Letter: Ethanol has muddied green power

Published:

 

It's unfortunate that the Nov. 13 story "The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push" was hidden on the back of the sports section, although the information therein should be no secret to anyone. Over the years I have written to all our representatives about the ethanol scam, most recently to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, but, based on her form-letter response she is as clueless as the rest.

Not mentioned in the story is poorer gas mileage. I owned three vehicles when "gasohol" was first introduced on a seasonal basis in California 30 years ago. Mileage on each dropped more than 10 percent during gasohol season, and recovered during "real gasoline" season. My truck got 12 mpg on gas, barely 10 mpg on gasohol. To travel 120 miles I converted 10 gallons of gasoline into combustion byproducts during the "good" season, and about 11 gallons of gasoline plus one gallon of ethanol into byproducts during the "bad" season. Yet politicians, defying common sense, said, and still say, that burning "gasohol produces less CO2."

The chemical formulae of both gasoline and ethanol are readily available, and simple high-school chemistry demonstrates that atoms of carbon and oxygen, when burned, combine in exactly the same reaction no matter the carbon source.

Richard Willerton

Vancouver