'Green' fuel still toxic

WILMOT, S.D. -- As No. 1 and No. 2 oil exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia are understandably opposed to an effective cap and trade program as it would slow the transfer of U.S. wealth to them. A growing number of Americans are suspect of the shri...

WILMOT, S.D. -- As No. 1 and No. 2 oil exporters, Saudi Arabia and Russia are understandably opposed to an effective cap and trade program as it would slow the transfer of U.S. wealth to them. A growing number of Americans are suspect of the shrill chorus of voices opposing cap and trade or any additional taxes on gasoline.

As with oil exporters, the American Petroleum Institute knows taxes on gasoline and diesel limits their profits and stimulates use of conservation technologies along with production of safer renewable fuels such as ethanol. Importantly, these fuels do not emit known human carcinogens such as gasoline's "known" human carcinogens and mutagens benzene and 1,3 butadiene also found in cigarette smoke. Under the guise of defending free enterprise, the American Petroleum Institute, paid-for hate radio talk show hosts and others profiting from the job of killing transfer of wealth to oil exporters willingly have joined Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in denouncing cap and trade.

Children are the most vulnerable, thus the biggest winners as we reduce gasoline use and limit the family tragedies resulting from gasoline- and diesel-caused birth defects, cancers, respiratory illnesses and related heart disease. The Center for Technology Assessment estimates these medical costs to be more than $500 billion annually.

Same of poisons

The touted new "green" gasoline made from biomass is identical to old poisonous gasoline with its benzene, butadiene, dioxin and particulate emissions almost identical to cigarette smoke. Why do Americans accept the use of an EPA-designated class A "known" human carcinogen benzene as the octane enhancer of choice used by refiners to replace lead? During lead phaseout, refiners replaced lead with benzene and called it green gasoline. This deceptive strategy must have worked; of the seven EPA designated class A "known" human carcinogens, only the benzene and l,3 butadiene found in gasoline and diesel emissions do not have severe restrictions placed on them.


The results are as devastating as a huge consensus of undisputed research and science reports. A Denver study found children living near heavy traffic areas or filling stations are six times as likely to have cancer and eight times as likely to have leukemia. 2005 research done by Britain's Birmingham University found auto emissions the "primary culprits," causing UK's children living near transportation hubs to have a 12 times greater risk for dying from cancer. German research found benzene blood concentrations of children living near filling stations or heavy traffic areas 70 percent higher than normal. Gasoline evaporative and combustion emissions source ninety 90 of the known human carcinogen benzene in our environment today.

Ethanol blends

Blender pumps have enabled thousands of standard auto owners driving millions of miles every month to demonstrate that standard auto engines efficiently can use much safer lower volatility blends, E50, to reduce gasoline toxics by well more than 50 percent. Former GM Vice President Bob Lutz's fear tactic, "your standard auto's engine will blow up using higher blends," is as bankrupt for truth as was his company.

Ethanol's higher blends' acetaldehyde emissions, possible carcinogens, are nearly totally controlled by catalytic converters.

Midlevel ethanol blends octane enables the use of a nearly benzene-free, sub-octane gasoline as base gasoline, thus reducing toxicity of these blends evaporative emissions by nearly 100 percent.

Our gluttonous use of benzene has spiked gasoline, along with a nearly total disregard for the toxicity of gasoline and diesel emissions that has put all Americans and especially our children at much higher risk for birth defects, cancer and respiratory illness. It is a legacy no American can be proud of. Our addiction to fossil fuels has been a job killer and a child killer for far too long. We must do better.

Do your research

Here are some links to information about the effects of gasoline and diesel emissions:


- Blood concentrations of children near high-traffic areas and health risks associated with auto emissions:


- University of Birmingham study of children living near transportation hubs:


- Center for Technology Assessment cost estimates for gasoline use: www.progress .


- Univerity of California-Berkley study on costs of gasoline emissions: .

- EPA cancer risk assessment for known and suspected carcinogens:



- Baltimore Sun article, "Don't let kids pump gas:"



- Catalytic converter effectiveness on ethanol emissions:



- Benzene formation from gasoline components:



- EPA: Millions of Americans breathing toxic air:


- The dangers of idling while waiting for students:


Editor's Note: Swayze farms in Wilmot, S.D.

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