Ethanol Spells Corny Economics

Guest Post by
Bill Goodnight
The ethanol boondoggle was first brought to my attention during the 2006 legislative session when the Farm Bureau attempted to mandate that all gas pumps in Idaho dispense E10 (10% ethanol).

I am the president of United Street Rods of Idaho, a lobbying organization for Idaho auto hobbyists. We were concerned about being forced to use a fuel in our prized and expensive classic and collector cars. It is well known that ethanol causes major problems in older cars.


As we continued to watchdog the corn cheerleaders and research the topic, more glaring truths about ethanol emerged.

E10 and E85 (85% ethanol) provide diminished gas mileage. Ethanol contains 66% of the BTU’s (energy) of gasoline. Therefore, a 10% solution of ethanol has 3.4% less energy than gas. E-85.jpgAn 85% blend (E85) has 25% less energy. A vehicle getting 20 mpg on gas will get 19.3 on E10 and 15 mpg on E85. So much for proper tire inflation, regular tune-ups, etc. The

AAA reports actual costs for E85 adjusted for reduced mileage:
The second issue is the rapid movement to E10 by Valley retailers. In the last three weeks, Jackson Foods, Albertson’s, and Fred Meyer have joined Stinker Stations in serving only E10. Soon to join are Flying J stations.
Behind the environmental and “the government made me do it” claims lies the economic truth.

These retailers are saving 11 cents per gallon by diluting their gas with cheaper ethanol. Are they passing these savings on to customers? Not one of these retailers has reduced their prices since beginning sales of “watered down” gas.

Other incentives are driving them to E10. As taxpayers you will be happy to know that The Biofuel Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit passed by the 2006 Idaho Legislature gives them a tax break for preparing their stores to sell us watered down fuel.

If that wasn’t enough incentive, the Idaho Department of Water Resources Energy Division has $2.3 million in grant money to assist them in preparations to gouge us at the pump.

No one seems to be looking out for the Consumer. The Attorney General isn’t interested. Where is Jim Jones when we need him?

EDITOR addendum—corn_harvest9.jpg
The price of everything from tortillas to eggs, dairy products, and meat is tied to the price of CORN. Just because it is POSSIBLE to make fuel from corn doesn’t make it a WISE decision. Mr. Goodnight has hit on one of the most important issues facing America and perhaps the world today.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. The Deal is
    Jul 3, 2008, 11:03 pm

    Much could be wrote on this subject and already has.

    One would think that if there was a means of saving fuel or making fuel cheaper the savings would be passed along to the consumer. However, I don’t think the oil company’s see it that way.

    I am of the opinion that if suddenly we had a means of going 300 miles on a gallon of gas, that one gallon of gas would be so expensive most of us would not be able to afford it.

  2. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 3, 2008, 11:14 pm

    We’ve learned absolutely nothing from 1973 or subsequent events.

    * Jimmy Carter’s Tax Incentives for Solar were allowed to expire long ago

    * We raised the Speed Limits the moment we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait (55 not only “Saves Lives”, it saves a heckuvalotta fuel)

    * Continue to give Tax Incentives that were intended for Farmers and Tradesmen to Mary Kay Rep’s and Cell Phone Dealers to buy Hummers (an $85,000 Hummer after Tax Breaks and amortization costs about $21,000, not including write-offs for fuel, etc.)

    * Fail to mandate even solar pre-heaters in new construction (Paying to heat water in the SUMMER? IN A DESERT ? ! ? !)

    * Build McMansions aplenty (with ungodly amounts of vanity airspace to be heated and cooled, and then scream like stuck pigs when Natural Gas jumped 30%)

    * Fail to enforce “Compact Car” parking spaces intended to reward conscientious citizens

    * Watch as Japan (et al) kicks our butts – AGAIN – by providing superior craftsmanship and efficiency (GM stock is at its lowest since Ike was President)

    * And in a world where our Brothers and Sisters – INFANTS and CHILDREN – are starving to death by the MILLIONS, we’re using FOOD to create fuel in an effort to prolong our gluttony

    The fact is, we have plenty of energy available right here in the USA, without having to resort to using food for fuel.

