Of Gas Booms & Engine Damage: Energy Update

World Marketed Energy Use by Fuel Type – Histo...

World Marketed Energy Use by Fuel Type – History & Projections, 1980 – 2030. Data sources: History: Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Annual 2004 (May-July 2006), web site http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea. Projections: EIA, System for the Analysis of Global Energy Markets (2007). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s time we looked at a couple of energy stories I guess. First up, from Power Line Blog Steven Hayward talks about how fracking is driving an economic boom in Pennsylvania, while the nannies in New York are keeping their population poor. And just in case you were worrying about it, Gasland is just about as truthful as Triumph of the Will although Leni Riefenstahl was a far better filmmaker.

The kicker on the gas boom is that we’re exporting coal to Europe, that makes it a win-win. Particularly as our railroads are one of the most efficient movers of bulk commodities ever dreamed of by man. Here’s Steve.


The good folks at the Energy Information Administration have produced this stunning 22-second video that shows the boom in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania from 2005 to April 2012.  While you watch this explosion of prosperity for the Keystone state and contemplate with glee the anguish this is causing environmentalists, keep in mind that next-door New York has continued to ban most natural gas exploration and production, which not only deprives the Empire state of economic activity, but has bid up the prices of gas leases on private land in Pennsylvania.  Think of it as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s wealth-transfer-to-Pennsylvania policy.

Meanwhile, the gas boom is not just causing heartburn to Green Weenies here in the U.S.  According to a new report just out from the International Energy Agency, the natural gas boom in America is—are your ready?—leading to increased coal consumption in Europe, some of it additional imports of cheap American coal.  The IEA predicts European coal consumption will rise by 10 percent or more over the next decade.  Double-win!  Here’s the key slide from the IEA report, and savor the headline, “US shale gas switches on coal in Europe”:

Click to embiggen

Continue reading What a Gas Boom Looks Like in Motion | Power Line.

In another matter, Maggie over at Maggie’s Notebook reminds us that if you drive a 2011 or older vehicle by BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, or Volkswagen the use of E15 Gasoline will void your warranty. She does a very good job of explaining why, so I won’t go into it, I will add though that last I heard even E10 will void the warranty on lawnmowers with engines from Briggs and Stratton. Use it at your own risk, but it will reduce your mileage so if you like real efficiency stay away from the garbage. Do watch the linked video, it’s very good. Here’s Maggie.

Here’s some information for you to consider if your vehicle is older than a 2012 model. According to the information in the following video, the new E15 gasoline is in some gas stations now, and is surely coming to one near you. At least ten car companies are now saying they will not cover any claims of damage due to this fuel, due to E15, and it’s going to void your warranty. Some of those companies mentioned in the video which will not cover fuel-related claims are BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes, and Volkswagen. These companies also are saying the use of E15 will void fuel-related warranties.


AAA is calling on the EPA to suspend the sale of E15.

Lauren Fix, the “car coach,” from AOL Auto makes these points:

• E15 is approved by the EPA and being pushed by the Government. AAA says do not use it.

• There wasn’t a lot of testing done on E15

• E15 is 15% ethanol. E-85, also in gas stations is 85% ethanol. Both E15 and E-85 are fine for flex-fuel vehicles, but there are few of them on the streets. E15 and E-85 are a danger to all other vehicles, and you risk your warranty being voided.

• There is “phase separation” when the ethanol merges with gasoline at the pump. The ethanol is heavier and goes to the bottom of the gas tank. The vehicle draws the ethanol first. Ethanol is so corrosive that it damages fuel systems and engines. When the ethanol is gone, the gasoline is drawn. There is proof that it damages fuel lines, emission systems and engines.

• Companies which manufacture fuel lines say they have brand new vehicles with rotted-out fuel systems.

• E15 Destroys Gaskets due to the corrosiveness of ethanol

• E15 is made 3 octane levels lower, 87 octane is actually 84 octane – which damages your engine because it “detonates.”

• A lot of money is changing hands. Corn subsidies are huge.

• Farmers are growing more corn fewer other agricultural products, so groceries are going up. Remember the skyrocketing price of tortillas in Mexico? Consumers will be hurt badly in severa areas.

• E15 is highly corrosive – so corrosive it has to be distributed to the gas stations in stainless steel tanks.

• From E15, you get less than one-third-energy per-gallon of gasoline that has ethanol in it compared to regular gasoline that doesn’t have ethanol. In otherwords, you go a shorter distance using ethanol. It means you are filling up at the pump more often, and you risk costly damages to your engine.

