Introduction: AWD Report is set up for the consumer who is unsure about his next vehicle purchase, outside of the fact that it should be equipped with All Wheel Drive. For that reason, I have overlapped the price point categories, so that vehicles at the extreme range of 1 category may be compared with vehicles in the next higher or lower price range as well. This will give you a truer representation of each vehicle’s competition, and provide the widest range of possibilities. Maybe you thought only a crossover was available, but the price range pages may show you a sharp station wagon that would be just the ticket.
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WARNING: The EPA is willing to risk the destruction of your car’s engine so that we can use even more corn for fuel! In a year chock full of inanities, this one takes the cake.
BACKGROUND: If you didn’t know, the BUSH administration decided it was a good idea to try and use
domestic agriculture to generate alcohol that could be mixed with gasoline, and thereby reduce the amount of petroleum needed to run our cars. Sounds great right? What could possibly go wrong? Well, I’ll tell ya.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE #1: POLITICIANS chose corn instead of sugar beets to be the basis for the fuel, called E-10, to denote that it is 10% Ethanol. Then they subsidized the growth of corn for E-10. So all the farmers now grow corn for E-10. And there is a shortage of corn for livestock feed (can you say corn-fed beef ? Not anymore!) and high fructose corn syrup, and lots of other corn based products.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE #2: Engines and fuel delivery systems were not designed for both Ethanol and gasoline. All the fuel delivery systems had to be re-engineered and computerized engine controls all needed to be adjusted for this new fuel. Remember, this federal fuel is in addition to all the absurd STATE mandated fuels, which cause shortages when the refineries have to switch over from summer fuels to winter fuels and then back again, after the lawyers check the chemistry requirements put in place by more politicians.
EPA STRIKES AGAIN. Now, the tree huggers have decided that E-10 wasn’t good enough! They now are unleashing E-15 on us! Guess what? If your motor (car, truck, SUV, Boat, aircraft, tractor, mower. ) was not built with that fuel in mind, you could easily destroy it or your exhaust system just by putting the wrong fuel grade in it. How do you feel about a $4,000 repair bill to prevent global warming as we enter a new ice age?
Update 1: One site visitor has written to tell me I’m ignorant and need to educate myself before spouting off about the EPA and Global Warming. So this link is for all those who feel that way, and I will not answer any more email on that topic. Economic implications of global warming debate
Update 2. Julia Seymore, writing for Business and Media Institute . wrote this: . “Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline, causing catalytic converters, which help clean engine emissions, to break down faster.” Consumer Reports has said that fuel economy drops for cars running on ethanol and Popular Mechanics has detailed the problems of gasohol (gasoline/ethanol mixtures like E10 or E15) for cars’ fuel systems . In 2008, the Business Media Institute analyzed network coverage of ethanol and found that more than 82 percent of the coverage that connected ethanol to rising food prices neglected to mention the government’s role in creating the problem.
Natural Gas for OTR trucks, massive development of our own petroleum resources and coal for electricity are the answer. During that development, we can afford to wait for battery technology to mature and perhaps find a way to make fuel cell technology cost effective. Windmills and solar will never be more than niche solutions, serving areas currently off the grid.
I feel much better now. )