The key to cleaner, more affordable energy for American consumers does not lie in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and Russia, but in the agricultural fields in the heart of our nation. Our leaders in Washington should look to American farmers for help.
Anyone who has worked in the ethanol business for a very long time knows that one of the founding pillars of our industry was the urgent need for a more secure energy supply. It all started with the oil embargoes of the 1970s. President Carter, in a big televised speech on the energy crisis in 1979, vowed that “this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977. , never â, and ethanol was part of the solution he presented.
Likewise, when President George W. Bush promulgated the renewable fuels standard a little over a quarter of a century later, he spoke of the role that renewable fuels would play in this area. âEvery time we use local fuelâ¦ we will help our farmers while being less dependent on foreign energy sources. “
So it was understandably difficult to learn recently that President Biden was calling on OPEC + countries to increase oil production in order to combat rising fuel prices at the pump. In a letter to the president two days after the announcement, the Renewable Fuels Association made its position clear, a position many of the president’s predecessors would agree with:
The key to cleaner, more affordable energy for American consumers does not lie in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and Russia, but in the agricultural fields in the heart of our nation.
We agree with President Biden that rising gasoline prices threaten to derail our country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and we support the administration’s call for an investigation into the real causes the recent rise in gas prices. However, rather than hope that Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and other OPEC + countries will remedy the escalating gas prices in the United States, we urge the president to seek a solution. real and immediate solution to rising prices at the pump: an increase in the production and use of renewable carbon-based fuels such as ethanol. Using more domestically produced ethanol would not only lead to lower fuel prices for consumers, but also support this administration’s goals related to clean energy, climate change and fuel economy. ‘use.
While some petroleum refiners continue to falsely claim that RFS somehow increases the cost of gasoline, the facts are clear. The increased use of ethanol under RFS has driven gasoline prices down by 22 cents per gallon on average in recent years, saving the typical American household $ 250 a year. In recent weeks, gasoline containing only 10 percent ethanol (E10) has typically sold 30 to 40 cents per gallon less than non-ethanol gasoline, on average. And by increasing our supply of liquid fuel, it helps cushion gasoline price shocks that result from sudden disruptions in the oil market.
With the right policy and regulatory measures, renewable fuels can do even more to control prices at the pump, reduce dependence on oil and reduce carbon emissions. We encourage the Biden administration to take three steps: quickly finalize robust RFS volume requirements for 2021 and 2022, take steps to ensure consumers have year-round access to gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15 ) and work with Congress to ensure that upcoming legislation includes the incentives needed to support increased FFV production and an expanded infrastructure for higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.
U.S. ethanol producers stand ready to work with the Biden administration and Congress to provide immediate and effective solutions to the challenges posed by high prices at the pump and our long history of excessive dependence on oil. Rather than appealing to the Middle Eastern cartels to solve our problems at the pumps, our leaders in Washington should appeal to the farmers of the Midwest.
Author: Geoff cooper
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association