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Three Gallons Per Mile

Often when I am flying, I think about the amount of fuel that the airplane is burning. Then when I am off the plane, I usually forget about it. I have heard mixed opinions on the overall efficiency of airline travel versus automobile travel, but just never got around to investigating the matter myself.

Earlier this month I was on a flight from Hawaii to Dallas, and the pilot started talking about some of the plane’s statistics. Paraphrasing, he said: “Today we will be cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet in this Boeing 757. This aircraft burns about 3 gallons of fuel per mile, and is carrying 243 passengers.” I thought “Hey, I better write that down and figure out later on what my share of the fuel was.”

The distance from Honolulu to Dallas is 3,800 miles. Thus, per the pilot the fuel consumption should have been approximately 11,400 gallons. In the Wiki link to the Boeing 757 article above, the Boeing 757 specifications state that the plane only holds 11,500 gallons, so I think it is likely that we were really getting a bit better than 1/3rd of a mile per gallon.

Divided by 243 passengers, my share of the fuel is 47 gallons. This much fuel carried me 3,800 miles, so my pro-rated fuel economy is 81 miles per gallon. In all likelihood, as I said it was probably a bit better than that since I doubt we were landing in Dallas with only 100 gallons of fuel in reserve.

Of course it is important to note that while the fuel economy looks pretty good, the miles traveled are very high relative to automotive transportation. I generally travel less than 5,000 miles per year with my car, so if I drive a car that gets 25 miles per gallon it would only take about 16,000 miles on an airplane to equate to an entire year’s consumption in my car. I estimate that I have probably flown 300,000 miles in the past two years (which was one of the main reasons I left my last job).

One other item of interest to me is my prorated cost for fuel. At $2.00/gallon, $94 of my ticket price goes toward purchasing fuel, and every $1.00 increase boosts my pro-rated fuel cost by $47 for that Honolulu to Dallas trip. That’s actually surprising to me, as I would have guessed that it would have been more.

But that’s not really what hurts the airlines when fuel prices go up. I think what usually happens is that fewer people fly, and instead of pro-rating my share of the fuel across 243 passengers it may be prorated across only 180 passengers. In that case my share of the fuel rises to almost $200 when jet fuel rises to $3.00 per gallon – and thus a $1.00/gal rise in the cost of fuel translates into a several hundred dollar per ticket price increase.

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November 30, 2009 - Posted by | airline industry, airplane transportation, fuel efficiency

44 Comments

  1. They'd probably try to reduce the number of flights rather than fly planes at 74% capacity. That would reduce some costs, but there would still be other fixed costs even after laying off some people.

    Comment by Clee | November 30, 2009

  2. RR-The fuel flow of the B757 at altitude when cruising is ~6,000 lbs/hr. A pound of jet fuel weighs 6.84 lbs.Cruise speed at altitude is ~0.80 Mach, or a no wind ground speed of 530 mph.That works out to 877 gallons to go 530 miles, or 0.6043 miles/gallon when cruising at altitude.That doesn't include the large amount of fuel used for takeoff and climb to cruise. Typically, most airplanes use about one-quarter of their entire fuel load on takeoff and climb to cruise. They do make up for that on the other end when they pull the throttles back to idle and exchange altitude for airspeed on the descent to landing.

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | November 30, 2009

  3. You may find the study mentioned in this article interesting http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/06/chester-20090609.htmlEnvironmental assessment of passenger transportation should include infrastructure and supply chains

    Comment by Clee | November 30, 2009

  4. That works out to 877 gallons to go 530 miles, or 0.6043 miles/gallon when cruising at altitude.That sounds more reasonable than 0.33 miles/gallon, as that would have essentially run out all the fuel by the time we arrived in Dallas.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | November 30, 2009

