Now ethanol producers want to increase the legal limit on the amount of their product in your gasoline.
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering bumping the cap on ethanol from 10 percent to 15 percent at the pump.
That request from a group of ethanol producers comes after Congress in 2007 ordered big surges in ethanol consumption, requiring refiners to blend 36billion gallons of renewable fuels with gasoline a year by 2022, up from 9 billion gallons in 2008.
Last year, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature ordered that E10 (the 10 percent blend) be used throughout Florida by the end of 2010.
The state is well on its way to that. Nonethanol blended gasoline hasn't been available in Orlando for at least a year.
Big fuel supply companies are investing millions of dollars to make sure they can transport the stuff.
Last year I reported on how Kinder Morgan, the company that owns the 110-mile pipeline that transports nearly all of Orlando's fuel supply from Tampa, was preparing an experimental run of ethanol through the line.
The test batch of 5,000 barrels of ethanol from Tampa to Orlando in October was a success, the company said.
Kinder Morgan has invested $10million to modify the line, including replacing pipeline equipment that would have been corroded by ethanol and expanding storage capacity at its terminal in Taft.
As of last month, 40 percent of the ethanol used in Orlando was transmitted through the pipeline, up from about 10 percent at the beginning of the year, said Jim Lelio, national biofuels manager and director of business development for Kinder Morgan.
The company also approved $90million in ethanol and biofuel projects including modifications to tanks, truck racks and other infrastructure to accommodate ethanol at its other terminals in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest.
Simply put, ethanol isn't going anywhere.
Its effects are here to stay. The question is how much worse it will get.
You've likely noticed at least a 10 percent drop in the fuel efficiency of your vehicle as a result of ethanol. And you may have even lost a lawn mower or chain saw if you didn't realize that ethanol-laced fuel will ruin small engines if it sits for any period of time.
E15 (the proposed 15 percent blend) would be even less efficient and more harmful.
An EPA study even found that corn ethanol emits more greenhouse gases than gasoline over 30 years when indirect effects such as the plowing of forests to make way for more corn crops as a result of increased ethanol demand are considered.
In the name of conserving petroleum, lessening our dependence on foreign oil and saving the environment we are ... being forced to fill our tanks more often?
Join the club if you don't think it makes much sense.
But don't stay silent. The EPA last week extended its public comment period on the request to increase the ethanol cap from 10percent to 15 percent. Comments must be submitted by July 20. Go to www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions or e-mail email@example.com. You can also fax your comment to 202-566-1741.
Beth Kassab can be reached at bkassab @orlandosentinel .com or 407-420-5448. Read her blog at orlandosentinel .com/thebottom line.