Northern New York Newspapers
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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Ethanol may be not so efficient


Your editorial “Ethanol use,” published March 20, speaks to “a government policy touted for reducing consumer costs at the pump.” Facts assist in evaluating governmental assertions.

In 2001 my wife bought a new, full-sized domestic sedan having a prosaic V6 engine. With routine maintenance it continues providing superb daily service. As we use a credit card to buy fuel, it was a simple matter to add the odometer reading at each purchase allowing easy tracking, including computation of its miles per gallon averaged across 65,001 consecutive miles. Moving here from the gridlock that is Washington, D.C., and its suburbs, we expected and got a significant increase in miles per gallon averaged across 34,839 consecutive miles up to February 2012.

In that month the miles per gallon began inexplicably declining, notwithstanding cleaning the fuel injectors, a tuneup and slightly overinflating the tires. I could find no cause. I asked our repair shop to assess the vehicle, and the report came back that perhaps the left front inboard brake pad was dragging. Although the entire front brakes were then replaced, across a period of months the miles per gallon nevertheless continued an unabated fall.

I switched to ethanol-free gasoline 2,082 miles ago, using only it to date. I made no other change. Averaged across that interval, the miles per gallon has more than recovered, rising 15.5 percent and making ethanol-free gasoline still the cheapest gasoline available on a cents-per-mile basis.

Even if the EPA’s intentions were noble, it would do best to keep its hands off.

Francis K. Williams


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