Unexpectedly Intriguing!
25 January 2011

What happens to the amount of ethanol consumed by Americans when the federal government simultaneously mandates that an ever-increasing percentage of ethanol be added to gasoline while also subsidizing its production?

Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, what you get is what you see in the chart below happens:

U.S. Monthly Fuel Ethanol Consumption, January 1981 through September 2010

The dividing line is 1993, following the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which required specified car fleets to purchase alternative fuel vehicles capable of operating with E-85, an 85%/15% blend of ethanol and gasoline. In addition, the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 required the wintertime use of ethanol in 39 major metropolitan areas and full-year use in 9 others that had not satisfied the Environmental Protection Agency's imposed standards for carbon monoxide.

After that, it was off to the races for the ethanol-government industrial complex! Simply projecting a straight line from the trend between 1981 and 1993 would place 2010's ethanol consumption level below 5,000 thousand barrels per month. Instead, thanks to the federal government's subsidies and mandates benefiting ethanol producers, it has risen to be over 25,000 thousand barrels per month.

Data Sources

U.S. Energy Information Agency. Fuel Ethanol Overview. Accessed 24 January 2011.

U.S. Energy Information Agency. Energy Timelines - Ethanol. Accessed 24 January 2011.


About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Indices, Futures, and Bonds

Closing values for previous trading day.

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified