Bobby Likis: Use ethanol to meet clean air standards
By Bobby Likis
May 24, 2013
On May 13 your editorial called for Gov. Rick Scott to sign HB4001, removing ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standards. Many of the points on which you based your opinion are wrong. The governor should veto this jobs and investment-killing bill. For 42 years, I've operated Car Clinic Service. Mine was the first Bosch Authorized Service Center in Florida. We take engine care very seriously.
The governor has said that Florida must be "Open for business." The stability of public policy is essential for investors. And, locally produced ethanol, in Florida, has nothing to do with corn, as your editorial suggested.
Your editorial suggested that ethanol damages engines, but here are the facts: of the 175,000 cars and small trucks that we have serviced in 42 years, not one engine has been damaged by ethanol. When it comes to the fuel line and primer, ethanol is no worse than gasoline when proper storage guidelines are followed.
Your editorial said that ethanol harms boat engines, but industry leader Mercury Marine says that ethanol may help maintain drier fuel tanks. The fact is that heat and oil contamination do more damage to injector seals.
For the last 35 years, carmakers have designed their fuel systems to use E10. It makes no sense that after all this time ethanol is now a problem. Dr. Andrew Randall, engine technical director with Earnhardt Childress Racing, leads a team of 130 engine builders, who make 650 NASCAR engines annually. He says E30 can be used in today's engines.
We know the oil companies are not about to give up their monopoly. Today people can buy pure gas in nearly every community. They pay more. Removing ethanol from the RFS does nothing. Except that ethanol, unlike gasoline, provides high octane in a clean-air form.
The issues linked to ethanol-laced fuel are that ethanol is used to replace the MTBE octane additive that was found to