    Unfortunately, the chances of us as a nation ceasing to be arrogant, gluttonous and chronically analcephalic regarding the most important issues of our time are slim-to-none.

    Shame on us…

  3. Bob Blurton
    Jul 4, 2008, 12:12 am

    Technically, America is not making fuel from corn.

    The process is transforming oil and natural gas into ethanol, with the added advantage of using copious amounts of water, and depleting farmland, while helping to deforest enormous areas to expand food production. It is also subsidized by your tax dollars to the tune of about $3 per gallon.

    Most of the nitrogen fertilizer farmers’ use today is made from natural gas. Pesticides are in a base of solvents made from petroleum.

    The sad thing is, the scientists of the world knew that there was essentially no energy gain when the inputs talked about above were transformed into ethanol.

    The experts in the field of energy do not get airtime in our media. The media takes polls of what the uneducated populous thinks might fly, and if it makes some wealthy folks wealthier, it is enacted.

    Just a little forward warning, the experts already have come to the conclusion that…

    -Nuclear Energy: 20 year supply of uranium, costs more energy to build the plant and mine the uranium than you will ever generate.

    -Hydrogen: Hydrogen is an energy carrier, like a battery that loses 40% every time you charge it. Tiny molecules leak easily and would destroy the atmosphere if implemented on a countrywide scale.

    -Oil Shale: You are converting electricity into oil with massive ecological damage and enormous water use.

    -More drilling: We have passed ‘Peak Oil’ and no amount of drilling will make the global oil supply increase. Soon the supply will start falling and get increasingly scarce quickly.

    -Miracles: These only happen in kiddy movies.

    -Alternatives and Renewables: If fully implimented, could replace perhaps 25% of our current energy use in America, but would take up to 15 years to implement. We have run out of time and costs of building solar panels, wind turbines, etc. is skyrocketing. Renewables can’t be made from renewable energy so this is only a temporary fix. Future generations will live much like our ancestors did hundreds of years ago.

    So, Star Trek is not going to happen. We are not even going to get the flying cars that Popular Mechanics has always promised. And, worst of all, our current population of 6 billion will need to be trimmed to a little less than one billion in the coming years.

    Go to
    You can find archived articles from all over the world, sorted and searchable, that document these assertions I have made.

  4. Grumpy ol guy
    Jul 4, 2008, 12:21 am

    The amount of land devoted to raising corn for fuel has diminished the number of acres for food crops, thereby increasing the prices of grain and other food crops. The “land banking” of farm land for fuel crops also drives up the cost of food. Ethanol isn’t helping the environment or the economy.

  5. Well then Mr. Blurton, I guess the only course of energy you can take is to go down to the steps of the capitol, and slit your throat! By your assessment, all is lost and there is no reason to keep breathing.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with Bill. We have a habit in this country of getting excited over “quick fixes” and treating symptoms of problems rather than the causes. Coincidentally, I was reading this article in the UK Guardian as I read Bill’s observations:

  7. Ethanol may be ok for 4-stroke engines but it is poison for 2-cycle stuff. If you decide to use E-20 or E-85 in your 2-cycle engines the warranty is void. Saw this little advisory at the local lawn mower shop.

    The sooner we get to the “maximum price” (maybe $10/gallon for gasoline), the sooner we get shifted over to something else. And the high cost will make folks think before they turn the key in the car for no good reason. We won’t have to worry about building ourselves out of gridlock on the streets and highways.

  8. Bob Blurton
    Jul 4, 2008, 11:43 pm

    Cyclops my friend, actually there are courses of action to deal with this permenant energy crisis that have been written about in length in many books such as…

    -The Transition Handbook, Rob Hopkins
    -Reinventing Collapse, Orlov
    -The Coming Economic Collapse, Dr. Leeb
    -Crash Course: Preparing for Peak Oil, Nowak
    -The Long Emergency, Kunstler
    -Powerdown, Heinberg

    …As well as a library full of essays that have been archived at

    The American suicide rate is the highest it has been in 30 years, and the foolish will continue to do this in much greater numbers.

    The smart folks will, first off, investigate the ‘Peak Oil’ dilemma until they are positive it is real, and imminent. They will then learn what it means in terms of consequences for our area.

    Then, they will systematically, and aggressively reduce their energy consumption in a proactive way. They will learn the myriad ways to prepare for the collapse of our economy and be prepared to help those around them to whatever degree possible.

    Wishing upon a star for technology to save you, the problem to go away, or ‘someone to do something’ will be the worst path that will likely end in starvation.

    I have been relentlessly spreading the word about the horrible consequences of not preparing for ‘peak oil’ for purely selfish reasons. If Boise does not survive, we will all have to leave. Boise will not/cannot survive unless preparations begin immediately.

    Cities around us have begun by creating city resolutions that name ‘Peak Oil’ as the city’s greatest threat, then assigning a task force to identify specific threats and solutions. Some of those cities include Seattle, Spokane, Oakland, and many others across America.

  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 5, 2008, 1:08 pm

    GM has bet it’s future on “flexfuel” technology. Toyoto and Lexus have bet on hybrid technology. As far as I know, Ford is sticking with gas.

    I have a hybrid and it works well. By the time I need to replace it, the technology will have improved even more.

    The truest and most important thing said in the original post or any of the comments is: “…our current population of 6 billion will need to be trimmed to a little less than one billion in the coming years”. That would be a very good thing if we can “git ‘er done”.

  10. I am really disapointed that, in 9 posts, no one has noted that we have many decades of oil and half a century of natural gas already identifed in the USA but Congress will not allow us to drill for it. Congress is the reason we have $4 gas and will have until they let us drill. Some idiots confuse a slogan “we cannot drill our way out of this mess” with a real argument. I have a counter slogan…”We cannot conserve our way out of this” unless you want to reduce our lifestyle too about 1930.

    Drill now, drill everywhere, oh, and build a boat load of Nuclear power plants.

    Let me hit you with a real issue…I come from Maine. 90% of the heat for our 7 month winter comes from home heating oil. The cost right now in Maine is about $5.50 a gallon. We burn between 800-1200 galloms a season….Do the math.

    Now consider the median family income in Maine, before taxes (the highest taxed state in the country) is under $40K

  11. More car Repair bills
    Jul 5, 2008, 10:10 pm

    Wait until your cars start running badly – then you have a $300 bill to have the mechanic tell you that the engine wasn not “adjusted” for gas-o-hal (as it was called in the 70’s) or Ethanol today.

    Cars older than about 1995 will be most effected.

    Even at the motorfest show today several of the older cars were vapor-locking due to the fact that they filled up with ethanol blend.

    Lookm out for more repair bills.

  12. Paul said, “Ethanol may be ok for 4-stroke engines …”
    Nope. I have 2004 Ford F150 pickup truck. The owner’s manual advises not to use *any* ethanol. Says to look for stations that do not put it in their gas (it now appears those may get hard to find).
    A friend was rather proud to inform others that he bought a flex-fuel car — until he tried straight gas and then ethanol … and found that he got way fewer miles per gallon on ethanol.

    However, if anyone still thinks ethanol is a good idea, why would they want to make it our of corn? Corn produces one crop a year. Ethanol can be made out of a variety of vegetation, including some that can be cut over and over (sort of like your lawn) throughout the growing season, according to those who seem to know (yeah, those scientist types).

    Unfortunately, politicians, not scientists, get to make the decisions about what they will let us have.

  13. Bill Goodnight
    Jul 6, 2008, 7:10 am

    For JIMV:

    Apparently, the Conservative IEA (International Oil Agency) agrees “we can’t drill our way out of this mess”. See the July 1 Wall Street Journal, Peak Oil: IEA Inches Toward the Pessimists’ Camp.

    They say that “Saudi Arabia is the only country with any spare production capacity. Increased domestic drilling, the U.S. energy agency already said, would be but a hiccup in the global market.”

    Where is all that oil?

    The author goes on: Politicians can pick their bogeyman—be it speculators, OPEC, or Democrats. But more and more it seems like the oil connundrum boils down to an age-old truth: Finite supplies can’t meet infinite demands.

