Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ethanol Post Office Trucks: More Gas, Fewer Miles

Maybe this is why stamp prices are so high?

Bloomberg -- The U.S. Postal Service purchased more than 30,000 ethanol-capable trucks and minivans from 1999 to 2005, making it the biggest American buyer of alternative-fuel vehicles. Gasoline consumption jumped by more than 1.5 million gallons as a result. A Postal Service study found the new vehicles got as much as 29% fewer miles to the gallon.

The experience shows how the U.S. push for crop-based fuels, already contributing to the highest rate of food inflation in 17 years, may not be achieving its goal of reducing gasoline consumption. Lawmakers are seeking caps on the use of biofuels after last year's 40% jump in world food prices, calling the U.S. policy flawed.

"Using food for fuel has created some unintended consequences: food shortages, the high price of livestock feed,'' said Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican. "I think it's leading a lot of people to wonder whether our corn-based ethanol goals need to be adjusted.''

8 Comments:

At 5/21/2008 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this Progress???? Time to raise the postage again.

 
At 5/22/2008 4:06 AM, Anonymous Biofuelsimon said...

As an economist would you characterise the post office's move as demand pull or supply push?

 
At 5/22/2008 7:27 AM, Blogger Executive Slacker said...

Great. And Flint, MI is planning a bio-fuel facility. Seems to be right on. Flint following a flawed policy as its greatest opportunity.

 
At 5/23/2008 5:20 PM, Anonymous Tommye Rodrigues said...

I would like very much to see our legislators figure things out before leaping - not afterwards. Couldn't they forsee that converting crops to ethanol would have a dramatic impact on the availability and cost of food. In some countries, they cannot afford to eat enough to stay alive as a result of this thoughtless act on the part of our fearful leaders - sorry, folks. We forgot to crunch the numbers before we called that shot. Can you put your appetite for food on hold until we get this worked out? Geez.....

 
At 5/23/2008 5:45 PM, Anonymous Tommye Rodrigues said...

It is a wonderful experience to actually agree with a court's decision. I am relieved to see a court, any court, recognizing the importance of the family unit. My experience with agencies that are to oversee children's treatment is not encouraging. I don't know whether it is the system or just poorly trained people, but they often cause more grief than they prevent.

 
At 5/24/2008 12:43 PM, Anonymous Walt said...

Most of the increase in food prices is due to the high price of oil - which directly impacts the prices of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides - all of which have a petrochemical component - as well as the cost of fuel to transport the food to market. Farmers have increased their crops in direct proportion to how much is being used for fuel, and could increase it a lot more - there has been NO REDUCTION in the amount of grain going toward food production. The reduced mileage using E-85 fuel was already predicted, (Ethanol reduces mileage quite a bit) the "jump" of 1.5 million more gallons of gas (now is that just gasoline, or E-85, and an increase of what per cent?) in 6 years for an organization the size of the USPS is probably not that significant - there would have to be much more information here for anyone to attribute that increase strictly to Ethanol use.

 
At 5/24/2008 12:48 PM, Anonymous walt said...

The increase in stamp prices could also be attributed to the high cost of oil - almost all of the mail is transported on jets, & jet fuel prices are through the roof - as well as the continued "sanitizing" of the mail by expensive machinery due to the Anthrax mail terrorist - remember him? - who has yet to be caught.

 
At 10/09/2008 2:47 AM, Anonymous cars said...

Do you guys think that hybrid cars are the answer to this? Or just using the internet for emails

 

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