Ethanol, especially corn-based ethanol, was supposed to be such a good alt-fuel additive! Then it turns out that it costs more energy to produce than it saves; that it distorts world ag markets and helped intensify global food shortages; that it intensified the clearing of trees and other eco-friendly thangs; and even destroyed the tequila market of the future!
At City Garage in Euless, Tex., for example, the first of numerous future customers brought in an automobile whose fuel pump was shot. A quick diagnosis determined that that particular car had close to 18% ethanol in the fuel. For that unlucky owner, the repairs came to nearly $900. The ethanol fun was just beginning.
City Garage manager Eric Greathouse has found that adding ethanol to the nation's gasoline supply may be a foolish government mandate, but it has an upside he'd rather not deal with. It's supplying his shop with a slow but steady stream of customers whose plastic fuel intakes have been dissolved by the blending of ethanol into our gasoline, or their fuel pumps destroyed. The average cost of repairs is just shy of $1,000.
Reason.tv gave the lowdown on Ethanol in "Silly Senator, Corn is For Food!":