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Thread: alternative to 100LL

  1. #1
    180Marty's Avatar
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    alternative to 100LL

    http://www.age85.org/ContactUs.htm

    Click the research item on the left. Then click technical briefing. For those of you that are getting concerned about the 100LL price you might want to at least read this. I just discovered that some more info has been added to the above website.
    Marty

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    Personally, this scares me. I clearly remember the first uses of ethanol eating all the rubber gaskets in a friend's ’78 TransAm. This left us stranded in the middle of nowhere with fuel spilling all over the manifold of a hot engine. I remember all the truckers refusing to fill up with ethanol enhanced diesel because it froze up here in MN and it decimated their fuel economy. I can’t count all the motorcycle, snowmobile, chainsaw, boat motors, lawnmowers, etc… I’ve had to tear apart and clean because the new fuels turn to goo when stored. I also believe some of the skyrocketing fuel costs are results of refineries having to produce so many different blends of ethanol/gas.

    I’ll deal with ethanol on the ground and accept it as a fact of life. I do not want to be forced to bet my life on it in the air.

  3. #3
    jnorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSEC
    I’ll deal with ethanol on the ground and accept it as a fact of life. I do not want to be forced to bet my life on it in the air.
    I agree. I've seen the effect that alcohol has had on aircraft components, and I know of a few incidents where accidental fueling with fuel containing alcohol has caused partial or complete power loss.

    I don't have a problem with running ethanol in an aircraft (or any other vehicle) that's specifically set up to run the stuff, but I definitely don't like being forced to run it in a vehicle (air or ground) that may not be tolerant of it.

    Joe

  4. #4
    180Marty's Avatar
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    BSEC wrote

    Personally, this scares me. I clearly remember the first uses of ethanol eating all the rubber gaskets in a friend's ’78 TransAm. This left us stranded in the middle of nowhere with fuel spilling all over the manifold of a hot engine. I remember all the truckers refusing to fill up with ethanol enhanced diesel because it froze up here in MN and it decimated their fuel economy. I can’t count all the motorcycle, snowmobile, chainsaw, boat motors, lawnmowers, etc…
    I must be lucky---I've been blending my own 50/50 mix of gas and ethanol using E85 for 5yrs. in my "92" Toyota 4X4 and Ford Aspire and 10% ethanol in the 2 cycle Lawnboy for even longer. So far no problems at all. Hope you read through that Power Point presentation--especially down a ways where it talks about water miscibility and compatibility with aircraft fuel systems.
    Marty P.S. That wasn't ethanol in the diesel fuel last winter---it was poorly made biodiesel that caused all the filter plugging. I guess I'm not totally lucky as I put a little money into the plant that made that poor quality biodiesel.

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    The problem as I see it is that there is no set future standard to work towards. I think we all can agree that 100LL is a highly endangered species. AGE-85 is one possible alternative as is 82UL, but there is no (worldwide) agreement as to where we are going.

    There was a time in the not so distant past that we had a number of choices in Avgas to suit our engine s needs (80/87 to 115/1??). Now we only have 100LL Avgas and most everything is a compromise. Too much lead for the little engines causing lead fouling issues too little lead for the big engines requiring reduced power settings. We deal with it.

    The issue really seems to be not wheather the engines can run on some alternative, it seems to be fuel system compatibility with the new stuff.

    If we knew what the future standard (formulation) was going to be, changing some hoses or seals at a minimum would just be "the thing to do" like the changes we made for 100LL. We really just need to know what the standard will be so we can adapt to it.

    John Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty
    Hope you read through that Power Point presentation--especially down a ways where it talks about water miscibility and compatibility with aircraft fuel systems.
    Yep. I read everything I could find on the site. A large portion of my family are farmers and I find all the ethanol / Biodiesal / corn furnace, etc… concepts interesting. However… as I mentioned I have my concerns. I read the site with a critical eye knowing full well there’s 10 + years of effort being justified. It was also writing by those who are promoting the concept.

