Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Expensive “E-10” gas not mandated by federal law

Voices come at The Legendary over the phone. You meet a lot of activists that way.

This voice comes over the phone from far away, the caller one of us, a hard-working, God-fearing high school graduate who has a positive need to do something about all – this.

You know the drill. You spread your hands palms up, shrug, and say, “All – (pause) – this.”

Those who are in the loop know what you mean. Those who aren't – well – they will be soon enough, anyway, so don't worry about it.

Slade Hardcastle travels to First Mondays, trade shows, and anywhere people gather to barter for the things they need – and a lot they don't really need, but just want.

He drags a trailer loaded with his wares, mostly ornamental concrete sculptures – and he burns a lot of gas while he puts a lot of miles on his old Nissan Titan pickup, the one with 240,000 miles on it.

The trailer has a lot of bumper stickers on the back. They say things like “Liberal logic: Terrorists have rights. Christians don't.” and, “If ignorance is bliss, you must be one happy liberal.”

Slade Hardcastle. Great name. The Legendary ran it past The Girl from Long Ago and Far Away while we talked about our grandbabies, and she said, “Sounds like a professional gunslinger.”

Not bad, Girl From Far Away. I think there's one on there about guns, too. It says, “This property protected by an owner armed with Smith & Wesson three nights a week. Go ahead. You get to guess which three nights they are.”

Yeah, that's old Slade. He lives out in the country between Moody and Belton and he's been making all the Tea Party meetings telling folks about that E10 unleaded gasoline they think they have to buy because the Environmental Protection Agency says so.

E10 means 10% ethanol made from corn blended into the gasoline to make it greener and more eco-friendly.

Slade is there to tell them it just isn't so.

“It ain't Texas law; it ain't Federal law...”

He pauses for effect and lets that sink in.

“It's my law.” He means he's going to encourage gasoline marketers to quit playing ball with something the consumers are not required to buy.

Besides, cultivation of field corn for the purpose of distilling ethanol fuel is a very fuel-intensive process requiring diesel for plowing, fertilizing, planting, cultivation and harvesting. Then there are the petroleum derivatives that go into fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide – all of which are applied by either diesel-burning farm machinery or aviation gas burning crop dusters.

Go figure. How much money is the end user really saving by going that route, especially when it's a route he doesn't even have to go?

Go figure.

Mr. Hardcastle made a trip to Shawnee, Oklahoma, on the business of selling little concrete burros and wishing wells, bird baths, and other yard ornaments not long ago and just happened by chance to run across some unleaded without that 10% ethanol blended in. He had not noticed, until then, that everywhere he buys fuel, he just has to pay for something his truck really doesn't need.

What's more, he found out, the truck runs better without it. Here is why. Alcohol bonds with water very easily. When ethanol is introduced into a gasoline blend, it can take on condensed moisture in a partially filled container such as your gas tank. Why is your gas tank usually almost empty? Well, the price is...We won't go there.

The result is simple enough. Watered-down gas is gasoline that has a much lower octane rating that what your vehicle was designed to burn.

On the long run back to Texas, that old truck got 24 miles per gallon where it had been getting 18 to 19 miles to the gallon.

That got Slade's attention – pronto. So, he got on his computer and got to checking and found out the true facts about E10, the EPA and gasoline marketers – and the law.

It's quite a study in what you don't know and what that costs you. Slade and I mean the part they don't tell you. Stay with us, now. Stay with us.

Get a load of what Slade Hardcastle, the guy with the gunslinger name and the truck with many miles on it, learned at


“The ethanol mandate is laid out in EISA 2007, a 310 page Federal act. The applicable sections for the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) is Sections 201 - 248, a very small part of the act. You should be very suspicious, for it gives bounteous incentives to the oil and ethanol industry and penalizes them if they do not deliver, using something called RINS. The law is being implemented by the EPA.

“By the end of 2008 the EPA has required that 9 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline across the nation. EISA is not a mandatory E10 law; in fact it is an E85 and flex-fuel car corporate welfare act. It has no requirement for the blending level percentage, only the requirement that certain amounts of ethanol be blended in every area of the country by all of the "large" oil companies in ever increasing amounts, every year until 2022, when 36 billion gallons must be blended. The economic dislocations are growing rapidly. Since E85 infrastructure and vehicle production can't be ramped up overnight, E10 is spreading rapidly everywhere.

“The insidious parts of the act are the economic incentives, which are generous and will cause massive economic dislocations, and the economic penalties which are subtle but effective and potentially profitable to commodities brokers...”

There are problems other than that. Ethanol is used in E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline that is formulated to power Flex-Fuel cars and trucks.

Using E10 is hard on engines designed to run on purely unleaded gasoline. In some cases, its use violates the warranty on the engine and its parts.

Mr. Hardcastle learned that while some states have as many as 6 internet pages in the Ethanol Free Fuel Locator site, Texas has only 3.


He's headed to his state legislator's office and has already been in District 31 Representative John Carter's office to find out why.

You can find information on where to buy pure unleaded gasoline with no ethanol blended into it at this website:


When it doubt, check it out, y'all.

Slade Hardcastle is on Facebook by his right name and he's spreading the word about this E10 doo dad.

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