Pyre #1 – Wisconsin Governor Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC-Potawatomi) wants Congress to force oil companies to refund “excess” profits. You mean like the 9 cents/gallon “excess” profit mandated by Wisconsin’s minimum markup law when wholesale gasoline was trading at $2.60/gallon instead of $1.80/gallon? You mean like the mandated immediate price spike and delayed price fall at the pumps also mandated by Wisconsin’s minimum markup law every time the speculators move the price of gas on the spot market? You want relief at the pumps? How about getting rid of part of the gas tax since you can’t find enough road projects and empty buses to fund; oh that’s right, the teachers own you and are expecting the same kind of return on their investment that the Indians got.
Pyre #2 – ADM and the ethanol sycophants are airing commercials saying that we could save $0.10/gallon if only we required every station in Wisconsin to sell gasoline that contains 10% ethanol. That’s funny, when I travel out of this little corner of the state, where every station has to carry ethanol-laced Algore Memorial Gas, I notice ZERO price difference between stations that have straight E0 gas and bad E10 gas. I do notice, however, that my engine runs a bit better (and the engines in my lawn mower and snowblower run a LOT better) on the regular gas. I won’t even mention that ethanol creates a whole new set of pollutants, ruins the fuel injectors on GM vehicles, and that a vastly-different blend is required in winter to prevent fuel-line ice-up (oops, guess I just mentioned it).
Sticking with the ethanol, I’ll head back in 2000, when I had a 1995 Saturn SC2 and the Algore Bad Gas was so much more expensive than good gas available in places like East Troy. Using the Algore gas, I got 30 miles per gallon in city driving (or 300 miles on a 10-gallon fillup leaving a 2-gallon cushion), but when I took the trip out to East Troy (60 miles round-trip), I got 33 mpg combined city-highway on that same 10 gallons (or 330 miles).
Ah, you might say, 60 of those miles were highway driving, and thus that explains the difference. Au contraire. While it does explain some of it (I was getting about 37 mpg in strictly highway driving), let’s do the math. The trip out to East Troy took 1.62 gallons and 60 miles from the 10 gallon/330 miles. That meant I burned 8.38 gallons over 270 miles. I come up with over 32 miles per gallon on driving that would otherwise have burned a gallon of Algore Gas every 30 miles. That’s right, I burned 6.25% MORE gasoline when burning the ethanol-laced stuff.