  14. Rod, are you and Bob absolutely nuts? Do you realize you are suggesting that we “rid” ourselves of 80% of the earths population? Just how do you suggest we accomplish this goal of yours? Do we use tactical nuclear weapons? How about we just offer a machete sharpening service free to the leftists in Somalia, Rwanda, and Darfur? Do we tell the developing countries that “sorry, but we are making ethanol with our corn now,(never mind that it screws up our cars) so we won’t be sending you grain any longer. That is unless you can figure out how to gain sustinance from gas. Maybe we just “gas” China and India? While we are at it, we can supply unlimited ammunition to muslim extremists?
    Your simplistic,illogical, and downright idiotic solutions are accomplishing nothing. That is, unless either of you have recently received your appointment as “Director of world-wide population control”.

  15. Bob Blurton
    Jul 6, 2008, 7:54 am

    The fossil energy and nuclear crowd have made a fortune on us. Keeping us hooked on their product has been job one. They have promoted the idea that their product will be around forever through direct media advertising and buying off our politicians.

    The scientists and petroleum geologists around the world have known this was all a lie for a very long time. Our politicians know this too, but are busy diverting our anger with red herrings.

    The worlds largest energy finance banker and energy advisor to the White House, Matt Simmons, is one of the top debunkers of the myth that we can somehow keep the high energy lifestyle afloat. His Book ‘Twilight in the Desert’ is mandatory reading for those inclined to understand our predicament.

    Go to his website and read his slideshows.

    Forget what you think you know about energy, it is mostly all wrong.

  16. Yossarian_22
    Jul 6, 2008, 12:04 pm

    Ahhh yes…the end of America’s happy motoring utopia is coming to an end. Cyclops, your sarcastic suggestions of how the world’s population should be reduced, misses the point that the superpowers are probably already assessing such “solutions” now. Take the basis for our own foreign policy principles, as advised by national security icon George Kennan in 1947. Here’s an excerpt from his PPS 23 memo to NSA planners-

    “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives…. We should cease to talk about vague and … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

    So you see, with these guiding principles that we have operated with for over half a century, it won’t be long before the powers that be make their decisions regarding the dispensation of the world. The question still arises, however, will peak oil permit such a “cleansing” and/or will we as a people change our lifestyles and polities enough to halt the course of global genocide so as many as possible can survive, or just so we can attempt to “keep on truckin'”?

  17. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 6, 2008, 1:55 pm

    For JIMV (and maybe for Cyclops, too):

    If we drill, or if we conserve, or if we do both, “reducing our lifestyle to 1930” or even to 1860 still may not be optional, unless we reduce the population. (And don’t ask me how to do it – I don’t have the answers. It may happen naturally – and in very unpleasant ways.)

    There is no shortage of energy, water, or food. There are only surpluses of people trying to consume them. That is all you really need to know – and accept – and act accordingly.

    Good grief, that’s the whole premise behind this locally growthophobic web site – there are simply too many people trying to cram themselves into this valley. The discussion of ethanol (started here by Bill Goodnight’s op-ed) has only taken the same discussion worldwide.

  18. Y22, because Kennan made a statement 51 years ago, and maintaining that his statement has been the force behind Global policies for over 1/2 century, requires a leap that ranks right up there with the black helocopters and the Mason’s protection of the holy grail! Opec’s president said yesterday that “40% of the increase in the price of oil can be attributed to the emphasis placed by consumer nations on bioethanol”. We need to become independant of foreign oil pronto!
    But switching the emphasis to “alternative renewable” sources as our main supply is simply ignorant! Opponents to increased drilling say that we can’t get any meaningful production for 10-15 tears. Yet the king of Saudi Arabia said last week that the Saudi’s have discovered a new oil field and they will be pumping 1.2 million barrels within a year” WTF!!! And your side’s position is that there has been a 1/2 century long “decision” to allow 80% of the world’s population to “evaporate” so that the remaining 20% may survive and prosper. Man, you guys make Hitler aand Stalin look like choirboys!!!!

  19. The world population problem can be solved in one generation without killing anyone. Any male who has already fathered one child should have to get a vasectomy (did I spell that right?)

    Notice that the countries with the highest birth rates also have the greatest struggle with getting enough food.

    I have only seen this idea floated once in any blog. That would pretty much take care of the abortion issue as well.

    Somehow, I don’t think this is going to happen. Way too sensible.

