This post has absolutely nothing to do with SEO, so forgive me for that.
In my younger days, I was more outspoken about things that mattered to me. I attempted to make a difference when it came to issues I felt were important - whether political, social, or whatever. Those days are long gone. With age, came apathy. I became jaded and decided it wasn't worth the effort to try and affect change. Politicians didn't care. People didn't care. Well, that might be stretching the truth some, but regardless, it basically sums up my feelings about it all.
I haven't gotten worked up about any issue in many years. But lately, one thing has been festering in my thoughts. One issue has been on my mind a lot, and I can't seem to shake it. This issue is actually intermingled with other issues, but that's beside the point. I'm not sure what to do with this new-found concern of mine. I certainly don't have any kind of power or influence amongst those that matter (politicians, business leaders, etc.). No, all I have is my small sphere of influence - my little SEO world. So, since this blog is the hub of my little world, I present my feelings here. Will it do any good? Sadly, no. Not really. But I feel compelled to mention it somewhere, to someone. So here goes.
The U.S. needs to get heavily invested in E85 - Ethanol. We desperately need to rid ourselves of our vast dependence upon imported oil. Our farmers desperately need new business. Our environment desperately needs every tiny advantage it can get. And we, the people, need an alternative that makes sense on so many levels.
I recently bought a truck, and was surprised to discover that it is a FlexFuel vehicle - meaning it can run on either standard gas or E85, or any combination of both. That ended up being a huge selling point for me. Unfortunately, there is not a single gas pump in my state (Louisiana) that sells E85 fuel. What a shame.
I found a site called the National Ethanol Vehicle Coaliton, which shows a map of all the E85 fueling locations in the U.S. Although most of the states have some, you'll find that the list in each state is extremely short.
60 Minutes aired a piece last night on E85, and it was mentioned that it would be relatively easy to put one pump at every gas station within a couple of years. No new technology has to be invented. It already exists. Brazil has been using E85 almost exclusively for several years, and they have drastically reduced their imported oil dependence.
I don't know exactly what to do to help influence this change, although I did use the simple form over at www.e85fuel.com to send emails to my state representatives. I wish I knew what else I could do. I will continue to see if there is any other way I can help push this along. In the meantime, I thought I would at least put this out there for all of you to consider.
So, that's my post. I hope I didn't bore you, or offend you, in any way. But I had to put it out there. For whatever reason, it has become important to me.
6 thoughts on “Totally off-topic this time”
I’m with you 100% on this one DD. It’s your blog. Generally(mostly-not always –hehe) I keep my political mouth shut on seo forums and blogs.
Its a big issue. I don’t see one good reason for the US or most of the world to continue to suck up lots of oil.
I’d say that folks on both sides (any side) of the political fence in the US would agree with this issue. If you’re an environmentalist, you like the reduction of waste, transport issues, and emissions. If you’re a hardcore Conservative, you like the reduction of spending with countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iran, etc. There’s no political allegiance I’m aware of that doesn’t agree with you on this Donna – I think you’re on safe ground.
There might be a random Santorum here or there who disagrees, but generally that has to do with personal vested interests. If you’re wondering why there isn’t an effort to get these pumps put in nationwide, just look at who spend the lobbying and re-election campaign dollars for congress (hint – the ethanol lobby is a micron of the oil industry’s size).
Nothing against Brasil or anyone from Brasil, but I would like to think that if in 20 years, the Brasilians can manage to remove any dependence on foreign oil, that the US can too…and in less time.
I was pretty pumped a couple of years ago, when I learned about E85 and E95 (the diesel version of E85) and that all of the new Chevy trucks could run on it from the factory. I was not as pumped when I learned my 2001 would not run on it but still thought it was very cool that the 2002+ Tahoes (among others) ran on it from the factory. It was a moot point, because I would not have been able to buy the stuff here in CA anyway.
But, as rand said, it is really about who has the influence in Washington D.C. when it comes to what our policies will be. Maybe we all need to start linking to big terms like “oil” and “gasoline” to E85 websites? One thing is for sure, it really sucks paying $3.35+ a gallon for gas.
Believe me when I tell you that I feel the pain when our fleet gets fueled up. I have a vested interest in fuel prices dropping.
I like the idea. However, I did recently hear or read somewhere that we don’t produce anywhere near the corn needed to make this fuel available en masse. Some quick figured I pulled from the web:
It takes 1 bushel of corn (the crop of choice, and the largest crop in the US) to make 2.7 gallons of ethanol.
The US produced 11,807,000,000 bushels of corn in 2004.
In March 2005, we (US) consumed an average of 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day.
This means if we put 100% of our corn production into making ethanol, it’d make enough fuel for less than a third of the year.
That’s a great start, and it sounds like there are more materials than can be turned into ethanol (rice hulls, for example). And some additional engineering needs to be done on engines – though today’s engines can take the fuel, it is a lot tougher (more corrosive) on engines than gasoline is, meaning more engines on scrap heaps.
It needs a push – we are starting to get these stations in our area, and I love the potential for saving at the pump – $100+ per vehicle for every vehicle makes me a little woozy when the monthly invoice comes.
I agree that the present “influencers” are probably the biggest blockage to this going forward. I love the idea of all of us getting together to link terms like “oil” and “gas” to E85 sites. Brilliant.
And yes, I’m sure we don’t produce enough corn to completely switch over yet. But farmers are looking for something to give them a reason to grow more. And ethanol can apparently be produced by lots of different crops. One of the big crops here in Louisiana is sugar cane, which can produce ethanol. I know our local sugar cane farmers would love to produce more, and be assured that they can sell it.
I’ll see what I can do to start the linking campaign. Thanks for that idea!
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