  5. Robert – Honolulu to Dallas is indeed within a few hundred miles of the range limit of the 757-300. By law, your plane only needs to carry enough fuel to divert to the next nearest airport in case of problems. Every 20 or 30 gallons is the weight of another passenger, so airlines aren't anxious to carry more fuel than necessary.Some ways to save on air travel fuel consumption:* Get rid of business class. On your 757-300 that would give you an extra 20% seating capacity.* Get rid of air traffic control. In twenty years time planes will figure out their own best point-to-point routings using GPS and "free flight", instead of the current inefficient routings across congested airspaces.* Cheap FTTC and global quality-of-service guarantees over the public internet. Multi-media conferencing will never replace all face-to-face business meetings but the ability to hold a multi-way conference in High Definition with 99.99% reliability at present-day residential broadband costs would go a hell of a long way.* Bring back turbo-props for short haul flying, and dirigibles for low-fare and non-time-sensitive travel.

    Comment by PeteS | November 30, 2009

  6. RR–It's been a long, long time since I flew on a passenger jet that was not full to the brim. I fly to Thailand mostly, out of LAX.I see almost no waste, on several different airlines. I imagine a full 747, or new Airbus, gets even better mpg per passenger than a 757. Air travel is a wonderful invention, and mpg's per passenger are going up with the intro of better jet engines and jet designs. Besdies, air travel makes up a small share of total fossil oil use.

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | November 30, 2009

  7. Depending on model, there can be many hundreds of miles difference in range. Customers also get to pick which engine they want on their planes, Pratt, Rolls, and in some cases GE, all of which have slightly different fuel consumption and aerodynamic drag properties.I used finite element modeling on some of the -300 wing structural changes.I suspect that airline travel is heading for its heyday. It is likely to get more expensive and slower, like in the old days.And PeteS is right. A friend of mine was telling me just last week that his wife no longer takes business trips. To save money, her company is doing most meetings over the internet (she's an engineer).

    Comment by Russ Finley | December 1, 2009

  8. My company uses technology to replace as many physical trips as possible – between customers, salespeople, and engineers, across Europe, the US, India and APAC. Unfortunately the technology isn't ubiquitous enough yet for seamless conferencing everywhere. India is a definite weak link in the chain ( – although it's amazing in other ways: ten million mobile phones are sold there every month at present). We have recession-inspired restrictions on business travel at present. If we could make conferencing work better we'd probably never go back to the old ways.

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  9. A topic that was commented on before: GDP (adjusted for PPP) per barrel of oil consumed. Here's an interesting graph. While everyone is improving, the US is still down there with a bunch of economic basket cases (including several oil producers), lagging behind China and India as well as most of Europe.

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  10. (I take that back before I get jumped on, they are not basket cases, just less efficient at using oil, and thus more sensitive to price hikes.)

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  11. China and India probably are a lot more dependent on coal than on oil.

    Comment by Clee | December 1, 2009

  12. PeteS, are you sure you are looking at the same graph that I am? So you are saying the strongest economy in the world is a basket case like other strong economies of South Korea and Taiwan?It looks to me like US GDP/bbl doubled. Little better than Canada which has also a large country. Other counties that doubled were Japan, Germany and GB. “just less efficient at using oil”But PeteS, this graph is not a measure of efficiency. One of the most over used words used incorrectly is efficiency. “lagging behind China and India as well as most of Europe.”What Eurotrash likes to do is forget that the US keeps them safe so the can be unproductive and take long vacations. Look how much oil the US produces and ingnore what we produce. PeteS, would you like to how much coal a US coal miner produces. How about steel? Food? Then compare how much energy we use to produce those products.

    Comment by Kit P | December 1, 2009

  13. Kit P: "So you are saying the strongest economy in the world is a basket case like other strong economies of South Korea and Taiwan?"No, I took back the "basket case" comment ( – I had been thinking of Russia). Not quickly enough, obviously."It looks to me like US GDP/bbl doubled."Yes, as I said, everyone is improving."What Eurotrash likes to do is forget that the US keeps them safe so the can be unproductive and take long vacations."The graph doesn't distinguish what you choose to use your oil for."PeteS, would you like to how much coal a US coal miner produces. How about steel? Food? Then compare how much energy we use to produce those products."The graph doesn't do energy either, just oil. You use more oil per dollar of GDP than most developed countries. The graph doesn't say (nor am I trying to guess) whether you spend it saving Europeans, driving to McDonalds, lubricating your hunting rifles, or something else.

