Saturday, April 9, 2011

How could the House budget-cutters miss this EASY program to do away with? Subsidies to install gas pumps to dispense E-85 gas with Ethanol...Please help me pick up the pieces of my exploding head...

What a way to start the day. I sit down with a nice cup of coffee and this gem pops out from the WSJ....Grants and subsidized loans to install new gas pumps so we can sell gasoline that has even more ethanol (E-85)  which everyone, but the ethanol lobby, believes is bad policy...How was this NOT low hanging budget fruit subject to cutting in the budget battle that went deep into the night? 

The Secretary of Agriculture declined to say how much the program would cost because he did not know how many station owners (or oil companies) would take advantage of the program...Fair enough, I get that. But a better question for him from would have been how much has been budgeted for such a program.  THAT he should know.  Wish the reporter had asked that. OR better yet, a budget-cutting ELECTED official...Just sayin'...

Gas Stations Get Aid to Sell Ethanol

"""The Department of Agriculture will soon be helping gasoline stations install new pumps that can dispense fuel with higher ethanol content, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

The USDA will soon offer grants and loan guarantees for the installation of costly new "blender pumps" so drivers can purchase fuel with a higher ratio of corn-based ethanol.

Most gasoline sold in the U.S. is 10% ethanol, but a growing fleet of flexible-fuel vehicles can run on an 85%-ethanol blend, or E85. However, there are fewer pumps available to dispense it, Mr. Vilsack said.

In the U.S., only about 2,350 fueling stations out of more than 110,000 offer E85 pumps, according to the USDA.

Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the number of E85 vehicles in the U.S. is growing about 10% each year. In 2008, there were 6.1 million such vehicles; now, the number has increased to about 8.2 million.

New blender pumps, which Mr. Vilsack said cost about $120,000 to install, also would make it easier for drivers of conventional cars to increase the ethanol content of the gasoline they buy. He declined to estimate the total expenses, saying he didn't know how many station owners would seek the guarantees and grants. """
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