gasoline, the EPA is further straining the fuel marketplace by exceeding the blend wall by hundreds of millions of gallons. The blend wall is the point at which no more ethanol can be blended without forcing consumers to use higher blends, such as E15, E30 and E85. The AMA also is concerned that the increased reliance on corn-based ethanol could further reduce the amount of E0 fuel available. Since the distribution network for E15 and E85 is limited, fuel producers may be forced to reduce E0 output to stay within the RVO rule, leaving owners of older and vintage motorcycles without a reliable fuel supply.”


27 Responses to “More Ethanol”

  1. xplor Says:

    The way Archer Daniels Midland acted after the election, it didn’t turn out the way they wanted. They have been giving money
    to the Clintons for years. Now they have to work with Donald Trump and their stock took a drop.

  2. Ol'Goat Says:

    Iron order:

    Always about what’s legal huh.

    Cuck my sock.

  3. xplor Says:

    Why now ? This is the last chance for Cargill and ADM to git rid of boatloads of genetically modified corn rejected by China. ADM is the queen of corporate welfare and share with the politicians in Washington. How much did you give to the politicians this year ?

  4. L-Frame S&W Says:

    My biggest problem with ethanol fuel, it is a negative energy fuel, it requires more energy to distill it than it produces. The producers are burning more oil/coal/atoms to make this shit which costs us more $$$ because we are paying for that energy in taxes that are rebated to the producers. If we cut those rebates, we can cut the incentive to make whisky into petrol.

    L-Frame S&W

  5. ElleElle Says:

    Nothing but Premium for our bikes. Too many times being plugged up after winter taught me that lesson.

  6. BMW Says:

    Damn that autocorrect!!! “highsided” was substituted for “high priced!

  7. BMW Says:

    @ Aging Rebel: Exactly on point!

    The major problem with ethanol in fuel is that it will damage certain gasket materials. Higher proportions of ethanol will cause more damage, and the EPA, itself recommends using ethanol blends in larger quantities because the pumps do not always produce the “proper” blend proportions. Ethanol has another problem- it contains fewer BTUs compared to gasoline. There is a third problem for motorcyclists: that anhydrous ethanol will absorb any water it comes into contact with. So a portion of the ethanol is actually very highsided water. There is a “good” effect: you are much less likely to suffer “fuel line freeze up”. In fact, one major American oil company used to add it to their winter blends. It had an excellent bottom line effect for the oil company. The ethanol would mix with the layer of water that developed in fuel tanks. Imagine getting paid $3.50 a gallon for water!


  8. xplor Says:

    You should thank ADM for screwing up your bike for every $1 of profits earned by
    its bio ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.

  9. bones_glass_1973 Says:

    Food for fuel is nonsense,more food grown goes to feed animals than hu-mans,just one more way to feed farmers through sub-sidys,govt welfare spread around

  10. Phuquehed Says:

    Fuck the EPA…just another government agency that tells us it knows what’s best for us. Thing is, none of the fucks that work at these agencies can see how we see them…that all things fucking us and fucking up in this country are *BECAUSE* of those agencies and the talking heads in each! This means, stupidity is running each agency.

    Like Bone Head said, get to the link to let the EPA fucktards know just what fucktards they are.

    That fat-ass Urine Odor faggot couldn’t lisp enough knowing his faggot UO buddies were all watching and going to give him some dick when he got back to their playhouse, they’re so proud of him! And his little finger pointing and half-a-wink gestures…how cute! What dillrod tells people to use whiskeygas when those people can see the fucking difference in at least the gas mileage that gets lowered by using the shit? Urine Odor dillrods, that’s who.

    I’ve shown friends over the past 8 years on my ’09 FXD that when I use non-ethanol gas, the bike gets *consistently* 4 mpg more (that’s from 90 octane non-ethanol!) than I get when I fill up with 93 octane ethanol shit. That’s ~$9/tank I save and 20 miles more per tank…when one survives on disability and has only the bike for transportation, that means one fuck of a lot. Fuck you EPA!

