Ethanol Energy Essay

2050 words - 8 pages

Since the invention of the internal combustion engine, car makers and consumers have been filling the gas tank with just that, gasoline. Starting out with leaded gasoline then slowly switching to unleaded gas in the late 1960s until catalytic converters, a new auto part which can only run on unleaded, were made mandatory in 1975. However over the past couple decades there have been a new contender in the fuel marketplace to power consumers’ cars. Ethanol is defined in World Book Student as “a type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and used as an automobile fuel” (Sheehan 1). Sometimes called ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, has been an additive to gasoline since its introduction. The purpose was to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing a cleaner and greener fuel alternative. It has in fact done neither. Dependence on foreign oil has not changed and the global warming crisis is actually becoming more of a crisis. The world as a whole needs to stop ethanol production because it is doing more harm than good by: keeping the price of fuel at an all-time high, increasing both the world grocery prices and the number of starving people in the world, actually making global warming more of a problem, harming the majority of cars on the road, and being a large factor in making the United States national debt reach all-time highs.
The senior citizens of today, even adults, remember and often tell younger generations of when gas was below $1.00 a gallon; even down to a quarter for a gallon and a nickel for a movie. Today is a different story, as of October 25, 2011 the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was $3.46. In an article by the Buisness and Media Institute gas today is on average a dollar higher than last year and two dollars higher since Obama took office (Seymour 1). There has been a steady increase in the price of gasoline since the end of 2008 when there was a major push for ethanol-gasoline blends; which are categorized as E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) and blends all the way up to E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). E85 is the highest amount of ethanol allow for sale in retail, but, in Brazil E100 (100% ethanol) is everywhere. It is not even possible to buy regular gasoline in Brazil anymore. The reason the price stays up is because it costs extra to manufacture ethanol and put it in as an additive. The process of harvesting the corn, (which is the most popular crop in the United States for ethanol) then paying for all of the machinery/workers tends to get expensive. The simple process to make gasoline starts with: digging for oil at oil fields, then either shipping the barrels from other countries or from our oil fields to refineries. The oil is then refined into gasoline, the different companies then pay to rent pipelines to ship the fuel to terminals. The closest terminal to Rexburg is in Pocatello; it is then put onto different trucks and sent to...

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