Subsidizing ethanol fosters inefficiency
In reading the pros and cons of ethanol in the Dec. 28 edition, I kept wondering, if ethanol such a good idea why aren’t we importing ethanol from Brazil? They use sugar cane, which produces 8 units of energy for every energy input unit used. Here in the United States, the use of corn only gets around 1.6 units for every unit of input.
Ethanol in gas lowers the power and mileage. In two different trips over to Sioux Falls, my car got 24 miles per gallon going over, and after filling up in Sioux Falls with 100 percent gasoline, it got more than 25.5 miles per gallon coming home. Let's just say it's one mile per gallon more. The gas tank holds 16 gallons, so for every tank of 10 percent ethanol/gas the car will go 16 miles less. Sixteen gallons times 52 fill-ups in a year results in the car going 832 miles less per year using 10 percent ethanol. That's a free trip to St. Louis and back.
Then take the 832 times the 2.5 million cars registered in Minnesota and it comes to 2.08 billion miles lost to ethanol every year — without counting an equal number of pickup trucks.
Let the subsidies end and give us back a choice at the gas pump.