    Never trust anyone from the government or any government agency that tells us ‘They’re here to help’.


  11. James Crawford Says:

    The mechanical and drivability issues of ethanol in gasoline are self evident. The vested interests of producers and corn farmers is obvious. Less obviousis the absolute immorality of burning food for fuel. All of the prime farm acreage that is diverted to ethanol production reduces thebglobal food supply. Even more outrageous has been the practice of Europeans buying up prime farmland in Africa for biodiesel production. Much of this land has been traditional tribal homelands whose occupants have traditionally resided on the land for centuries but had never obtained legal title to the land. These people are being forcibly disposses by Government troops which contributes to the Tsunami of refuggees who are transforming Europe into Eurabia. Given the fact that France and Great Britain both have four Nuclear powered Ballistic Missile Submarines, the prospect of Jihadists taking over the governments of these countries should be terrifying.

    Hopefully, Donal Trump will emasculate the EPA.

  12. Bone Head Says:

    Cost, government regulations and the io panty squad is one thing. My beef with their proposal is what I see and get to repair on my vehicles. Even if you drain and flush, treat for it…whatever; you still get damage from the slimy coating and residue it leaves.
    And Rebel (Thank you Sir) has graciously posted a link where you can make your thoughts on their proposal known. I did. I cannot pass up a chance to tell the EPA just how stupid they are.

    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving with your families.

  13. Sieg Says:

    Some interesting facts about imports/exports of POL:

    Gotta agree with the Kraut, nuke their ass and take the gas. Fucking middle-east isn’t good for a damned thing, and there’s been more shit come outta there over the last few-thousand years than the whole rest of the world combined. Nuke the fucks, wait till it stops glowing, then send a robo-driller in to punch a hole in the crust and suck the gas out.

    And watdafuk is emissions testing??? When some suit tells you you need to get an emissions test, what he’s REALLY saying is “TIME TO MOVE!”

    Last but not least, the absolute best place to buy fuel is at a smaller airport. Avgas ain’t cheap, but it sure is good.

    5 to 1

  14. popeye Says:

    To clear up any confusion the Io member claiming he knows what to pump is talking about pumping his peter into his brothers ass.

  15. Matlock Says:

    Does it seem like strange timing? (Aside from just a really odd sound bite). Avg gasoline price per gal around $2.25 down from a high of around $4.50 in Jul of ’08, according to Dept of Energy, and probably everyone reading this has been effected by drop in oil prices. So it’s not a fuel supply issue. And yeah, I agree w/von Zipper on not wanting to breath in pollution but why does it come up now? Iron Rider mentioned classifications. If u look at the report the EPA does want to change engine emissions output regs as well as classification regs for manufacturing various %’s of ethanol fuels. Like Kraut says it’s a solution in search of a problem…but it’s the damn gov’t so also something to keep an eye on and be careful about…just like what u put in ur tank.

  16. Paperslice Says:

    There will always be a non-ethanol option- the snowmobile/ATV clubs are extremely vocal as are the boating/watercraft crowd. Not to mention the sports car crowd. These groups don’t want to burn ethanol either.

    And let’s face it. If a gas station can make more profit selling ethanol free, you can bet they’re going to do it, especially if the market demands it.

  17. von Zipper Says:

    I used to put ethanol in my gas to may my bikes get better times at the strip, worked pretty well. The only gas that is exempt from no lead is racing gas, and that’s not necessarily a good thing either. Trouble is it’s so damn hard to make a street ride legal nowadays without drastically changing everything that makes it pass emissions testing. There’s a way around this like every other new standard that comes out, we just need to be creative. It sucks in a lot of ways, but when I’m sitting behind 200 cages and some douche bag in a monster truck sucking fumes at some shitty stop light I guess I see the problem. If only we all didn’t sit brain dead in some stupid cage checking text messages there wouldn’t be a need for this shit. Like in our world, MC stands for “mostly cars”. Fucking too many people, it needs some thinning out.
    FTW, FTIO, Always respect to the 1%, Red and Gold.

