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Letter: Don’t be fooled by low price of E-85

A sign advertises the availability of ethanol E85

A sign advertises the availability of ethanol E85 fuel at a gas station in Chicago on Jan. 27, 2006. Credit: Getty Images

A letter touting the “affordability” of E-85 fuel ignores significant facts “Long Island’s best-kept secret for fuel,” Feb. 20].

First, the total energy content of ethanol fuel is barely half that of gasoline. Simply put, a gallon of E-85 will only carry your car half the distance of a gallon of gasoline. So $2.85 per gallon for E-85 is really like paying $5.70 for ordinary gasoline. That’s a bargain? 

Second, ethanol fuels are available only because they are heavily subsidized by the federal government through incentives that have diverted corn production from food to fuel, which has aggravated food prices throughout the Third World, especially Latin America.

Finally, the combustion of ethanol fuels also causes significant damage to the valves of most internal combustion engines.

Michael Campanelli
Editor’s note: The writer is a former automotive editor for Hearst Motor Books.



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