• E15 may appear to be cheaper, but it’s not and you risk costly repairs and a voided warranty

From AAA:

In June, the EPA approved the use of E15, and a handful of gas stations in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas have begun to sell this fuel. There is a strong likelihood that retailers will market E15 in additional states soon unless regulators take immediate action to protect consumers.

Nearly all of the gasoline sold in the United States today is E10, which contains up to ten percent ethanol, primarily produced from corn. The ethanol industry has lobbied hard to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline as a way to increase sales and help meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.

AAA’s concern with E15 is not about ethanol. In fact, AAA believes that ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to save Americans money and reduce the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels. The problem is that available research, including the EPA’s exhaust emissions tests, is not sufficient evidence that E15 is safe to use in most vehicles.

The ethanol industry’s response to reports of damage caused by E15 is that it is the most tested fuel in the EPA’s history. The caveat to this assertion is that while the agency did test E15, their research focused primarily on exhaust emissions and associated components such as catalytic converters. While this research was consistent with the EPA’s mission, it never fully examined whether E15 might damage engines and fuel systems

If the video disappears or will not play, view it here.
E15 Ethanol Warning (Video)

Continue reading E15 Gas Approved by EPA Slammed by AAA – Carmakers Will Not Honor Warranties | Maggie’s Notebook.

It just works so well when we run this country for the benefit of special interests, doesn’t it? Well, you’ve been warned, if you have a yen to spend several thousand dollars out of your own pocket so that you can think your saving the environment while subsidizing a corn farmer, Heck, go for it. We all know we can’t fix stupid.

Categories: Energy, Environmentalism

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6 replies

  1. Very good, and very interesting article. I don’t worry too much about E-15, as we don’t have it here (yet). We do have some pumps with 10% ethanol, but since it is the same price as regular unleaded, I don’t use it. In talking to the station owner, there are no plans to have E-15 here. I notice that you did not mention the gas and oil boom currently happening down in South Texas. There is new drilling going on everyday, and the locals are making money hand over fist with tens of thousands of dollars in lease payments going out every month. At least that is what I hear from the locals. What I am also hearing from the locals is that although some of the local news agencies are saying that the oil is being extracted from oil shale (fracking), but that in reality it is “free flowing” oil. They drill and up comes the oil. I am also hearing from the locals that according to the oil companies the majority of this oil is being shipped overseas. If this is true, then I have a real issue with that. It seems to me that the oil should be going to the American market. I do realize that free enterprise dictates the product goes to whomever the wholesaler wishes to sell it to, here or overseas, but I just can’t stand watching our countries resources going to other countries. If we kept and used our countries oil for ourselves, we could easily become energy independent. If what I have read is correct, we also have the resources and ability to produce more oil than just about anywhere on the planet. This is a huge potential for becoming a stronger and more powerful nation, and yet we do not tap into this potential at all. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand why.

    • I don’t know on the west Texas one, Bakken up in Dakota is going gangbusters, there’s more in Nevada and Wyoming, some reports say each is bigger than Saudi Arabia, I suspect we are running out of refining capacity, which in this environment is going to take forever to fix, which might explain the exports, short term I can live with that, it’s far better to have people dependent on us that the middle east. Long term, I agree, we need to use it ourselves.

      I also noted that coal production is down to the point that the Union Pacific is thinking of lowering their earning expectations slightly, given how much coal we have, this is just plain stupid in any real world sense.

  2. We haven’t had a new oil refinery built since 1976, and that just makes no sense. As our country grows, we should be expanding our energy production, and yet we don’t. We just keep sending it overseas. We have more than anyone else and yet we don’t use it for ourselves, we send it to other countries. Where is the logic in that? We wind up becoming energy dependent on other countries, including countries that hate us, and use the money we send them to attack us in various ways. Again I ask, where is the logic in what we are doing? Not that i want to sound imperialistic, but the reality is that we could control the world if we wanted to. I am glad we do not, and that we have no plans or desires to to so, but at the same time I do not want another country (or countries) controlling us. There are, however, several that want to. I think the first step we need to take to prevent this is to become energy indepenent.

    • I agree wholeheartedly with you on that, it’s inexcusable that we haven’t been building refineries, particularly in the last ten years as our reserves have skyrocketed.

  3. Aw, c’mon, guys! The faster we rot our engines and need new cars on borrowed money, the faster we’ll make ourselves rich doing it; our politicians have promised…

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