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  14. The airlines post stats in their financial reports. For example in most recent quarter Southwest Airlines flew 19.7 billion passenger miles and used 363 million gallons of fuel, which is about 54 miles/gallon per passenger across their fleet of 737s. Fuel represents about one third of overall expenses.

    Comment by mike wiese | December 1, 2009

  15. While we are talking about efficiency, let's remember that the most important form of efficiency is economic.Here's an interesting game. Go onto Travelocity.com and book your fantasy trip to wherever. When you get to the last stage, they add the cost of the tax. Compare the cost of taxes (or Political Class extortion, if you prefer) to the cost of fuel as derived in this thread.Now pretend you are a EUnuch, and do the same thing. Ryanair once did a promotional flight for something trivial like 1 Euro, plus tax. Maybe Pete can tell us the all-in cost of those flights?Yes, there is a valid role for government and a valid role for taxes. Whether we need a permanent Political Class getting fat on the sweat of others is a different question. But let me make a prediction, in a world where politicians are salivating over "cap-on-trade" — direct & indirect taxes will have more impact on the future cost of flying than fossil fuels.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | December 1, 2009

  16. David Mackay did a great job of covering this topic in his book "Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air" (available entirely free online as web pages or PDFs and highly recommended).Here's a link to the first page of his short chapter on planes, in which he talks about how we've pretty much made planes as fuel-efficient as they're going to get. That's notwithstanding tricks like cramming more passengers in…http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c5/page_35.shtmlNote that you have to change pages at the bottom of the screen, and references for all of his facts should follow each chapter (if not, they're all in the PDF).BTW, he takes on turbo-props on pgs 35-36, noting that a modern Bombardier gets "3.81 litres per 100 passenger-km (at a cruisespeed of 667 km/h), which is an energy cost of 38 kWh per 100 p-km. The full 747 has an energy cost of 42 kWh per 100 p-km."

    Comment by Jason | December 1, 2009

  17. EDIT: that link got truncated. Try this one. http://tinyurl.com/yfzunx5

    Comment by Jason | December 1, 2009

  18. PeteS – almost all of the oil consumed in the US is used for transportation. So your graph really tells you more about population density than efficiency. OT, but something we covered earlier. EPA is set to rule today on allowing 15% ethanol blends. API and others are strongly opposed, including me. I have had fuel related problems in nearly every one of my lawn and garden power implements. I am strongly considering driving 2 counties away so I can buy REAL gasoline and not this ethanol blend crap that absorbs water. I'm using a stabilizer blend of 2-cycle oil that is supposed to help. I did NOT have this problem with MTBE blends or when I lived somewhere without reformulated gasoline. Here is the story: Ethanol makers await EPA Decision