  20. Tom Anderson
    Jul 6, 2008, 5:09 pm

    A foreign aid worker who just returned from Ethiopia said, “Everybody is starving”.

    The very poor countries that our (and Europe’s) imperial tentacles have mauled are starving to death in the millions right now. We have driven their people into cities, destroyed their small farms, and now they cannot afford food on their $2 a day salaries making our socks and underwear.

    The ‘drill everywhere / do anything to get gas back to $.99 crowd’ is just dead wrong. We need high gas prices so that we abandon this ridiculous notion that we can live in Oregon, work in Idaho, and vacation in Hawaii. Even if Peak Oil were 15 years off, now would be a good time to rearrange our disastrous societal layout. High food prices are good because getting your food from 1,200 miles away is just plain stupid. I like eating and would really rather have my food a tad closer to me. High prices will drive diversification in farming, and avoid long distance transport.

    Look at Wal-Mart, they are going gonzo on local produce sourcing, fitting their stores with solar panels and buying all new trucks that get really good gas mileage. They see the future clearer than most.

    The thoughts on population reduction are not policy related. They are resource related. Somehow, whether we agree on a course of action or not, the population will be reduced. We are currently using 10 to 15 calories of petroleum energy to create 1 calorie of food energy. We have depleted our farmland to the point that it will not even grow weeds without external inputs.

    What America really needs is for the populace to stop being intellectually lazy and functionally illiterate. Turn off the television, and read a book folks. Books have bibliographies that cite other works of fact and scientific studies. Television and newspapers are largely a fictional medium that folks mistake for factual. The same people that complain about the liberal lying media are the same ones that believe everything they hear on it as Gods honest fact.

  21. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 6, 2008, 5:55 pm


    You posted: “I am really disapointed [sic] that, in 9 posts…”

    Please notice that in post #2 I mentioned:

    “The fact is, we have plenty of energy available right here in the USA, without having to resort to using food for fuel.”

    I didn’t pepper it with data; but the fact remains.


    As far as population control?

    May I suggest a reading of “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift.

    : ^)

  22. Yossarian_22
    Jul 6, 2008, 8:52 pm

    Cyclops- It doesn’t take a leap of faith, but an attention to historical facts to understand that the US has maintained a PPS23 mentality ever since the 40s. You can either choose to disbelieve or get educated. I’ll leave the black helos and Masons
    to the those who think that drilling offshore, baking shale oil in the ground@ 700 degrees in the ground or slopping tar sands to become “energy independent,” will save us.

    We are not going to meet 86+ mil bbls a day with those methods. No one is. Also, there are no more major oil fields anywhere. Matt Simmons, a guy who’s whole career is based on knowing such things, knows that.

    And uhhh…we’ve been living under a Hitler wannabe for 8 years now.

  23. As far as ethanol is concerned… enough with the government handouts. If the ethanol industry can stand on its own and make money without help from uncle sam than so be it. From a retail perspective as long as gas stations are giving full disclosure then I don’t see a problem, just make sure to disclose it at the pump.

    As for oil…
    #1 Start drilling for more domestic oil pronto. I know it will take 10 years and only make a blip on the price but strategically we must until we kick the oil habit. At this moment in time this should be a bi-partisan issue.
    #2 The next administration must make kicking oil the “race to the moon” of our generation. Research grants, tax incentives for better mpg within the auto industry, more research in mass transit and shipping industry etc. Hold a press conference every 6 months and tell the American public how progress is coming. Celebrate innovators in energy conservation like heroes. The lefties will like it from an environmental perspective. The righties know that an ocean of oil is sitting underneath, let’s not call them crazy, but unenlightened folks over there in the middle east. For them it will be a security issue. Regardless it should be a common goal.
    #3 Don’t give up, enough with the self loathing “half a century of imperalism and we need population control” crap. Start looking forward and tend your own garden. If you don’t like the way folks in the suburbs live their lives then move close to your work and start riding your bike. Support local businesses who buy local goods and see if you can help start a positive trend. Support energy conservation the best way you can by doing it yourself.

  24. Bill Goodnight
    Jul 7, 2008, 7:16 am

    As usual, the Statesman has their head in an awkward position! Today they dedicated 60 column inches to getting better gas mileage and not one mention of fuel selection. IS THERE ANYBODY BACK THERE?????

