From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Battle lines being drawn over ethanol [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

[October 26, 2013]

Battle lines being drawn over ethanol [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 26--The debate over ethanol has taken another turn, with both sides launching campaigns focused on higher blends of the fuel additive that are coming to the marketplace.

Last week, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, whose membership includes Wisconsin-based Briggs & Stratton Co., Ariens Co. and Kohler Co., began a consumer education program called "Look Before You Pump," aimed at preventing people from using the new 15% ethanol blend of gasoline in small engines.

Meanwhile, a Wisconsin grain farmer donated $50,000 to start a campaign aimed at promoting corn-based ethanol as a way to reduce fuel prices, lower the nation's dependence on foreign oil and improve air quality.

Advocates say raising the amount of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10% blend to 15% and higher amounts is gaining traction in the marketplace.

"Ethanol is about 60 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline, so those marketers with the ability to blend higher levels of it in their fuel are taking a strong look at it," said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, based in Washington, D.C.

Critics say the higher blends could cause engine failures and void warranties of air-cooled engines used in outdoor power equipment, boats and motorcycles.

Under federal law, consumers are not supposed to use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol in older vehicles or small engines. But given the higher blends are cheaper, fueling mistakes are going to happen, said Laura Timm, a Briggs & Stratton spokeswoman who helped create the Look Before You Pump campaign.

Price is the first thing Americans notice when buying gasoline, according to a Harris Interactive poll done for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Two-thirds of the poll respondents also said they assumed that any gasoline sold at a gas station is safe for all of their cars as well as boats, lawn mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, generators and other engine products.

More than 70% said they weren't sure if it was legal or illegal to put gasoline containing high amounts of ethanol into small engines.

Damaging effects "Most consumers don't realize there's ethanol in gasoline today anyway, much less a higher percentage of it that could ruin their engine products," Timm said.

Look Before You Pump will include public service announcements and printed materials to remind people they shouldn't use gasoline containing more than 10% ethanol in small engines and vehicles manufactured before 2001.

"We know the problems it's going to cause for everything from power washers and snow throwers to utility vehicles and boat motors," said Dan Ariens, president of Ariens Co., a Brillion manufacturer of lawn-and-garden equipment and snow throwers.

The problems could include engine overheating, fuel line ruptures, a breakdown of plastic and rubber pieces in engines, expensive repairs and engine failure not covered by warranty.

"You will damage or destroy" a small engine with the higher blends of ethanol fuel, said Kris Kiser, executive director of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Engine manufacturers and automakers fought introduction of the 15% ethanol blend known as E15 and say they're going to try to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to require a better label at the fuel pump to prevent misfueling.

The current 3-by-6 inch orange and black label is inadequate, according to Kiser.

"Someone has to start telling consumers about this," he said.

Exaggerated risks The risks of using E15 in vehicles have been exaggerated, according to the ethanol industry. It says the fuel blend underwent three years and millions of miles of testing by the EPA before it was introduced in the marketplace.

There haven't been engine problems or misfueling incidents, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, which questions the need for the Look Before You Pump campaign.

"Honestly, I don't think people are that stupid in Wisconsin" to use the wrong fuel, said Josh Morby, executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance, which represents ethanol producers and farmers who grow corn to make the fuel additive.

The new ethanol promotion campaign is from Hass Grain Farms Inc., of Fond du Lac County, with $50,000 in start-up money distributed equally to the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the American Lung Association's Wisconsin chapter, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the Renewable Fuels Association and ethanol producer Growth Energy.

The goal is to get farmers across the country to fill their tanks with ethanol fuels as a way to support rural economies, said Allen Hass, who has funded the campaign with his own money.

"We need to tell the public that ethanol is good. For years they've been brainwashed into thinking they should stay away from it," Hass said.

Automakers and engine manufacturers should build products that run on 100% ethanol, rather than gasoline, Hass said.

Engines in Brazil burn 100% ethanol, and there are higher blends of the fuel additive in gasoline. Hass says the U.S. should adopt similar practices.

Higher costs Engine makers say ethanol produces less energy than gasoline and that vehicles using higher blends of the additive get lower fuel mileage.

Also, there are more than 200 million small engines already in the marketplace that can handle the 10% ethanol blend but were not designed for E15 or higher blends, according to Briggs & Stratton.

Briggs could design engines to accommodate E15 and higher blends, but the additional technology that would be required in the engines would greatly increase the costs, said Todd Teske, Briggs chairman, president and CEO.

"When consumers are expecting to pay $300 for a walk-behind lawn mower, it's really hard to put a whole lot more cost into that engine," Teske said.

Engine makers say the Look Before You Pump campaign isn't anti-ethanol, but rather is necessary to prevent misfueling in their products.

Currently only a handful of fueling stations in Wisconsin sell E15, although that could change if the additive gains traction with fuel distributors. Also, higher blends of ethanol could be coming as a result of congressional mandates for the U.S. to use more renewable energy.

"Right now, it's still a pretty small market. But you wouldn't know that from a lot of the angst that's been created around this new fuel," said Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association.

___ (c)2013 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Visit the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner

Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.