NPR’s E15 article doesn’t pass the laugh test


NPR’s E15 article doesn’t pass the laugh test

Posted 1 April 2013 in


On April 1st, it’s usually a good idea to be skeptical of what you read in the news. After all, no one likes being taken for a fool. That’s why when we read this morning’s NPR story on renewable fuel, we thought they had to be joking. Here are some of our favorite laugh lines:

“Widespread support for ethanol, which is made from corn, appears to be eroding.”

To substantiate this claim, NPR quotes a single gas station owner, but unfortunately (for the oil companies), the plural of anecdote is not data. Instead, a recent poll of US adults found that 64 percent support the Renewable Fuel Standard, which calls for ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

“’The oil crisis is going away,’ Verleger says. ‘We have plenty of oil. We have too much oil.’”

If the oil crisis is going away, we imagine that consumers across the United States will take to the streets, rejoicing the end of high gas prices. Looking at recent trends, however, this does not seem to be the case.

“There is no guarantee that [E15] fuel will work properly in your vehicle.”

This quote comes directly from the Coordinating Research Council, an oil-funded group responsible for a series of “studies” purporting to show the dangers of E15. Here’s the reality: the EPA subjected E15 to over 6.5 million miles of testing, equivalent to 12 round trips to the moon, making it the most tested fuel, ever. By contrast, the CRC study doesn’t reflect a single mile driven, but rather, car components tested in isolation. Meanwhile, auto makers like Ford and GM have approved E15 for use in their new vehicles and some of the world’s most demanding cars and drivers at NASCAR use ethanol exclusively.

Here’s the lesson to be learned: as long as oil companies continue to rake in record profits, they’ll be able to keep distorting the news you read – even on days other than April 1st.

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NPR’s E15 article doesn’t pass the laugh test

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