  25. Bob Blurton
    Jul 7, 2008, 7:57 am

    You are right Bill.

    Our local media are worthless. They do exceedingly detailed stories about things that don’t matter, but the energy crisis that threatens to destroy our country gets fluffy little overviews full of opinion.

    Idaho Statesman::: “Joe, who works at the Stinker Station on State St. says gas prices will come down next month. Joe says …people just ain’t able ta afford it so it’ll hafta cum down.”

    There are probably 5,000 serious energy experts in the world but Amory Lovins and Daniel Yergin are the only ones ever quoted because they were willing to give cheery outcomes to this mess.

    Ever since the current run up in oil prices the ‘experts’ trotted out by our media have predicted falling prices right around the corner.

  26. We tried the E85 stuff when Stinker had it cheap($2.00/gal) on Tuesdays. My wife’s Dodge Minivan is rated to burn it. My conclusions-
    1. Okay probably to clean your engine every once in awhile.
    2. 2/3 cost of regular gasoline evens out the poor mileage.
    3. Switch back to gas after 2 tanks of E85. The car became very hard to start.

  27. The problem remains…we cannot get by on conservation. If everyone cut out 10% of our energy needs, we would see about 3 years reduction in our normal growth and, as oil is fungible, our conservation will simply be swallowed by Chinese or Indian expansion having no efect at all.

    The only way is to determine what MUST run on fossile fuels, like personal transprt, and what can be made to run on electric, like rail and then build more eficient personal transport and lay rail everywhere while building scores of new power plants. That would set up a different energy line, dropping oil use and increasing electric with electric coming from Nuclear.

    We should also have high speed rail everywhere.

  28. Thank you Werner! The most concise post here.
    JimV, just a quick question. Who pays for “high speed rail everywhere”? Just curious.

  29. Tom Anderson
    Jul 7, 2008, 4:15 pm

    Werner & Cyclops, I have one tiny little concern with your strategy.

    We’ll all starve to death while Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Schlumberger and all the other energy companies suck up our money.

    So…,the plan is, …the citizens of the world expend the remaining finite resources of the planet trying to STAY ADDICTED to finite resources.

    Great plan guys, hope we find something even though the world’s energy experts already know new discoveries will be very meager and decline rapidly.

    Perhaps since we are all free to dream the impossible dream… I should share my project.

    I’ve developed a Molecular Transportation Device (MTD) that actually generates energy while you use it. The waste product that comes out the tailpipe is champagne, or beer with some modification.

    It will be ready for delivery in …oh 5 to 10 years, but the exciting part is that you can invest in it today!

  30. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 7, 2008, 4:42 pm

    Lots of talk about “Peak Oil”, but just how do you calculate that?

    Well, first you have to estimate the reserves in each and every oil field, worldwide. Lots of posibble sources for error in that estimate, some intentional. You have to go back to the very first oil well, when records were poorly kept and estimates merely guesses. And how do you account for yet to be discovered sources?

    OK, then you have to estimate oil usage, starting from the very first barrel of oil, and estimate every year’s usage up until now and then on into the future. Any possible source of error here? Any chance your estimate might be colored by your agenda?

    Then you just calculate which year your data says is the year of peak oil. Then it’s all downhill from there. What’s the margin of error in that? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years?

    Just remember, all these estimates and numbers are just stabs in the dark. Some like to call them wild-a$$-guesses. Nobody knows what will happen or when. Nobody can predict the future. So if anyone tells you they can – treat them like a snake-oil salesman.

  31. So where in Boise is anyone finding fuel without ethanol? I am looking for premium and my old standby (Chevron) just went to 10%
    Surely somebody has come across stations that don’t use ethanol yet?

  32. Bob Blurton
    Jul 7, 2008, 6:44 pm


    Before dissecting ‘Peak Oil Theory’, which was proven in 1970 by naming that year as America’s peak of oil production, you must actually know something about it.

    But, if one is mortally afraid of science, this may not be possible.

    You must also know that Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, many other magazines and a huge amount of investor newsletters are talking about Peak Oil and saying it is real, and it is here now.

