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GM facility revved up for ethanol future

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Facility revved up for ethanol future

Flex-fuel version now accounts for 15% of output but E85 remains difficult to obtain in state

By MATT GLYNN

News Business Reporter

5/10/2006

With gasoline prices holding at about $3 per gallon, vehicles that run on alternative fuels are looking more attractive to drivers. That's good news for the General Motors Powertrain plant in the Town of Tonawanda.

The engine plant has churned out 170,000 engines during the last year capable of running on E85 ethanol, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

Building the "flex-fuel" engine is a tribute to the productivity ratings of the plant, which employs about 2,500 people. And with interest in alternative fuels growing, being one of the GM plants that makes the new engines adds to the Tonawanda site's stability.

"Our competitive situation enabled us to get this engine," said John Crabtree, general manager of the plant, during a Tuesday event highlighting the plant's role in E85 vehicles.

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"One of the big advantages, of course, is this fuel can't be embargoed," Crabtree said. "We grow it right here, so there a lot of advantages in self-sustainability."

a big ol' F-you to oil.

i understand its in its infancy still, but i cant for any reason see why this fuel isnt more widespread.

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Because the big-oil companies are keeping it from spreading.

The E85 refineries are few and far between and they would like to keep it that way mostly because it would take a chunk out of their profits.

Unless they start buying up corn-fields, the Oil companies are going to do everything in their power to stay ahead of the game.

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Here is another interesting article on E85. Note how an oil exec tries to strong arm the guy in the story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12676374/

The key to keeping Ethanol as a vialble alternative is to keep big oil out of it. It has already started. Big Oil is trying to smother or take control already. :angry:

Edited by Brandon Lutz

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"One of the big advantages, of course, is this fuel can't be embargoed," Crabtree said. "We grow it right here, so there a lot of advantages in self-sustainability."

a big ol' F-you to oil.

i understand its in its infancy still, but i cant for any reason see why this fuel isnt more widespread.

If GM and Ford can get together on this, you will see E85 spread out more. Although, I don't care if your Democrat or Republican, I think there are way too many politicians with deep oil pockets. Getting the government to help us will be a gigantic hurdle. What we need is a politician run for a high post that has one agenda in mind "Make E85 the standard".

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I saw on the news last night that an E85 refinery is going to be built in Aberdeen, Washington. Maybe we'll start seeing it available here.

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If they open an e85 station within 10 miles of my house I'd happily trade in for a flex fuel vehicle and flip the bird to these unstable oil producing nations like Iran and Venezuela. I think the best solution would be for Ford and GM to make a deal with the government, where they get an X year tax break in return for 80-100% flexfuel vehicle production. If nearly half of all new cars being sold are flexfuel, a lot of station owners would sign up for e85 i bet.

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i am all for this. the politicos need to drop the tariffs on sugar as it produces 4 times the amount of ethanol when compared to corn. shoot you can make the stuff from prairie grass, orange skins and weeds as well. walmart has said that they will have an e 85 pump at all of their stations. all big oil needs to do is start refining ethanol and they can stay in the game. the only down side is a little less mileage. btw, why doesn't someone sell a mod kit for the most popular cars on the road that could easily convert to ethanol?

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i am all for this. the politicos need to drop the tariffs on sugar as it produces 4 times the amount of ethanol when compared to corn. shoot you can make the stuff from prairie grass, orange skins and weeds as well. walmart has said that they will have an e 85 pump at all of their stations.  all big oil needs to do is start refining ethanol and they can stay in the game. the only down side is a little less mileage. btw, why doesn't someone sell a mod kit for the most popular cars on the road that could easily convert to ethanol?

There is some kits out there but they cost around $700-$800.

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Call your congressmen and TELL them they better support and promote the widespread deployment of ethanol or they're out! It's high time ExxonMobil was knocked off their fat assed pedestal.

(Oh yeah and "Boycott ExxonMobil")

Did you know that Brazil is imported-oil-free this year because THEY are selling E-85 everywhere down there?

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I live in the E-85 capital of the world - Cedar Rapids, Iowa...I have an Ethanol facility right out my window...yet I have to drive 30 minutes to buy E-85 and the ONE PUMP in town selling it is charging a premium for it...turning off consumers all over town...sad. I would buy it if it was cheaper - offsetting the mileage losses...but come on! 3 cents less per gallon than 89 octane with 15% ethanol at any pump in town...big oil needs to be taken off of the pedestal, the farmers need to start growing corn instead of being in subsidized CRP programs, and we need to start drilling for our own oil here in the US and make this country reliant on no one but ourselves!

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I live in the E-85 capital of the world - Cedar Rapids, Iowa...I have an Ethanol facility right out my window...yet I have to drive 30 minutes to buy E-85 and the ONE PUMP in town selling it is charging a premium for it...turning off consumers all over town...sad.  I would buy it if it was cheaper - offsetting the mileage losses...but come on!  3 cents less per gallon than 89 octane with 15% ethanol at any pump in town...big oil needs to be taken off of the pedestal, the farmers need to start growing corn instead of being in subsidized CRP programs, and we need to start drilling for our own oil here in the US and make this country reliant on no one but ourselves!

Once enough business' get on the E85 tidal wave, then good ol American competition will not allow a gas station to charge a premium.

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Call your congressmen and TELL them they better support and promote the widespread deployment of ethanol or they're out! It's high time ExxonMobil was knocked off their fat assed pedestal.

(Oh yeah and "Boycott ExxonMobil")

Did you know that Brazil is imported-oil-free this year because THEY are selling E-85 everywhere down there?

brazil is not oil free. they are foreign oil independant. e 85 requires 15% oil.

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brazil is not oil free. they are foreign oil independant. e 85 requires 15% oil.

Also they use 100% petroleum for a few moths out of year.

Brazil has a longer growing seaon then we do, they have more cultivable land than we do, and much less demand. If we do somehow go to an ethanol based economy, you won't be able to afford beef.

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i dont think we want to be entirely oil free, i dont even think thats possible.

with cars and trucks yes but not every facet of industry.

the point is that if we could significantly reduce reliance on foreign oil wed be better off. not complete removal just enought o make a difference.

20% might even be enough to start. anything to reduce demand.

600 e85 stations is hardly making a dent.

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I have never seen this addressed anywhere, so this seems as good a place as any to ask. Why E-85? Why not E-50 or some other combination? Is there some sort of magic number? Don't you think offering different blend levels might help spread the product and vehicles able to use it?

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Call your congressmen and TELL them they better support and promote the widespread deployment of ethanol or they're out! It's high time ExxonMobil was knocked off their fat assed pedestal.

(Oh yeah and "Boycott ExxonMobil")

Did you know that Brazil is imported-oil-free this year because THEY are selling E-85 everywhere down there?

brazil is not oil free. they are foreign oil independant. e 85 requires 15% oil.

Note I never said Brazil was oil free. I said "imported-oil-free."

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okay, it still has to combust. im not a rocket scientist so i cant really explain all the physics involved but the petrol provides a sufficient amount of combustibility.

any less it wouldnt work as well. why use more gas if you dont have to.

they seem to have worked out the ratio to 85% 15% so i guess then that would in effect be a magic number.

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US doesnt have enough farmland to supply the country with ethanol. and it wouldnt be cost effective to even attempt to try that anyways.

E15 would be more fesible. IMO

:edit: thats not my sig is it? i dont ever remember doing that

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!

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