    I’d love to see less dependence on oil and a reliable alternative. As far as ethanol goes I still have concerns and I haven’t seen a reduced cost for fuel because of blending. Instead I’ve seen prices increase and many are pointing at the cost of producing multiple blends as a partial cause.

    The EPA has an interesting memorandum you can read here.
    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/rfg/waterphs.pdf

    The EPA paper discusses water miscibility but goes a little further then the AGE-85 folks. On paper AGE-85 looks great. Cooler engines, more horsepower, and all at similar fuel burn as 100LL. Call me a cynic but if everything stated were accurate it would be the first aviation related gain I’ve seen without an offsetting compromise. Wouldn’t that be neat!

  7. #7
    sekps's Avatar
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    In Sweden we've been using 91/96UL for several years.

    I made a Google search and found an old article about it:
    http://www.vintagebonanza.com/Fuel_UL-91-96.htm

    But I'm also very interested in AGE85. There are some hoses and other rubber parts to be exchanged (and sloshed tanks to be cleaned) but besides that I can't really see any big problems with ethanol.

    As MOGAS over here contains 5% ethanol quite a lot of people have already done the necessary modifications.

    /Mattias

  8. #8
    Cranman
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    Personally, I hate the stuff in my vehicles. If you want to lose 2-4 miles per gallon, buy the 10% ethanol gas. The other point that is rarely talked about is that it takes more energy to produce the stuff than you get back. the long-term answer is more nuclear power plants, drill in Anwar and off the coast of Florida, utilize the oil shale in Alberta, and build a couple of refineries.

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    180Marty's Avatar
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    Mattias, Thanks for the link. I guess people just don't like change. My Grandfather was one of the first people to buy a tractor around here---most thought the horse was the only way to go.

    CRANMAN wrote

    If you want to lose 2-4 miles per gallon, buy the 10% ethanol gas
    I was just down to Houma LA to fly a 185 on amphibs. The Taurus has always gotten better mileage when I go south and get into that straight gas. This time I took two 5 gal jugs of E85 to blend with that straight 89 octane stuff to make a 20% ethanol blend and guess what, the mileage was still excellent. If you really are losing 2-4, maybe it's what the 10% is mixed with that's the culprit.
    Marty

  10. #10
    sekps's Avatar
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    A Formula 1 race car gets 800-900 hp from a 3 liter V10. Top speed around 330 km/h.

    A Cart race car gets 850-950 hp from a 2.65 liter V8. Top speed around 350 km/h.

    It's not the Formula 1 car that runs on alcohol...

    /Mattias

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    Renewable fuels are here to stay and will become the norm, so we should get used to them. I believe this is a world wide fact and the US is behind but catching up fast.

    As a farmer in North Dakota, I don't believe renewable fuels are going to increase the price for our ag commodities. As a consumer, I don't believe renewable fuels will decrease the price of fuels at the pump. Ethanol and bio diesel will decrease our want/need for foriegn oil.

    I use ethanol for everything that takes gas on the farm. Old trucks from the early seventies, small tractors, new pickups, four wheelers, small engines, weed eaters, snowmobile and all two cycle engines. No problems.

    I'm not ready to put ethanol in my airplane. Kinda of like, you go first and I'll watch. Maybe we'll get lucky and renewables will free up crude for avgas.

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

  12. #12
    SJ's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I love your user name. Makes me want to start a new website: www.flatcountrypilot.org

    Welcome!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  13. #13
    Cranman
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    I don't want to get into a peeing match here with the hard working farmers on this site that grow soybeans and corn. My statement is born of experience with the poor mileage of 10% ethanol gas. This gas was purchased from different suppliers so I doubt it is the result of bad product.

    The big issue with me is the fact that producing ethanol uses more energy than it provides. How does that make the U.S. more energy independent?

    I have no doubt that we will all be burning some percentage of ethanol in the future because it is a "feel good" political issue, not because it makes good economic sense.

    Steve, Hope you do not have to put this in the "rants and raves".

    Jon

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    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Jon,
    You're right, ethanol is probably one of the biggest scams that the govt has forced upon us (after the ponzi schemes of social security, medicare, etc). But Marty loves it because he gets your tax dollars plus you are forced to buy his product against your will!

