At Ohio Valley, like many businesses, we like to keep tabs on the issues that affect our industry interests. One issue in particular affects an interesting cross-section of industries that we’re involved in, and so we’d like to address it here: the ethanol debate.
A concern for both the farming and transportation industries, the ethanol fuel debate has many on edge, especially as a result of the EPA’s November call for a cut in ethanol requirements for gasoline in 2014. The basic idea is this: in an attempt to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, corn-based biofuel known as ethanol can be blended into fuel that will burn properly in most motors produced since 2001. There are different “blend levels” known as E15 (15% ethanol) and the more ambitious, but less widespread E85 (85% ethanol). Since ethanol and traditional fuel burn differently, the transition from one source to the other would be gradual by necessity, with the interim requiring motors that are capable of burning fuels of different blends equally as well.
The tension comes from farmers who benefit by producing more corn, and big oil, which benefits from producing more oil. Some think the solution is to promote the E85 option more aggressively, others advocate for offering both fuels and allowing the consumers to dictate demand. Whatever the outcome for refiners and farmers, the fuel sources for our nation will likely continue to be debated – and not just between ethanol and oil. Other renewable options like hydrogen, solar, and electricity are all being explored to various degrees of success, perhaps most notably by companies like Tesla, whose electric cars are gaining popularity.
Whatever the energy future, we’re sure farming and transportation needs will continue to endure, and we’ll be here to provide quality manufacturing services for farming and transportation vehicles alike, no matter what fuel source they use to get around.