Ethanol proponents urge Canada to raise renewable-fuel levels for gasoline

Faced with an uncertain future in the U.S., ethanol proponents have mounted a public push north of the border, urging Canada to raise its own renewable-fuel levels for gasoline.

Environment and Climate Change Canada, the nation’s top environmental agency, is in the process of developing a new “Clean Fuel Standard,” a broad set of new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions and bringing cleaner-burning fuels to the pump. Part of the review includes taking a second look at the country’s renewable-fuels rule, which currently calls for an average of 5 percent ethanol by volume in gasoline.

By comparison, U.S. gasoline this year topped 10 percent ethanol on average for the first time.

American ethanol producers — which already have found Canada to be fertile ground for exports — say the Canadian government, if it’s serious about reducing carbon emissions, ought to seriously consider raising that 5 percent threshold to at least 10 percent.

“The U.S. ethanol industry applauds Canada’s desire to reduce the carbon intensity of its transportation fuel market, and we see our northern neighbor as a strong partner in renewable fuels expansion,” said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, which works to find new export markets for American corn, grain, ethanol and other products.

“Our industry stands ready to ensure that the supplies Canada needs are available,” he added in a statement last week, after the council, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and other pro-ethanol groups submitted formal comments to the Canadian government.

In addition to calling for widespread availability of E10 — gasoline with 10 percent ethanol and the most common blend available at American pumps — U.S. ethanol backers also said “regulatory barriers” should be removed to make it easier for producers to sell their goods in Canada.

The country already is the third-largest importer of American ethanol. The U.S. ethanol industry in March exported 127.8 million gallons of product, and 22.7 million gallons of that went to Canada, according to information from the RFA.

Moving forward, the Canadian government says ethanol mandates are under review but wouldn’t commit to forcing more of the fuel into gasoline supplies.

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Comments (5)

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    Captain Dave

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    Of course American ethanol producers want a larger market. They don’t care how much the poor are hurt by higher food prices. They carefully do not mention that it takes more than a gallon of fossil fuel to grow, harvest, refine and transport a gallon of ethanol. They perpetuate the myth that carbon dioxide is bad.

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    Judy Cross

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    The weather has destroyed crops all over the world. We can’t afford to burn food anymore.

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    ninetyninepct

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    My new Kia strongly recommends NOT using gasoline containg ethanol, indicating that doing so might have an effect on warranty. I investigated and ONLY use Shell. Look at the stickers on the pumps.

    A few years ago in Alberta, driving an E-85 ’07 Avalanche, I did a test on a 500 mile round trip to Saskatoon, deliberately using Husky and other high Ethanol content gasoline. Having kept records, I knew what mileage I had been getting on the same trip a number of times before and in the same seasons. What a disgusting waste of fuel. Mileage went from 20.6 mpg to 16.4 mpg due mainly to the horrible loss of power. A 4.2 mpg difference or roughly 20%. Never again will I voluntarily use gas containing Ethanol. To add insult to injury, ethanol fuels were more expensive.

    Take your ethanol and shove it.

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    Sonnyhill

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    North American farmers produce so much food that they are on the losing side of the supply and demand equation. The drought of 2012 was an exception. Even with the ethanol refiners gobbling up 5 billion bushels of corn annually, we still export billions of bushels of grain to the world. North American taxpayers used to subsidize those exports, meaning countries like Mexico, Egypt, Japan and China bought our grain at less than the cost of production. One of the subsidies was “Payment in Kind”, or the PIK program. Taxpayers paid farmers to fallow their land, which reduced grain surpluses but bought the taxpayer nothing. “Green” fuel ethanol was a ruse to create local jobs and local demand for corn. The result was a boon for Midwest farmers, John Deere and small towns. The farmer subsidy was dumped on the motorist and the petroleum industry. Farmers are happy but the old oil men are not. Today, we’re back where we started. Production per acre has increased to the point where surplus grain is piling up again and farmers are treading water. I contend that ethanol production proves that we huge reserves of food. If there is ever a threat of shortages, shut down the ethanol plants. The ethanol business will survive or the agriculture business will implode.
    As for the reduced MPG of ethanol blends, ethanol has about half the BTU value of gasoline, but at 5 to 10 percent blend rates that doesn’t account for a 20 percent mileage loss. Take your Avalanche for a tune-up.
    Canada burns more fuel ethanol than it produces.”Surplus” Ontario corn is exported to Michigan where it is turned into ethanol. Ontario buys ethanol from Michigan. Truckers profit.
    Only the starch and sugar in corn is converted into ethanol. Fermentation does not consume fiber or protein, which is sold as DDG, distillers dried grain. Its a high protein animal feed supplement.
    What’s the answer? Depends on who you ask.

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    • Avatar

      ninetyninepct

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      Didn’t need any tune up. Oil & filter changes every 5000 km, plugs every second year or 25000 km, air filter every year. I took good care of my truck. I even ran the tires 2 psi over recommended pressure as I accepted the very tiny firmer ride and traded for better mileage. It is good practice to up the tire pressure as manufacturers use “softer” tires to give a softer ride. I use cruise control at every opportunity. I’m not a mileage zealot, I just use good driving habits. Ethanol sucks.

      As soon as I gassed up with good fuel uncontaminated by ethanol my mileage jumped back up.

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