    This page contains some interesting facts about ethanol production and costs:

    http://zfacts.com/p/60.html

    How ethanol is destroying Brazil's and the world's rainforests:

    http://www.scidev.net/content/opinio...ustainable.cfm

    http://news.pacificnews.org/news/vie...66ac8f3621c63f

    And of course, the famous Cornell University study that Marty hates:

    http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/...ostly.ssl.html

  15. #15
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Hope everyone has a big when they're putting that $4and $5 gas in their tank. Christina, you never cease to amuse me in that all my info is bogus and your's 100% fact.
    Marty P.S. I still wish the ethanol plant manager hadn't contracted most of this years 50,000,000 gal. production for a moderately profitable $1.30 per gal.

  16. #16
    Bob Breeden's Avatar
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    Good Research Christina

    Good Research Christina

    I just traveled through a part of Central America where miles of Palm (for oil) monoculture has decimated former gorgeous jungle habitat.

    It is quite a puzzle, thinking of what the next a.) vehicular and b.) home/business heating and c.) electric generation fuels will be.......

    Bob Breeden

    www.AlaskaAirpark.com

  17. #17
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Bob, Doesn't it make you feel good when you see one person riding in a big fuel guzzler or the window open on a big building in the winter because it's too hot inside?
    Marty

  18. #18
    Bob Breeden's Avatar
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    Hi Marty

    Hi Marty,

    No that is pretty tough for me. I grew up with a pretty strict father and consientous mother who both taught me to be aware and conserve pennys, heat, fuels and possessions - and you live what you grow up with.

    To fly over this country and see from one end to the next how dependent we are on oil - everything, it seems, that we enjoy is fueled directly by fossil fuels, or is made possible by fossil fuels - even a hike in the mountains starts with a mechanized transport to get us to the foothills.

    Nuclear generated electricity and nuclear generated hydrogen holds some promise. The problem with hydrogen in motor vehicles is the volatility.....so there is no clear course towards (ample) energy independence.

    Marty, you mention 4 and 5 dollar a gallon fuel - I'm in line with your thinking. I'm pulling this out of my hat, of course, but I forsee $10 a gallon fuel within a decade. How will we adapt the systems we depend on (including flying our precious SUPER CUBS) to thrive in that context? Who will the winners be? How will we position ourselves to be the winners in that context?

    I highly recommend the insightful new book "The Weathermakers" by Tim Flannery.

    Bob Breeden

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    Ehtanol and biodiesel may or may not be a govt scam. But looking at the FAA, I'm sure govt will screw it up.

    What does not consume more energy than it provides. Our engines only use about 35% of the potential energy in the fuel burned. The rest is dissipated as heat. Someday in the future a mad scientist will figure out how to use 90% of that energy, and he or she will look at us and think what a waste.

    I am not an environmentalist but rather a conservationist. (there is a difference) What is happening to the rain forests in South America is catastophic and is not reversible by man. We all are and all will feel the effects of cleared rain forests. However, drilling for oil is not exactly environmentally friendly either.

    I just want 100LL for my plane, diesel for tractors and gas for my car. Someone a lot more powerful than I will decide what form it will be in and then charge me for it.

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

  20. #20
    sekps's Avatar
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    In Sweden we're already at $6/gal for MOGAS and there are some predictions saying $7-8/gal within a couple of months. In some European countries $9.90/gal for 100LL is already a fact.

    I guess that's a reason why I like my 38 mpg Toyota and my C90-8F...

    By the way, some of the "facts" on zfacts.com were really funny to read. I'm not sure I'd trust many of the "facts" presented on that website...

    /Mattias

  21. #21
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    4 cyl. Continentals and pick up trucks will be my choice.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    I was under the impression that the corn is fermented to produce the ethanol. The byproduct of the fermentation still has value and is used as feed for livestock. Not putting this important fact into the mix would drive the cost higher I am surprised it was left out. If I am wrong please correct me.

    Cub_Driver

  23. #23
    jnorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sekps
    It's not the Formula 1 car that runs on alcohol...
    That's an apples to watermelons comparison. Totally different set of rules. Totally different set of specifications. Totally different aerodynamics. Totally different.... Well, you get the idea.

    Alcohol is great if the vehicle is designed to use it. It's great if you are using it by your own choice. It sucks if you're being forced to use it in a vehicle that's not designed for it. In fact, it sucks if you're being forced to use it in a vehicle that IS designed to use it.

    Let the consumer decide for him/herself!

    Joe

  24. #24
    StewartB
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    From the standpoint of greenhouse gas emissions....ethanol seems like the best, most responsible, easiest to implement solution we currently have available. I can adjust my equipment to burn ethanol.

    We won't be the final generation to inhabit the planet. We should start acting like it.

    Stewart

  25. #25
    sekps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorris
    That's an apples to watermelons comparison. Totally different set of rules. Totally different set of specifications. Totally different aerodynamics. Totally different.... Well, you get the idea.
    You're right, of course. My point was that there are no big technical obstacles. A car designed for alcohol will work just as good as a car designed for gas, maybe even better.

    But of course, a 100+ year old habit isn't changed overnight - especially not in the aircraft industry.

    /Mattias

  26. #26
    SJ's Avatar
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    If you hit the "search" button above and type in ethanol, you can see that we have been re-having this converstation about this time of year, every year for some time.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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    If ethanol fails in the market place, they could distill all that corn into sour mash and force us to drink it. We would lose a lot of good flying time trying to get rid of it.

    Just a thought

    Bill
    Flat Country Pilot
    Farm Field PVT
    54 C170B

  28. #28
    180Marty's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Steve , but I have to add 2 more cents here. Over where Joe Norris is,Utica Energy has some Renew fuel stations where they direct market ethanol. Last July when I went to the airshow their E85 was 72 cents less than their 10%(1.55 vs. 2.27) which was cheaper than any of the competition. They have blender pumps to dispense 10,20 and 85% out of 2 underground tanks of straight eth and unleaded. Ethanol plants can be placed just about anywhere in the nation now,so my vision is to get around the politics and have cheaper aviation and auto fuel and not be held hostage like we are now. When Joe uses the word"forced" here's the dilemma. 70 to 80% of the fuel here in Iowa is sold as 10% ethanol but the two mechanics in my town are death on it( it's so bad that if a headlight burns out , the first question probably is "did you use ethanol") and they influence the unknowing. This reminds me of auto fuel vs. 100LL in our planes.
    Marty

  29. #29
    jnorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 180Marty
    This reminds me of auto fuel vs. 100LL in our planes.
    Hi Marty,

    You're correct about influencing the unknowing. Happens all the time on lots of issues. Not good. I don't like it anymore than you do when you talk about situations like the mechanics you mention in your note. (I have the same discussions with people all the time on the auto fuel in airplanes issue, let alone the ethanol. There's lots of this type of thing going on.)

    Just to make myself clear, I have no issue with people who want to run ethanol in their vehicles (ground or air). It's certainly no problem to run ethanol fuel in a vehicle that's properly equipped to handle it. But what I mean by "forced" is when states start implementing mandates calling for ALL motor fuel will contain a certain percentage of ethanol. This places people in a position where they can't make the choice, and they end up running ethanol in vehicles that are not properly equipped to handle it. This can cause big problems in certain situations, and can even be a safety issue in some cases. This is what I object to. I don't agree with any government mandates that require all fuels to have ethanol. Let people have the choice!

    But specific to airplanes, you just can't willy-nilly put ethanol in the system without the potential for problems. Yes, airplanes can be properly equipped to run ethanol blends (or 100% ethanol). No problem. But an airplane in the fleet is not properly equipped to handle the ethanol, and there can be serious safety problems if ethanol is introduced into the fuel system. This doesn't mean there will be problems, but there can be, and you can't predict whether or not it will be a problem just by looking at the airplane. That's why the STCs don't allow the use of fuel containing ethanol.

