Monday, August 07, 2006

E 85

With all of this talk about fuel, rising oil and gasoline prices, it strikes me as off-based that we as a country have not mandated or twisted the arms of big oil companies and automobile manufactures to get on the ball and do something. Supposedly there is something being done, a new fuel, which has been around for a while is currently on the market. E85 is a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline that is used in flexible fuel vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy is classified as an alternative fuel.
According to the federal government, an alternative fuel is a fuel that can be used over regular vehicular fuels such as gasoline and include natural gas, and alcohol (including ethanol and methanol) among others. A flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) is a vehicle that can run on a blend of ethanol up to 85% and/or straight unleaded gasoline.

Since 1869 US crude oil prices when adjusted for inflation averaged about $18.59 per barrel World crude oil prices over the same time period averaged $19.41 per barrel. In 1980 and 1990, crude oil was $37.42 and $23.19 respectively per barrel. As of June 30, 2006, U.S. crude oil prices per barrel were $73.78.
High oil prices have aided to the record earning accrued by companies like Exxon Mobil, which reported a first-quarter profit of $8.4 billion this past April. But I do not foresee any change in the cost of crude oil with increasing demand and US lazy and selfish Americans driving more each day and out penchant for large gas guzzling automobiles. They say that Alternative fuels like E85 are the wave of the future. However, auto manufactures are resisting the change especially in concert with the big oil corporate giants in the US and abroad. In addition, it is difficult to get E*% in most places. There only three laces in Georgia, nine in Texas, six in New York, and four in California. Iowa retailers indicate the highest monthly sales for E85 in comparison to any other states in the country.

Politicians should put their money where their mouth is and focus on legislation that would force big oil companies and automobile manufactures to be proactive in this quest for alternative fuels or else we may be back to the horse and carriage days on I-85 in the future – real soon.


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