    Comment by KingofKaty | December 1, 2009

  19. Kinuachdrach said… "Ryanair once did a promotional flight for something trivial like 1 Euro, plus tax. Maybe Pete can tell us the all-in cost of those flights?"Once? They are a regular occurrence. Yes, certainly I can tell you. Here is an actual itinerary for a flight I took, where the advertised round-trip ticket cost from Dublin, Ireland to Faro, Portugal was exactly €0.00:GOING OUTFrom Dublin (DUB) to Faro (Algarve) (FAO)Thu, 30Apr09 Flight FR7032 Depart DUB at 09:25 and arrive FAO at 12:20COMING BACKFrom Faro (Algarve) (FAO) to Dublin (DUB)Thu, 07May09 Flight FR7033 Depart FAO at 12:45 and arrive DUB at 15:25PASSENGERS1. MR PETES XXXXXX ADTPAYMENT DETAILS*********0.00 EUR Total Fare********64.21 EUR Taxes, Fees & Charges********20.00 EUR Passenger Fee: BAG********10.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Airport Check in*********4.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Priority Boarding********10.00 EUR Passenger Fee: CC*******108.21 EUR Total PaidThe rip-offs by the airline are the €20 bag charge, the €4 for being at the front of the dash to a plane with no assigned seating, and the unbelievable €5 credit card handling fee which is per passenger per leg of the journey instead of per transaction, so if you book a two-leg return trip for your family of 4 you pay it 16 times! Finally there is the airport check-in fee which has since been scrapped (you can only check-in online now). Airline total: €44.00.Then there is the €64.21 in "taxes, fees, and charges". That consists of €7 each way for airport handling and security, paid to the airport authority; €10 is a new "tourist tax" introduced in April by our panicking government in the face of spiralling budget deficits. The rest — surprise surprise — are additional charges by the airline, which is why new EU legislation now forces them to show the ticket price PLUS "taxes, fees and charges" up front on their website, not on the final booking page. Airline grand total: €84.21. Tax total: €10.00. Airport charges: €14:00. The government is the biggest shareholder in the airport authority, so lets lump the €24.00 of non-airline charges together which will make this more comparable to the US situation.In summary, the "tax" portion of these flights until this year was €14, and is now €24 (in Ireland, not the whole EU). And while the final ticket price is a long way off the advertised €0.00, €54 each way for a 2,200 mile round trip is not exactly pricey.Let's have a look at a trip of almost identical length, from Boston to Orlando, on a comparable low-cost airline, booked 6 months in advance for the same Thursday-Thursday travel at the same time of year. The cheapest advertised base ticket price is $200.93. Government taxes are $57.47 consisting of excise taxes, "segment fee", passenger facility charge, security fee. Baggage charges, mercifully, are included. But like Ryanair there is no assigned seating and an "Earlybird check-in fee" will be $10. Total: $268.40, of which tax is $57.47.So, looks like Southwest is much worse value than Ryanair (even when booked much further in advance) and your tax is 30% higher. On the upside, in spite of EU legislative improvements, your booking websites are still considerably more transparent.(I used a conversion rate of €1.00 = $1.50)

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  20. KofK said… "PeteS – almost all of the oil consumed in the US is used for transportation. So your graph really tells you more about population density than efficiency."Yes, agreed. (Although one could nitpick and say it's more efficient to have a higher population density).

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  21. Pete — Thanks for the insights on airline charges. No wonder that Yurps have such a reputation for being grumpy tourists, when a free flight costs 108 Euros!Hope you had a great time in Portugal.

    Comment by Kinuachdrach | December 1, 2009

  22. Kingo-You don't get it. Ethanol is a rural subsidy. It will never die. We will be forced to buy E-20 sometime in the future. Bush jr. boosted the ethanol program big-time. So does the R-Party–corn states are R-Partyland.It is a terrible energy policy. I call it an anti-energy policy.You know, Ron Paul is looking better all the time….

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | December 1, 2009

  23. Is it possible the pilot was using nautical miles?Do airlines still have Knots (Kts) on the AirSpeed Indicators these days?Light aircraft still do, but I'm not a heavy jet pilot so I wouldn't know.Andy

    Comment by Andytk | December 1, 2009

  24. I like to use the cool calculator at Atmosfare (https://www.atmosfair.de/index.php?id=415&L=3). This indicates you were responsible for generation of about 1.5 tonnes of CO2 during your HNL-DFW flight (assumes typical load factor) (1230 kg if you flew coach, 2300 kg if you flew business class). This assumes you don't plan to fly back, or that you didn't fly out. One way: more than one tonne. Enough to drive a car for 6 months. Keep in mind that your total sustainable CO2 budget for the year is 3 tonnes.

    Comment by David | December 1, 2009

  25. PeteS – Certainly population density is more efficient. I used much less transportation fuel living in England than I do in Houston. I had a 26 mile commute in London that took me 1.5 hours compared to my 15 mile commute that takes 30 minutes.

