January marked the first month that the ethanol industry had to stand on its own feet was only supported by a massive taxpayer mandate for their product, rather than tax preferences, tariff protections, and a mandate.

Do not fret, as sales for E10 (10% ethanol 90% gasoline, commonly purchased at the pump) will hold remarkably steady, because this is the primary venue the rent-seekers use to dilute our nations gasoline supply with ethanol. I only slightly kid, as it makes sense to blend small percentages of ethanol into our fuel supply, though not in amounts exceeding 10 percent.

However, in the United States there are also niche markets for E-85, which is made up of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. E85 sales more accurately reflect what an actual competitor to gasoline would look like, as E10 blends only supplement regular fuel production. While there are a number of flex-fuel vehicles on the road (FFVs) capable of running on any blend of ethanol and gasoline, E85 sales have never taken off in the United States. This is because, after adjusting for the lower energy content in ethanol, it costs more money per mile traveled to fuel your vehicle with E85 than E10. It has always been this way and its unclear if it will ever change.

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