The Environmental Protection Agency announced it will make a decision on whether to increase the ethanol blended into in our gasoline to E15 by mid 2010. The EPA stated in a letter to pro-c
orn fuel lobbyists that
“…our engineering assessment to date indicates that the robust fuel, engine and emissions control systems on newer vehicles (likely 2001 and newer model years) will likely be able to accommodate higher ethanol blends, such as E15.”
The best reaction to this from the boating community had to be fellow journo Kevin Falvey’s recent Twitter update, which just says emphatically, “NO!”
Everyone with an engine block knows that E10 sucks for boats. I witnessed it firsthand on an old Boating Magazine project boat when we filled it with E10, then called “winter fuel”, and saw our outboards suffer major gummification and a subsequent layup during the best part of the fall fishing run.
Dan McCosh wrote an excellent article for Boating back in 2006 that summed up why ethanol isn’t the answer: The Ethanol Fuel Crisis
But one point missing from the debate is that ethanol is a joke. Reports indicate it takes more fossil fuel (1.3 gallons) to grow enough corn to produce a gallon of ethanol–a less efficient fuel–than if we just burned the fossil fuel in the first place.
A UN representative once called biofuel “a crime against humanity.”
And Business Week wrote up another excellent article on the subject last spring called “ The Great Ethanol Scam.“
Keep the corn on the cob, in our tortilla chips, or as cow feed, but please keep it out of our boats.