The Ethanol Papers - Paperturn manuscript - Flipbook - Page 32
Fuel" (written by Bernton, Kovarik & Sklar) points out how the ethanol-gasoline
blends were labeled as "the most perfect motor fuel the world has ever known,"
and providing "extra power, extra economy and extra efficiency." A Standard
Oil promotional pamphlet advises that with 10 gallons of their ethanol-gasoline
blend in a fuel tank it is possible to pour almost a pint of water into the tank
"without the slightest trouble - in fact in some circumstances with better running."
The end of Prohibition in America did mean that ethanol could once again compete with petroleum oil fuels, but what had been a significant head start for the
petroleum industry prior to the Free Alcohol Act was now an insurmountable
advantage. It would require industry acknowledgment that tetraethyl-lead, and
then MTBE, was deadly; economic devastation caused by foreign oil dominance; and considerable environmental damage to finally compel government
action that (still only) cautiously encourages ethanol use.
In conclusion, I reiterate that the U.S. government did choose the winner in the
energy fuel war and that its continued interference has made it impossible for a
free engine fuel market to exist.
But what if the government didn't tax alcohol in 1862? What if alcohol was allowed to compete freely during the second half of the 19th century and all
through the 20th century without Prohibition (or without Prohibition affecting ethanol production for fuel)? What might have happened?
We may not have engaged in so many wars;
we may not have lost tens of thousands of
servicemen in the wars; we may not have
had to spend trillions of dollars to engage in
the wars. We might not have needed to pour
money into the Middle East oil countries to
secure their oil as we wouldn't have needed
Smog in L.A. in the late 1970s
it. Instead of making terrorist regimes rich,
which allowed them to fund terrorist actions
they might all have remained sleepy backwater countries.
If ethanol fuel was allowed to prosper our farmers might have required less aid.
Our skies may never have become smog filled; we may have had fewer catastrophic oil spills and disasters. If we didn't have National Prohibition perhaps
organized crime wouldn't have become so organized.