As Americans celebrate Independence Day this weekend, it is a good time to reflect on our need to increase our energy independence.
The good news is, we are becoming less dependent on foreign sources of oil for our transportation fuel needs. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), ethanol displaced almost 322 million barrels of oil in 2008. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) notes that is the equivalent of eliminating oil imports from Venezuela for 10 months, or looked at another way, it would mean that the U.S. would not have to import ANY oil for 33 days. It also saved American consumers and taxpayers $32 billion, an average of more than $87 million a day.
Despite well-publicized cases of economic troubles in the ethanol industry, the production and use of ethanol continues to increase. The latest EIA figures show that American ethanol facilities produced 640,000 barrels per day in April 2009, up by 78,000 barrels from last year. Ethanol demand, as calculated by the RFA, continued to strengthen heading into the summer driving season, with demand at 673,000, up 29,000 from March.
Jay Hakes, author of “A Declaration of Energy Independence,” says American Energy Independence means energy security, energy abundance and energy self-sufficiency.
Energy Independence is a civilization changing idea, like freedom, one that should be thought of much like we think of our national independence—our liberty, which is both an ideal and a physical reality. Energy Independence can and should be pursued with the same patriotic spirit that fought for, won and sustains American democracy and freedom.
The phrase “Energy Independence” is a slogan embodying an idea that resonates with the character of America—it is a call for return to economic balance and protection from vulnerability created by over-dependence on petroleum to fuel our cars, trucks and airplanes—it is a public outcry voiced by citizens demanding government leadership in energy production, distribution, security and fuel choice.
God Bless America.