    Comment by KingofKaty | December 1, 2009

  26. Another OPEC Killer?Capstone Turbine Corporation is introducing a prototype range-extended electric supercar using one of its 30 kW C30 microturbines as the generator unit. The CMT-380, currently in the design and test phase, is being developed in partnership with Electronic Arts Chief Creative Director Richard Hilleman.The CMT-380 features a lithium-polymer battery pack that supports an all-electric range of up to 80 miles. When the batteries reach a predetermined state of discharge, the Capstone C30 microturbine fires up and recharges the batteries on the fly to extend the driving range up to 500 milesImagine an PHEV that gets 80 miles on the charge, and then a turbine kicks in, so you can go another 420 miles.That is what Capstone is talking about.Good-bye OPEC. They may collapse in 10 years-demand will fall, cheating becoms rampant….But cheapo oil saves the ICE for another 10-30 years….

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | December 1, 2009

  27. Ben,Glad to see you are doing your homework.With 100 Trillion $$$ (at current prices) in recoverable oil still in the ground, "It's going to get Messy" as one oil company exec proclaimed.I think eventually new technology is going to make an "end run" around oil and the traditional fossil fuel companies, not only in the liquid fuels used in the transportation sector, but also in the generation of electricity.The oil producers have lots of money and will no doubt fight to stay on top of the energy heap, with lobbying efforts, through price competition or simply by buying out the competitors as refiners have begun to do in the case of ethanol. "Its going to get messy,"JohnJohn

    Comment by Anonymous | December 1, 2009

  28. Good-bye OPEC. They may collapse in 10 years-demand will fall, cheating becoms rampant….Or the whole world may very well collapse if we don't get this right. Interesting times..I believe airlines will be all but dead within 10 years, except for the ultra wealthy & military/government. I do hope I'm wrong, as I love flying to Grandma's in 6 hours versus at least 3 days on a train.With 100 Trillion $$$ (at current prices) in recoverable oil still in the groundThis is news to me. 100 trillion barrels?? Where?? We might have another century of oil in heavy & sour crude, but it definitely won't flow like the sweet stuff we're used to. The economy isn't going to like that, at all.OptimisticDoomer

    Comment by Anonymous | December 1, 2009

  29. Kinuachdrach: "No wonder that Yurps have such a reputation for being grumpy tourists, when a free flight costs 108 Euros!"LOL. I don't think we're any worse than the Septic Tanks. The Yurps you encounter have probably had to endure the vagaries of TSA screening, and queued for hours to be multiply finger-printed. It's quite enough to ruin a cut-price weekend shopping trip in New York. …On the other hand, if it stops us travelling 6,000 miles to buy Juicy Couture in Macy's, it could be the US's biggest contribution to climate change mitigation.:-)

    Comment by PeteS | December 1, 2009

  30. This is news to me. 100 trillion barrels??No. 100 Trillion $ DOLLARS at current market prices. To be honest, I think there is a lot more oil than that if you look at technological advances in the oil industry.The oil industry is not sitting still either. Oil technology and recovery is increasing in proficiency and productivity just as surely as are scientific advances in so-called "oil and fossil fuel alternatives."A perfect fossil fuel example is the shale gas phenomenon brought on through advance drilling technology.John

    Comment by Anonymous | December 1, 2009

  31. This is news to me. 100 trillion barrels??No. 100 Trillion $ DOLLARS at current market prices. To be honest, I think there is a lot more oil than that if you look at technological advances in the oil industry.The oil industry is not sitting still either. Oil technology and recovery is increasing in proficiency and productivity just as surely as are scientific advances in so-called "oil and fossil fuel alternatives."A perfect fossil fuel example is the shale gas phenomenon brought on through advance drilling technology.John

    Comment by Anonymous | December 1, 2009

  32. 80 passenger-miles per gallon for a full plane has been the rule of thumb for quite a long time. Note in passing: almost any minivan carrying a family of four and their gear at highway speeds will do better than 80.

