Time to Scrap Hawaii’s 10 Percent Ethanol Mandate

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If you’ve been wondering if the ethanol mandate is saving you money, look
no further than ”’The Honolulu Advertiser’s”’ July 11th article “Converting sugar cane
to ethanol profitable — for now”.

The article says that “current market
prices (are) about $4 a gallon for ethanol.”


Since ethanol has only 70 percent
of the energy per gallon of gasoline, it would take about $5.70 worth of
ethanol to replace the energy in a gallon of gasoline.

Add in the taxes
at the pump, and that 10 percent ethanol added to each gallon costs about twice
as much as the gasoline it replaces.

But, some might save, we’re saving on fossil fuels and helping the
environment. Isn’t that worth paying a lot more?

Well, that’s not true

If you look in the July issue of ”’Harper’s”’ magazine — the
Harper’s Index — the ratio between the energy from corn-based ethanol
versus the (fossil fuel) energy required to produce it is 1:1. So
ethanol isn’t really a renewable resource — we’re just taking fossil
fuels and converting them to ethanol without any gain in energy.

I understand that Hawaii legislators want to placate the environmental lobby
even if doing so harms the public, but this 10 percent ethanol mandate is stupid
and costly. It’s time to scrap it.

If the oil refiners want to add
ethanol to gasoline, that’s their choice, but let’s not force them to do
it even if it doesn’t make economic sense.

”’Jim Henshaw, a resident of Kailua, HI, can be reached via email at”’ mailto:lindamd1@juno.com

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