In his column “Tanks for nothing, ethanol advocates,” Frank Cerabino tries to fuel the flames against ethanol by stoking a fight with small engines, but the reality is that small engines have adapted to the current 10 percent ethanol fuel mix and will do so for the new 15 percent blend.
The process takes time, as can be seen in the collection of recommendations from owners’ manuals over the years. It should be noted that all gasoline is designed for its primary use, as automobile fuel. Little consideration is given to the needs of small-engine manufacturers, and thus they find themselves designing around whatever fuels are made for automotive use.
The real issue is whether Florida drivers should be deprived of a cost-saving, renewable fuel choice at the pump. Ethanol is credited with helping reduce our national dependence on foreign oil to 41 percent in 2012 — the lowest since 1995. Without ethanol, oil import dependence would have been 48 percent. Ethanol is the cleanest, most affordable source of octane – key to race-car performance – on the market.
The fuel alternative The Palm Beach Post appears to encourage is expensive and environmentally damaging, and often sourced from hostile foreign countries’ petroleum with toxic and carcinogenic additives. As the gas station owners quoted by Mr. Cerabino prove, customers, when given the choice, don’t want pay more for pure gas with no ethanol. Should Florida drivers really be held hostage to the whims of weed trimmers and chainsaws?
The readers of the Palm Beach Post deserve the facts and they deserve a money-saving, environment-friendly, domestically-made fuel choice. They also deserve the economic opportunities that come with being a state that takes pride and leadership in its energy future. Again, are weed trimmers and chainsaws, Big Oil and tired myths, really worth risking the 400 construction jobs and 60 full time jobs that the new INEOS Bio cellulosic ethanol plant in Vero Beach is creating?
Editor’s note: Christina Martin and Bob Dinneen are executive vice president and president and CEO, respectively, of the Renewable Fuels Association.
New ethanol mix could damage cars
Regarding “Ethanol gasoline becoming a corny issue for Florida consumers,” if you think the EPA’s mandate for 10 percent ethanol in gasoline is hurting your lawnmower, beware of a new push for 15 percent ethanol that could damage your car.
That’s where we’re headed unless the unworkable Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is repealed. Under federal regulations, the volume of ethanol in fuel used must continue to increase, regardless of consumer demand. To meet this unreasonable standard, the EPA approved a 15 percent ethanol blend before completing testing to determine E15’s effect on vehicles. Extensive testing coordinated by the oil and auto industries has discovered that millions of cars and trucks could be severely damaged by increasing ethanol content.
Renewable fuels like ethanol are an important component in our transportation fuel mix. However, by blindly increasing mandates, the government has created a situation in which ethanol requirements are outpacing vehicle capacity to safely comply. The RFS mandate must be repealed.
Editor’s note: David Mica is executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council.
Ethanol useless, but corn farmers happy
Frank Cerabino hit the nail right on the head with his column about the uselessness of ethanol and the damage it causes to the machines that use this product.
I wrote to the editor weeks ago when the administration and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they are going to add another process to gasoline refining, to satisfy the environmental groups at a cost of one cent a gallon. The oil industry says it will add about 10 cents a gallon. Who would you believe?
Ethanol is processed using corn and water. The price of corn has skyrocketed, and the water is the reason everything ethanol come in contact with is highly corrosive. But the environmentalists and the cronies who sell the corn are very happy.
Let’s work through religious differences
Why are people in our community suddenly at each other’s throats over religion?
First, a college instructor presents a challenging exercise about the power of religious symbols. One student gets upset and takes it to the media, who take it to the governor. The tale grows in the telling. A local pastor marches on the college, and others are threatening the teacher’s safety. All in the name of their faith.
Second, an assisted living facility resident asks for a Passover seder. The facility, which sounds like a deal at $732 per month, agrees to provide it. But the resident doesn’t like the menu. He gets a court order for a different menu, calls the police when the next menu doesn’t satisfy. He is given notice to move.
In our diverse community, can’t we work through differences instead of using religion to beat each other over the head? What happened to talking?
SHIRLEY Y. HERMAN
West Palm Beach
Thanks to Post, refund retrieved from recycle bin
I had to write immediately to say that this week The Post truly proved its worthiness in this household.
After letting the dogs out and getting the newspaper from the driveway, I went back to bed. I was reading about the mortgage foreclosure checks when a terrible thought struck me: Days ago, I threw an unopened envelope into my recycle bin, assuming it was a collection agency notice. Although I had signed up for this foreclosure refund a long time ago, it was only a “cross my fingers” type of thing.
Upon digging through the bin, I found the envelope and the $300 check inside. Phew. I owe it all to you, Palm Beach Post.
GILLIAN BEACH CIERI
West Palm Beach
Goodman should get a new trial
Regarding the letter “Give Goodman an untainted jury,” I agree with the writer concerning a new trial for John Goodman. Perhaps this time we will not have imbeciles like the previous two (or perhaps more) on the jury and more level-headed people. Maybe Goodman’s money will buy him a 25- or 30-year sentence the next go-around instead of 16 years.
Lawyers must prove juror lied
Regarding John Goodman’s attorneys trying again to overturn the conviction: This renowned defense team had the burden on them during voir dire to select or reject a juror. It was their duty to question each prospective juror to their satisfaction. It is the burden of the defense attorneys to show proof that during their questioning in voir dire of Dennis DeMartin that he lied.
If a written questionnaire were given to each prospective juror, this questionnaire should be examined to see what his answers were. If they can prove that he lied under their direct questioning, they then must show how that lie directly affected their client. If the transcripts/questionnaire do not show that the esteemed defense attorneys questioned Mr. DeMartin on the issues on which they seek a new trial, it was their error for allowing the juror to be seated.
I do not understand why Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeff Colbath will be questioning the juror. The defense attorneys need to provide the proof, not Judge Colbath.
Lake Clarke Shores
Revising Citizens rates is wrong
I would like to add my voice to the editorial calling for the defeat of Senate Bill 1770, revising rates for new Citizens home insurance policies.
The bill sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, would allow Citizens to increase rates for new customers by 60 percent to 84 percent. The bill provides exceptions that are biased toward certain senators’ constituents. The bill would place homeowners buying new insurance at risk of losing their homes.
I agree with The Post that Gov. Rick Scott should veto the bill if passed by the Legislature. More important, South Florida voters should remember this legislation, if passed. Sen. Simmons and his ilk deserve to become pariahs within their party and within our state.
SANFORD L. PEARL
Palm Beach Gardens