  18. The Kraut Says:

    Alcohol in gas is a cure in search of a problem…just another way for the oligarchs to pick the pocket of society.

    Keep Alcohol in booze and the first aid kits…hell, I don’t even imbibe it since my “drinker” broke 33 years ago. I do use it to thin acrylic paint and clean my airbrushes.

    More crap solutions to crap problems…nuke the fucking arabs and hoon the oil…then nuke ’em some more.

    Peace sucks a hairy asshole…

    Rant over…Kraut out

  19. Paladin Says:

    So, the io spokesman claims not to be stupid? Well, the fact that he’s a member of the io tells me he’s so stupid that the birds peck him.


  20. Paperslice Says:

    Hearing a Urine Odor member say “I’m not stupid” AND endorsing ethanol is fucking priceless comedy.

  21. fallendesperado Says:

    And thats why a decent steak is over $10 a pound….this all goes back tI the moron president Bush in 2004 with bulls hit energy plan and laws

  22. IronRider Says:

    While under stand the idea of more Ethanol fuels and greater content in them, there will definitely be an effect on older engines that wont do well with this. Midwest states that do a lot of corn production will make nak from this and there is no doubt about that.

    If Trump sticks to his policy regarding oil and starting to wean America off of oil from OPEC you could see why Trump would endorse this type of policy. OPEC has costs a lot of American and Canadian oil and gas producers a lot of money and both countries energy sectors lost a lot of jobs.

    If Trump starts to get more oil from American producers and pipe lines to bring Canadian oil down southern that is going to cut down the percentages of how much Oil from OPEC the U.S. needs. Right now OPEC has everyone by the short hairs and is more than content to strangle American and Canada’s energy sectors, but if I were an OPEC member I would be a tad concerned at Trump’s plan.

    Change will come whether any of us like it or not and even if it costs the consumer more money. The government doesn’t care if it effect either you or I, it always does what it see’s as best for you, even though many dont think what the government says is good for you necessarily is.

    It is the same with the car manufacturers and the EPA saying this segment of owners vehicles needs to emit less omissions… but this group over here doesnt need to abide by it even though they are using the same engine and fuel. That is all because how they classify the users.

    An example.. most 3/4 to 1 ton trucks can be classfied as needing emissions equipment on those vehicles because of how they were classified by the EPA. Now a school bus using the same engine that the 3/4 or 1 ton is using is not required to have emissions testing nor have the emission control equipment on it due to it be classed different by the EPA… so it can belch to its harts content and there is no issue, but your diesel 3/4 or 1 ton…not so fast pal…

  23. Angry White American Says:

    Its about the $$$. Follow the $$. Somebody has got a lot to gain by this.

    BTW Fuck that fat Urine Odor cunt.

  24. Kim Jady Says:

    It is hard on Motorcycles, lawnmowers and any other engine that is not designed for it. Maybe Trump can do something about this waste of taxpayers $$$$….

    Kim Jady

  25. Redneck Says:

    Ehh, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he really doesn’t use ethanol in his machines but endorses it to all his customers so they keep coming bank for more work. Hah

  26. Becca Says:

    Dear Rebel,
    Thank you so much for this post!!!

    I’ve been riding for 40 years, since I was a little kid, and bikes are my primary means of transportation which is why I have a garage full of them. I think I’m pretty smart and have advanced degrees in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, but right now I feel like an idiot. I can actually hear my professional mechanic and biker Dad saying, “You’re the smartest person I’ve ever met but you have no fucking common sense.” (He’s actually told me that. More than once. UGH! I do stupid shit.)

    I love to work on motorcycles but I have to admit that the affect of ethanol on my motorcycles was not something I was aware of. Some of my bikes get ridden a lot and my Harley Super Glide is my daily transportation. However, some of my other bikes can go months before I ride them. I need to get me an edumakation on this topic so I don’t damage my bikes, especially the older ones.

    Thanks again for this post.


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