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dan45mcc

Oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time ever

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I can not understand why more Americans aren't jumping on the ethanol bandwagon.  If not this them something has to give because we need something and real fast.  The handwriting is all over the board, if you get my drift.  Is everyone just brain dead or are they blinded by the shinny pump they have to fill up at 3x a week.

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Big Oil is Incredibly Powerful, Furbal; and, they've played a "Brilliant" Game so far.  The big ethanol companies like ADM, and Poet have been too busy making money to get involved. 

 

It's Okay, though;  As gas prices go up people will start "paying attention."

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Furball- the opposition is skilled at seeding misinformation all about, and you are right- the general public is buying it like bugs to a zapper's light :D  BUT in the meantime things are happening. By this time tomorrow- the second Renew Station opened (fall of 2005) will hit 1,000,000 gallons of E85 sold. This is an unattended, cash and credit card operated, two dispenser station located outside of town. These sales do not include E20 or E10 units. When we got started- at that point only about 5% of WI stations sold E10 outside of Milwaukee area, none sold E20, and there were 10 E85 stations in the state- few of which were selling more than 5-10,000 gallons/ year. The news at that time was that any level of ethanol would wreck your engines and people believed it because they had no experience with it. Today more stations sell E10 than not and I think there are more than 70 stations selling E85 in WI.(13 Renew). Yes- there are still people who believe what they hear (that ethanol is bad) but now many people, mechanics, and car dealers know better because they have experience now or know someone who has shared correct information. It is unfortunate that many E85 stations are not competitive and that leads to confusion and unbelief of ethanol's ability to compete but i believe that they will get smart or get out- followed by better competitors.

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The bandwagon is too small for most of the country.  Drivers literally cannot get E85.  In Texas there are over 750,000 FFVs registered and there are 27 E85 stations available to the public.  I single out Texas because I live here and I can see firsthand the lack of E85 pumps. 

 

The new car dealers are begging for more E85 to be pumped here because they have FFVs in the their product offerings.

 

Kroger and HEB have a lock on the E85 sales here and have E85 prices tied directly to unleaded gasoline by a fixed number price drop and not a percentage.  They sell E85 and .30 per gallon cheaper than unleaded E10.

 

 

 

I can not understand why more Americans aren't jumping on the ethanol bandwagon.  If not this them something has to give because we need something and real fast.  The handwriting is all over the board, if you get my drift.  Is everyone just brain dead or are they blinded by the shinny pump they have to fill up at 3x a week.

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My personal view is that we are on the leading edge of a huge sea change in public attitude. I am already seeing it start to happen on the automotive forums. A year or two ago if you mentioned E85 on an auto forum you would get dumped on by 2 dozen idiots spouting off misinformation by the truck load. Unfortunately the majority of the folks involved in E85 at that time did not have the technical skill, the debating savy and the patience to slowly and methodically argue the merits of ethanols case. That has changed. Sometime last year we started to see a 1 for 1 response on some forums, where for each person that spouted off the misinformation you would have 1 or even 2 people that had first person experience with E85 to counter their argument. In the last 6 months most of the noise and confusion has disappeared and people that spout off out right misinformation get their ass handed to them by folks making 800 - 1000 hp on E85 and have dyno printouts and drag strip videos to back them up.

 

I had a little debate the other day on one of the racing forums with a guy that works for a racing fuel company. He started out very very negative. After about 2 pages of discussion he simply dropped out of the debate because each time he raised an issue he opened the door for me to make $6-$12 race fuel look like a bad buy when compared to an equivalent fuel you can buy for $1.99 a gallon.

 

Things are changing --- the most powerful marketing force out there is slowly doing its job (word of mouth). Folks now know on a first name basis one or more people that are using E85 or E85 blends. Luckily the vast majority of us pushing the fuel on the performance forums have been cautious and encouraged folks to do their home work and we have had very very few issues where folks broke anything during their conversions and in those few cases they knew what they did wrong and even gave E85 credit for being a very forgiving fuel given the mistakes.

 

For example one guy I know here in Denver had a boost control problem on his car and spiked it to well up into the 30 psi boost range and did not kill the engine. On gasoline the same error would have cost him $2000 -$3000 for new pistons and and a new engine block etc.

 

These little news tidbits I find very encouraging because you know that before something like that hits the news, someone some where spent a year or two doing research on the subject. I think forums like this one provide a very powerful back door source of information that gets some of these projects off the ground.

 

I would bet some serious money that there are engineers from major manufactures that lurk on these forums and when we stumble over some effect or tweak that works they take it back to the lab and try to apply it to their projects.

 

 

[pat on the back folks]

 

Larry

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I agree Larry. Some of us work in hopes that they do pay attention and try it out. Logistics aside, the functionality is really fantastic. Folks even like the smell! 160,000+ people with a near zero failure rate outside of expectations can't be that wrong...can they? 150hp+ gains in some circumstances can't be that wrong, either. Efficiency gains permitting close to 50mpg or more using current technology? I really doubt it's the enthusiasts entirely missing something in the equation...

 

I look at my own situation and a lot of you guys and wonder; If a kid, a codger, a farmer, a yuppie and even people that don't speak English can tune ethanol blends in their garages to beat gasoline's figures of mileage, emissions, and power in virtually every category...what have other labs been missing?

 

Some of our greatest thrills are the looks on people's faces who say prior, "You can't do that...but...how did you just do that?" We get to explain it, they try it, and it grows from there. There's not 160,000+ "converted cars on ethanol". There's 160,000+ people all doing something different with just ethanol blended gas alone. Biodiesel users are at least comparable in number and ingenius solutions. I've talked to very very few people who have done just ONE thing with biofuels if they've experimented at all. You've all got a list of stuff you've done, basically. Around here, I think we're several of the top dogs, and the dynamic of the market has even changed right underneath us.

 

Larry's talking about the numbers changing, and he's right. Could there really already be three quarters of a million biofuel users or more in the U.S.? Could there be over a million biofueled engines already running in the U.S.? That's the bigger story, I think. Big oil definitely has their numbers. We have ours.

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  mpersell,

 

            I thought you'd get a much better response from NEVC regarding the pricing problem with

          HEB & Kroger,  since they're a major retail chain.  If there's only a 30 cent spread between

          Regular unleaded and E85, then someone is making alot of money on their venture.  Have you

          contacted any of the local TV media to seek out anyone who may be sympathetic to the E85

          cause?? I know it sounds funny, but media types may be just what is needed here to ferret out

          someone who may be price-gouging...  Just for starters, you may want to direct them to data that

          shows a significant price spread in a nearby state with an ample ethanol supply ( Kansas, Missouri).

          With transport costs of 3 -  6 cents per gallon, it should be easy to show how a terminal operator,

        or perhaps Kroger themselves, are pocketing money that should be going to the consumer...

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They don't even have to write the story sometimes just getting calls from the media about something like that is enough to get managements attention.

 

TV stations love price gouging stories, and especially if you play the angle that the money that they are skimming is partially a tax break intended to save the consumer money and make the fuel available at a fair price.

 

Just point them at the E85 prices and ask them why E85 can sell in Colorado for $1.99/gallon and they don't see comparable prices in your location. We are both somewhat outside the corn belt.

 

Then to add insult to injury point out that this Panda Energy fuel ethanol plant is supposed to be one of the most efficient in the industry.

 

http://sev.prnewswire.com/oil-energy/20050919/DAM01019092005-1.html

 

Larry

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