Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When Conservation Becomes Self-serving

I've always been proud of the gas mileage my little Buick LaCrosse got, usually around 29 mpg. But a couple of weeks ago I noticed that I seemed to be running out faster, so I checked the mileage. It had dropped to between 25 and 26 mpg. That very day I read an article in the newspaper that said gasoline that was a 10% ethanol blend would drop gas mileage about 3 mpg. So, my question was answered. That's when I began wondering about ethanol as a means of conservation; is it? Does it conserve gasoline? Does it conserve anything? Or, is it simply an alternative fuel? Consider this: Ethanol shortens the life of an engine (documented fact), therefore more vehicles would have to be purchased/junked at a faster pace. How much fuel and petrochemicals are involved in the manufacture and/or disposal of automobiles. I submit that the paltry 10% gasoline savings at the pump will ultimately use many times that amount in crude oil in the process just mentioned. Oh, and by the way, that 10% gasoline savings at the pump is directly offset by the 10% loss in miles per gallon. So, in summary; I believe the manufacture of ethanol is indeed a necessary endeavor as an emergency backup fuel, but don't ever try to convince me that it's a means of conserving crude oil or gasoline.

Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright
Author of
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007
"The Last Radiant Heart"/Virtual Tales/Spring 2010
"Anne Bonny, Where Are You?"/Rogue Phoenix Press/May 2010

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