Economic and Cultural Costs

Since the 1970's, we have had repeated oil crises causing consumers and the automotive industry to spend billions of dollars more on gasoline and engineering modifications to vehicles without making us  independent of imported  oil or significantly lowering CO2 emissions. 

The $4+/gal gasoline experienced in the summer of 2008 caused untold disruption and ultimate bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler resulting in the loss of thousands of middle class jobs.

The April 2010 oil well blow-out in the  Gulf of Mexico cost us 100's of millions if not billions of dollars to clean up. With E100 powering half of our fleet, the need for imported oil would drop to nothing.

If the political tension and demonstrations in the Middle East spread to Saudi Arabia and oil supplies are reduced, the price of gasoline will reach unheard of heights in the U.S. We need to make ourselves independent of Middle East politics. E100 flex/fuel engines can do this.

This possibility is currently (August 2017) masked by low gasoline prices in the U.S., but is always underneath the surface.

The government's standard of July 29, 2011 to raise the CAFE limit to 54.5 mpg for 2017 - 2025 light duty vehicles will only tie us to gasoline forever. It is not even clear if this goal can even be reached at any reasonable cost. Additionally, the "54.5" is a calculated number based on  CO2 emissions per mile. The actual mileage is someplace in the 30's mpg.

This plan depends upon massive mileage credits for electric and electric/hybrid (EV's) vehicles and assumes that consumers will buy EV's in huge quantities. Absent a technology breakthrough, this is simply not going to happen. See the "Why Not Electric Cars" page.

The President announced that when the proposed 54.5 mpg standard is combined with the current 2012 - 2016 standards, we will save 12 billion barrels of crude from 2012 - 2025 (14 years). To obtain the 140 billion gallons of gasoline we use, we have to use 7.4 billion barrels of crude oil. 
As a percentage then, we will save only 12/(14*7.4) = 12% of our crude oil consumption over those 14 years.

In short, we are going to spend anywhere from $2,000 - $6,000 per vehicle to save 12% of our gasoline and it is likely we will not even save that. This is not a good bet and does not make sense.


Bill Ford, Jr., the Chairman of Ford Motor, stated publicly at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Oct. 27, 2011 that electric cars are "a big bet, a huge bet."

A better bet is to continue work on EV's by applying the 54.5 proposed standards to only 50% of the fleet, and the other 50% should be E100 flex/fuel vehicles.

At the most basic level, the government's plans spend  billions upon billions of dollars  to keep using the problem - gasoline.

We need to replace at least 50% of our gasoline with a motor fuel whose price is not controlled by the oil companies. 

Moving to a significant percentage of E100 flex fuel vehicles capable of burning straight ethanol efficiently will  cost less and save far more gasoline than the government's program.