    All of this comes down to education. There's a place for ethanol, and there are places where it shouldn't be used. An informed consumer can make the proper choices. I just want there to be a choice to make, and I want to be able to make it. I don't want the government thinking for me (anymore than they already do)!

    Cheers!

    Joe

  30. #30
    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    Joe,

    Just a thought, any chance you EAA guys can amend or create a new auto fuel stc to include aircraft capable/modified to run ethanol blends (like your typical 10% blend).

    As non-blended gas becomes harder to get, I think folks would be willing to buy a new stc...Hey Paul and Tom need cash to keep the fleet going right?

    Brad

  31. #31
    SJ's Avatar
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    Standards relaxed to bring prices down... supposedly.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1887632
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  32. #32
    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    WHEW! AB-FAB Mr. Pres! A mucho' needed break for the consumer

    Last time they did this we got back under $2 for while.

    (we take 3/4 ton suburbans from coast to coast hauling heavy weight feed supplements in the back and in trailers - establishing dealers and distributors across the country. These current fuel prices are definately a major hurdle to deal with. But despite that significant drag, things are growing every month and that is WAY cool!

  33. #33
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubus Maximus

    Last time they did this we got back under $2 for while.
    My guess is it will not do a thing. Why would they LOWER gas prices if there is still demand at these prices. Obviously the price of a gallon of gas is not linear with the price of a barrel of oil.

    Tim

  34. #34
    Cubus Maximus's Avatar
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    watch Tim, it will lower the prices. While not exactly linear, there is a direct correlation.

    If you listen to the traders and commodities guys, they all know that prices at these levels are not healthy for the long term. And it's also why you see oil companies renaming themselves "energy" companies.

  35. #35
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubus Maximus
    watch Tim, it will lower the prices. While not exactly linear, there is a direct correlation.

    If you listen to the traders and commodities guys, they all know that prices at these levels are not healthy for the long term. And it's also why you see oil companies renaming themselves "energy" companies.
    I hope they are correct. Time will tell.

  36. #36
    jnorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubus Maximus
    ...any chance you EAA guys can amend or create a new auto fuel stc...
    Brad,

    That is not likely to happen. Two main reasons; One, the cost of developing the new STC would never be recovered unless we get a MAJOR benefactor to underwrite the research. (Anyone want to step up to the plate??) And two, the necessary modifications would be so airplane-specific that there's no way to cover everything on one blanket STC like our present auto fuel STC does, which would further complicate the process and raise the cost.

    Joe

  37. #37

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    ethanol

    In Montana the Governor has mandated that all gas be 10% ethanol. I think it will be a year or so before all pumps are converted. There is supposed to be a pump without ethanol at the island, I just wonder what it will cost.

  38. #38
    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Re: ethanol

    Quote Originally Posted by mtsprayer
    In Montana the Governor has mandated that all gas be 10% ethanol. I think it will be a year or so before all pumps are converted. There is supposed to be a pump without ethanol at the island, I just wonder what it will cost.
    I thought I read where all 91 octane Mogas in Montana will be offered as alcohol free for use by aircraft and antique cars. Lower octane would contain ethanol. Can't remember where I read it, AOPA maybe? Anybody else remember seeing this?

  39. #39
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubus Maximus
    watch Tim, it will lower the prices. While not exactly linear, there is a direct correlation.

    If you listen to the traders and commodities guys, they all know that prices at these levels are not healthy for the long term. And it's also why you see oil companies renaming themselves "energy" companies.
    If you seperate out the inflation component from the supply and demand component in the price of oil, it is currently about 22% overvalued. A barrel of oil is around $73 right now, it should be around $60 based upon historical norms.

    Just 2 years ago it was selling for about $38 / bbl, but the dollar has been devalued by about 40% since then by the Fed.

  40. #40

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    Christina

    Do you believe with out any disasters of course oil will drop back to $60.00 or lower by fall? Newt G said it would be lower by fall but his figures didn't seem realistic to me. I dont believe we will see $35.00 to $40.00 oil anytime soon.

    Cub_Driver

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