    Comment by Michael Cain | December 1, 2009

  33. Do airlines still have Knots (Kts) on the AirSpeed Indicators these days?Andy~Yes, they use knots and Mach number. When cruising at altitude they decide what Mach number they will fly.As an airplane climbs and the temperature and air density decrease, indicated air speed (IAS) is not as good a number to use as Mach. (Cruising at FL 350, the airspeed indicator might only show 280 knots indicated (KIAS), while the airplane has a Mach number of 0.80. Mach 0.80 would be 460 KTAS*, or 530 mph.) They do use indicated airspeed in knots (KIAS) on approach and lancing.____________________________* KTAS = knots true airspeed

    Comment by Wendell Mercantile | December 1, 2009

  34. Hey Kong-o, thanks your R-Party for this:From Reuters–By Chuck Abbott and Timothy Gardner – AnalysisWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. ethanol industry, darling of the powerful U.S. farm lobby, is on track to win approval for higher allowable blend rates that could eventually help it sell billions of gallons more of the fuel a year.The U.S. government has hinted it may approve higher ethanol blends in gasoline as soon as mid next year, despite howls from the auto industry that a higher ethanol blend might ruin car engines and concerns from some anti-hunger activists who say making fuel from food is folly."They keep saying the Dems are the party of eco-folly, but I'd say it is a toss-up.Vote Ron Paul

    Comment by Benny BND Cole | December 1, 2009

  35. What I find fascinating about air transport and fuels is how serious the airlines and related companies are about using biofuels. Between them and the US Dept of Defense, they comprise a very serious group of fuel end users that is pushing hard to find alternatives to current jet fuel supply chain. See http://www.safug.org/ as one example, and there are other active organizations. They seem to think that algae might be the best approach, but are exploring any and all high-energy density biofuels. They have a pretty high incentive to free themselves from current supply chain and it will be interesting to see if they are successful over the long term. I think this approach is one good way to really test if biofuels can compete – approach it from the demand side, not force supply down people's throats like current ethanol mandates.

    Comment by OxyMaven | December 2, 2009

  36. “not force supply down people's throats like current ethanol mandates.”When was the last time you were forced to by fuel? Personally I look forward to buying higher ethanol blends to support American farmers. I also look forward to California drilling off shore to produce more of its own energy rather than complain about MTBE.“I have had fuel related problems in nearly every one of my lawn and garden power implements.”How many do you have? I have no fuel problems with any of my ICE. Two POV, a lawn mower, and boat. I use a small container for my mower and boat. Put Marvel's Mystery oil in crack case and gasoline of the boat. Lack of valve lubrication caused sticky valves for the flat head 4 designed for leaded gas was the reason. My neighbor has had not problems either, he has more lawn equipment but he has never had a fuel problem with any of my leak rakes. He does tell a funny story about the neighbors on the other side. Their son asked what my neighbor was doing when he saw him changing the oil. The boy then said his father bought a new lawnmower every two years.

    Comment by Kit P | December 2, 2009

  37. Kit P wrote: When was the last time you were forced to by fuel?and in the long -recession thread: Clee, could you work harder to vote out of office those who do? For example regulating energy use my TVs.No one forces you to buy a TV either, so don't worry about Pelosi trying to regulate the energy use of your TV, because she can't. (Not that I can vote her out, as she is not my Rep.) Just keep your current TV or buy/import a TV that is as much of an energy hog as you want.

    Comment by Clee | December 2, 2009

  38. Clee you are a little confused about who is running your nanny state. It is Pelosi who shoving ethanol down somebodies elses throat for your nanny state based on her national position. California was a leader in demanding ethanol. Like other forms of renewable energy it turns out California is not very good at producing it. I am not complaining how the energy gets produced as long as it gets produced. Nor am I complaining about anyone forcing me to use it.Clee's California nanny state now want to tell its residents how to use energy and indirectly the rest of the country. Again I am not complaining about how electricity is produced but I do not want some loon to decide for me how to use.The same loons that want to tell you what kind of TV to watch because it uses more electricity are the same one who shut down a nuke plant. This is a little more critical thinking Clee is used to exercising. He has lived in a nanny state so long he has forgotten how to think for himself.To be clear, I am complaining about unproductive people who are clueless about how their energy is produced and how they use energy but only when they start wanting to tell me how to live.To be fair to Clee, he does try to exercise critical thinking and is better at it that most of those who live in California. Get out of California for a little while and discover again the skills you had before moving to the soft life.

