Big Oil Not a Big Fan of E85 Ethanol?

Much in the same way Big Oil was never a fan of the electric car or cars fueled by water, it appears they aren’t going to be too supportive of the latest alternative energy source, E85 Ethanol.

Red Cavaney, President of the American Petroleum Institute, the nation’s largest oil and gas lobby association, believes down the road E85 Ethanol may prove to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

In a press release from the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC), Cavaney was quoted as saying:

“A national emphasis on increasing ethanol volumes through E85 can prove unnecessarily expensive and risky.  If we are to encourage more long-term use of ethanol, we need to avoid surprising consumers with unanticipated problems.”

Also according to the press release, Cavaney later went on to call E85 Ethanol fuel “costly and ineffective.”

The most ironic thing about Cavaney’s statement: he was speaking at the Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance conference, which was hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

One would think since he was speaking at a conference directed towards both those want a renewable fuel source and those who are going to grow said renewable fuel source, maybe Cavaney would have been a little more upbeat regarding E85’s prospects.

Considering there are already 1,000 E85 Ethanol fuel stations around the country, it’s doubtful E85 Ethanol is going to go the way of the electric car and fall into obscurity, Cavaney’s remarks definitely show that this alternative fuel source has a long way to go before it is considered mainstream.

And it appears Big Oil wouldn’t mind if it never got there.


  1. Well, duh.

    It’s just like anything else that might potentially reduce our consumption of their main product. They either buy the patent and quietly kill it or simply campaign it into the ground.

    Presidents, dictators, royalty and other figureheads can do as they please, but we all know the real world rulers are those with all the money, like Big Oil and Microsoft.

  2. Lord Farkington says

    The biggest problem with Ethanol is that it has vastly less energy content than gas or diesel.

    In the U.S. at least, E85 is more expensive & gives less MPG than cheaper gasoline.

    E85 isn’t economical yet.

  3. Its economical in brazil where its been the main fuel source for the entire country since the oil crisis in the eighties. But not alot of people talk about that.

  4. Roughly trades at half the price of gas. About five million american cars have the capacity to burn e85 and people aren’t made aware of it. Every single gas station in brazil provides access to e85 fuel and the normal gas is even made up of 25% ethanol. Sounds like its enough energy content.

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