Reality Blind - Vol. 1

of the energy, by volume, of crude oil. 175 In addition to its lower energy content, other factors make ethanol a poor substitute for crude oil. Since it is water soluble, it attracts and absorbs moisture, solvents and cleaning agents, and degrades plastics. This makes it problematic for many engines, especially boat outboard engines and small engines such as chain saws, lawn mowers and electric generators. Despite all these problems, the use of ethanol in gasoline is federally mandated (as a result of Congressional lobbying), ostensibly on environmental grounds as it burns cleaner - but it could be argued the main beneficiaries are the ethanol producers in corn state economies. TaaL: Everyone likes a good illusion. Counting a bunch of liquids which aren’t oil as “oil” gives the illusion that the flow of oil to human societies won’t peak, even though it logically must, and for the most part has peaked. Ethanol is incredibly effective. I like it with lime juice, sugar, and crushed ice, and one must assume that it’s being consumed in a similar way, and perhaps to excess, by those constructing US energy policy. Adding ethanol to gasoline is also incredibly effective... at transferring money into the accounts of the ethanol firms producing it. Turns out corn can be “pork” even if not fed to pigs, as has been recognized by all presidential candidates campaigning to court votes in Iowa for many years now. Energy- wise, it’s useless, making your vehicles run worse while producing nonexistent “green” benefits which are based on narrative fallacies and not on science. One of those pesky ramifications of thermodynamics.

Math Teacher: if you have five quarts of root beer and drink two, how many do you have left?

US EIA: That depends on how much lemonade you have.

The Bottom Line: In order to make it seem like there is plenty of oil, we have changed the definition of what is oil to include lower quality liquids.


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