    Comment by Kit P | December 2, 2009

  39. California was a leader in demanding ethanol.Dianne Feinstein fought hard to get an ethanol waiver for California, only to be denied by the EPA. So the brush you are painting with a little too broad.This is a little more critical thinking Clee is used to exercising. He has lived in a nanny state so long he has forgotten how to think for himself.That's the kind of thing that will get your posts deleted. If the next one is like that, it will be.RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | December 2, 2009

  40. Kit, Yes, I'm totally confused that first you imply that Oxymaven is wrong about ethanol being forced down people's throats, and then you claim that Pelosi is the one doing this non-existent forcing, (as if took just one person and not a majority of the House and Senate to pass the ethanol mandate).

    Comment by Clee | December 2, 2009

  41. Clee, producing energy and using energy are tow different things. How long have you been living in California? The difference is intuitive most places.There are many different way to produce energy but how we do it is regulated. Clee and everyone else in California is forced to pays twice as much more for electricity because coal and nukes plants supplying serving California have been closed down. There is a big difference in what you are forced to do but you always have the choice (Clee does poor people do not) of using less. Oxymaven is an example of complaining about a nothing. The best I can the cost difference in ethanol is not significant. If Oxymaven want to make up reason to be unhappy it is his choice. He is not forced to do anything. Driving a car is not a need it is a want. “and then you claim that Pelosi is the one doing this non-existent forcing,”No Clee I did not say that. The state of California (not Pelosi ) has many regulations telling people how to use energy. I like to live in the woods and look at trees. I want lots of windows with no curtains. You will have to explain to me why it important for the nanny state to tell me how to live over small amount of energy especially when the leaders of the nanny state are not very good at living by their own rules. So if we can agree that energy production and energy use are tow different things. We then go on to discuss California long energy history and how California national leaders are affecting national ploicy. (after work, today a tutor chess at lunch).

    Comment by Kit P | December 2, 2009

  42. I did not object to the original ethanol mandates that called for 7.5 bil gallons by 2012. But I do think the 36 bil gal mandate passed in 2007 does amount to forcing ethanol on almost all US consumers. The recent push by ethanol producers to get EPA to approve E15 blends is all based on the rapidly approaching 'blend wall'. That means that virtually every gallon of gasoline has 10% ethanol. That clearly means that consumers do not have a choice, since almost all gasoline has ethanol at 10%. If that's not forcing ethanol consumption please let me know what you call it. I like biofuels and even like corn ethanol since it's a decent 'starter' biofuel, but I think the Congressional mandates have forced too much ethanol production too soon. It would be preferable to have ethanol consumption driven by cheap prices, not government mandates.

    Comment by OxyMaven | December 2, 2009

  43. OxyMaven said… “I did not object to the original ethanol mandates that called for 7.5 bil gallons by 2012.”Did not see your post in a previous tread before I started my research today and I agree with most of what OxyMaven wrote. It is worth the effort for all to read. Where I live I have no trouble finding ethanol free gasoline but I would buy a higher blend like E-20.Does anyone know a way to kill an 89' Ford Ranger? It is no longer faded red but know growing black mold. I consider the Energy Policy Act of 2005 the Kit P full employment act and maybe I should help the economy by buying a truck that I need help getting into.

    Comment by Kit P | December 2, 2009

  44. i don't have the answers, but I know any discussion about the cost of air travel will have to factor in at least tens of billions of bailout money for the airlines supplied by taxpayers, past and future.Roberthttp://www.industrializedcyclist.com

    Comment by 57 | December 7, 2009


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