Let’s Declare Independence From Big Oil

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, it's a great time to think about declaring independence from Big Oil, writes Tom Buis. Ethanol is our renewed declaration of energy independence.
By Tom Buis | June 10, 2014

This year we celebrate the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. On the Fourth of July our founding fathers began the arduous task of establishing a new nation outside the grasp of tyranny. Today we face a new tyranny, not from a far off ruler trying to impose taxes, but from a variety of kingdoms and oppressive groups attacking our economic and energy independence.

Luckily, we have the ability to again declare our freedom from this oppression. Foreign oil threatens our security, our economic strength and takes our hard-earned dollars outside our borders. Ethanol is our renewed declaration of energy independence.

The ethanol industry has created nearly 400,000 jobs, with the opportunity for up to 136,000 more, if we move to E15. These jobs are here at home and cannot be sent overseas. Americans produce the corn and other renewable fuel feedstock to produce the ethanol that Americans and many others around the world use as fuel, returning dollars into our domestic economy. The jobs created at home stimulate the economy further by creating jobs for grocers, service providers and others within the community who rely on the ability of the ethanol workforce and farmers to be able to support their families. 

Our citizens outside of the ethanol industry and our rural communities also benefit from this revolutionary fuel. Emissions are reduced, providing cleaner air for us and our children. Cleaner burning ethanol provides measurable reductions in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to removing 8 million cars from the road each year. The renewable fuel standard (RFS) alone has the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to equate to 27 million cars off the roads by 2022. 

Higher blends such as E15 will only increase our ability to preserve our environment while revitalizing our economy. By reducing greenhouse gases by 59 percent, E15 represents the best currently approved fuel choice we have in the fight against climate change.

All of these benefits come with consumers’ freedom to choose their own fuel. And while ethanol already reduces the price to fill up by as much as $1.09 per gallon, higher blends have the ability to further reduce costs to consumers. We want to expand their choice to save money, utilize a cleaner fuel and help improve our environment.

It is no surprise that when faced with possible loss of market share, the oil industry fights so vehemently to keep us out of consumers’ gas tanks, reducing available options to their consumers. But we have fought back. Growth Energy is actively fighting to preserve the RFS and we are continuing to lead the charge to expand consumer choice and options for fuel.

But these benefits and freedoms can only truly be realized if we can further break Big Oil’s grip on the fuel market. Despite the best efforts of the oil industry to keep their monopoly, we have succeeded in pushing back. Today, retailers are expanding E15 across the country. We are winning. Now is the time to declare our energy independence. Continue to contact your leaders and share the benefits of ethanol with your neighbors. Americans deserve the ability to choose their fuel, bolster our rural economies, keep our money within our own country and help mitigate climate change for future generations.


Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy
202-545-4000
tbuis@growthenergy.org