Letter: In defense of ethanol
In response to Norm Baker's "research" of E85 (Public Forum, March 14): Anyone can write and post anything on the web, which I suspect you did your "research" on.
There are two videos you need to watch. One is www.youtube.com/watch?v1j-35_jpdVw; the other is www.youtube.com/watch?veBRbJkt2G3I. You might also search Wikipedia for "Flexible-fuel vehicles in Brazil" to gain some technical insight.
Personally, I have been running E85 in my 1999 Grand Prix for several years now with no ill effects. I mix at the pump, seven gallons gas and six of E85, and it starts and runs well all year.
Many racers have found they make more power on E85 when they build their engines for it -- meaning crazy high compression in the range of 13 to 1 up to 15 to 1! You can run higher boost in turbos or superchargers with E85.
Brazil has been on ethanol for 30-some years. We haven't seen them fighting in the Persian Gulf lately, have we? I would think that they drive cars and trucks, use lawn mowers, chainsaws, boats and other small engines just as we do with no ill effects from ethanol.
After a brief search I did indeed find an article pointing the finger at ethanol causing problems with fiberglass boat tanks. Their solution? Switch to aluminum tanks. Yes, E85 is just fine in aluminum gas tanks.
As for rising food costs, even without taking corn to make ethanol, food prices will go up. Higher fuel prices get added into everything. As I child, I remember a hat my father had. It said, "If you got it, a truck brought it." If that truck or tractor in the field is using $4 plus diesel, guess who paying for the fuel in the end? You and I.
Is E85 for everyone? It's up to you, but I would rather have my money go to a farmer here than overseas to someone that wants us all dead.