Ethanol Industry Impacted By Low Gasoline Prices

16 02 2009
A VayerSun Energy plant in Dayersville,Iowa that closed in November

A VayerSun Energy plant in Dayersville,Iowa that closed in November

In an effort to wean the country off fossil fuels, President Bush signed an energy bill in December that calls for oil refiners to replace 36 billion gallons of gasoline with ethanol by 2020.

In that bill, Congress mandated a doubling of corn ethanol use,  to 15 billion gallons a year by 2015. Given the current state of the economy, this goal is very ambitious. Although gasoline and oil prices have plunged, the price of corn  has remained high, putting the ethanol industry  in peril.

The ethanol industry  has been hurting since gasoline and oil prices plummeted. One of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, a company in South Dakota called Vera Sun Energy, has suspended production at 12 of its 16 plants.

Ethanol fuel,  a more environmental alternative to fossil fuel, has been strongly encouraged in a world plagued by global warming.

Many major automobile manufacturers, such as Ford, have made cars capable of running on E85, an ethanol fuel made up of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Ford has produced 4 of these vehicles, called Flexible Fuel vehicles, or FFVs: the F150, the Ford Crown Victoria, the Mercury Grand Marquis, and the Lincoln Town Car.

Ethanol fuel is relatively inexpensive and can be made in the comfort of one’s home using ordinary household products.

The following Youtube video features Wind Gap Farms, a company in Georgia that makes ethanol from beer:

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