    The business community is being warned but not Joe Sixpack.

    If you graph the volume of all worldwide discoveries (we do this using production reports), and then adjust across for known rate of usage (documentation from nations is available), you will find a bell shaped curve showing when peak oil will occur.

    There is also the fact that if you graph worldwide usage; you find that it leveled off and peaked in 2005 and we have not beat that production figure since.

    The world expert on Peak Oil, Professor Deffeyes of Princeton University, believes 2005 was the peak.

    The only people disputing this and planting doubt are those trying to hide the fact that they knew all along; namely the politicians and the elite who control our media.

    You can find a complete, easily understandable, short explanation of Peak Oil at…

  33. “JimV, just a quick question. Who pays for “high speed rail everywhere”?

    The same folk who pay for roads, in the hundreds of billions each year…everyone.

    The railroads were originally built as a land giveaway to the railroad countries. Taxpayers are already paying VAST sums for the road system. How is rail different? Heck, what about the old folk without kids who pay for junior’s so called education? If something is seen to be in the public interest (even when it isn’t in many cases) we throw taxpayer money at it. Why not something we can actually see and use.

  34. Well at least you don’t have to smog-check your classic fuel hog. I just had to get my new 30 mpg toyota checked, go figure? If you are going to whine about the cost to operate your “classic” then I suggest coming up with a new hobby. It is not your god given right to consume at the expense of others. It would be hysterical if you were a realtor who drives a government subsidized Hummer!

  35. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 8, 2008, 12:06 pm

    Bob, I understand the theory, I’m just pointing out that we can’t know everything for certain and that predictions aren’t chiseled in stone. I’ll also bet there have been numberous widely varying predictions of peak oil and there is no way to tell which is the most accurate.

  36. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 8, 2008, 1:21 pm

    From the Small (tiny, even) Steps Department…

    – – It would seem to me that the hydraulics of the Boise River would be enough to drive a small turbine (that could be installed at the Americana Boulevard diversion) and power the lights along the Greenbelt, or at least offset cost via co-generation.

    – – The soon-to-be Whitewater Park could easily incorporate one also into the new construction.

    – – Mandate through codification the inclusion of solar water heaters (or at least pre-heaters) in new construction. Again… Paying to heat water in the SUMMER? IN A DESERT ? ! ? !

    – – Make vehicle registration fees proportional to the strain said vehicle places on infrastructure and the environment.

    – – Enforce existing “Compact Car” Parking Spaces to reward the conscientious.

    – – Replace the monster V8s and SUVs used by the BPD (you can’t outrun a radio), and the majority of wholly unnecessary SUVs used by various City, County and State employees with more efficient vehicles.

    – – Fortunately I have have no first hand knowledge; but I’m guessing the State Prison Kitchens produce enough waste veggie oil to fuel a couple/few diesel vehicles.

  37. I found out that Phillip 66 does not have ethanol, yet

  38. So JimV I will assume that you want to develop rail lines INSTEAD of fixing roads, because we can’t do both with the same amount of money! Or, are you possibly suggesting that the road, gasoline and all the other transportation based taxes be DOUBLED to feed your light rail system? Good luck with that, but I would suggest you not buy your jelly beans by the pound!

  39. Ok, for all you dig more oil folks.
    Explain why Bush Corp. says the price of gas is a supply problem? I think I can buy all the $4.50/gal gas I want all day long. Seen gas lines? Seen ration cards?
    Why are we exporting twice as much refined oil products this year as last year? Read about it in the Wall Street Journal.
    Big oil wants us to pay what all other developed countries pay, and we should.
    If you don’t think solar energy is possible, go sit in your hot car.
    Why is T. Boone Pickens promoting wind energy?
    Electrical conservation puts energy on the grid faster and cheaper than any power source ever invented.
    Like Nukes? Check the bill per KWH from a nuke. Want to pay that bill?
    If Nuke power is so good why is ID.Power not promoting it? They will buy and distribute it, but no ownership. Why is Id. Power investing millions in energy efficient lighting?
    Blame the enviros? Try living in China where we have shifted our pollution. They make what we want cheap.

    When people stop smoking the same crack as Rush Limbaugh and open a book, and minds, we might get somewhere as a nation.

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