There is also a smaller-but-still-relevant issue, and it involves corn-growing. When gas producers use more ethanol content, and when gas demand goes up (like with more summer driving), the demand for corn goes up also. When the demand goes up, growers need more ground to grow more corn. Huge tracts of wetlands, riparian areas, and fallow ground (useful for natural regeneration of nutrients) have been ripped up to plant more corn. Not only is this bad land-planning, but the amount of fuel used to cultivate, harvest and transport this corn just to get 5% more ethanol is not insignificant.
I've long said that the whole ethanol thing represents "the 4 R's":
1) Rips us off at the pump
2) Robs us of power and fuel economy
3) Ruins our motors' fuel delivery systems
4) Rapes more of our land
Sorry Kyle, but I can't agree with your premise that this shouldn't be viewed as any big deal.
Wow, So many thoughts on this. So the government decided to put alcohol in our gas, to save gas, but it reduces mpg, so is there really a net savings? Increasing alcohol content further to again reduce dependence on gas, but further eroding mpg. Not to mention the damage to our classic cars. One thing we must remember, not all old cars being driven are being used as a "classic", some old cars are daily drivers for people that either can't afford newer, or have other personal reasons. I see both sides, but in the end, other than making our farmers bank accounts fatter, is there really a net benefit? I guess the answer would depend on who you ask. Remember when buying gas was a no brainer? When cost and contents were of little concern. I miss those days.
Amen squared and cubed. Thanks. The real problem is Americans long spoilt by living on what they see as inexhaustible cornucopia, wanting to "have it all;" drive around in three-ton pigboats gnawing on burgers, guzzling milkshakes while cursing "thuh politicians."
Per my previous second of MPH168's attempt to add to Kyle's effort.
You're right as rain about ethanol not harming our old cars, but as with modern, vastly superior motor oils and DOT 5 silicone brake fluid, too many down homers want a convenient whipping boy for slipshod work or lax maintenance.