Friday, March 10, 2006

Wisconsin AG, Investors, Fuel Bills, and Fuel Efficiency

Just the random news postings of the day.

Wisconsin Ag Secretary vows to move forward
“Clearly, we need to be committed to growing our energy supply,” says Nilsestuen, “That’s why the Governor has put high targets for renewables for Wisconsin.” There is a lot of interest in growing the renewables business in the state as well as national interest, like the big push to establish E-85 fueling stations across the country.

Would-be energy investors need laws on their side
He explained that venture capitalists’ advantage is they can make one or two transactions to raise the equity required to build a 100-million-gallon, $140 million to $150 million ethanol plant. A group of local investors might need 2,000 to 3,000 transactions.

Such group efforts are costly and time-consuming, Dorr said, unless “distributed businesses” are allowed under state tax and business structures. An investment vehicle would provide one entity for many local investors.

Ethanol Increases Consumers' Fuel Bills
Throughout the country the price of E85 is higher than gasoline even though the corn-based fuel contains only 72% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline.

So while the heavily promoted alcohol fuel may reduce U.S. demand for oil and pour billions of dollars into U.S. agriculture, it seems E85 will increase motorists' fuel bills significantly as well.

I found this curious as at the time this was written there were E85 stations below the $2 mark for E85 whereas Unleaded was $2.18 (my area) and $2.29 (WI).

CFA Finds Wide Variations in Fuel Efficiency (hybrid vehicles)
"Consumers can save hundreds of dollars a year by simply buying a higher-rated subcompact, SUV or minivan. And our nation can dramatically reduce our dependency on foreign oil at the same time," Gillis added.

Again, the consumer needs to be educated on what they are buying. See my earlier post, Forget Hybrids for now...".

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