Is Ethanol a Viable Alternative?

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(Photo By: Peter Wynn Thomas)

In a recent New York Times article Alexei Barrionuevo finds that despite good will towards ethanol, "success is far from assured."  Even with support from large companies like GM and Ford, Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of Petroleum Industry Research Foundation, feels that there is "no way E-85 (Ethanol) can survive on its own without massive government subsidies."  Oil companies are not standing in line to invest in E-85 as they view it as a money losing alternative to their petroleum-based products.  As a result gasoline retailers are hesitant to install the expensive pumps, which can cost up to $200,000, with a new underground storage tank. 

More than 850 service stations now carry E-85, an increase from 350 since the beginning of 2005, but the fuel is still unavailable at most of the 169,000 stations in the United States. Sales are so slim that some retailers count their regular E-85 customers on one hand.

Click here to view the full article in The New York Times

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