As U.S. crude oil touches a $100 a barrel for the second time since October 2008, consumers are seeing gasoline prices rising at the pump and oil economists are talking about the real possibility of $4.00 and $5.00 gallons of gas. Four dollar gas is close – when I bought gas yesterday it was $3.79 a gallon.
In a press conference held by ethanol industry organization Growth Energy yesterday afternoon, former politician and Growth Energy President and COO, Jim Nussle commented that with the continued Libyan fighting, an unbalanced budget and rising gas prices, he didn’t know how many more warning signs it was going to take for his former DC colleagues to realize we’re in trouble.
“America is currently in an energy crisis. That crisis didn’t just begin yesterday when we topped over a $100 a barrel of oil again,” said Nussle. “It’s been going on for years. Since we started and since we maintain our growing dependence on foreign oil.”
Growth Energy CEO, Tom Buis noted that ethanol is the only current solution to our problems. He said is not a “someday fuel,” it’s already had a major, positive impact for America. He addressed why some current Republications like Sullivan and Flake feel now is the time to block the roll-out of E15 and keep ethanol from market access is a mistake on two levels. First, the anti-ethanol provisions don’t save much money in the budget and our dependence on oil actually costs the country much more money. Second, ethanol saves consumers money at the pump. And maybe most important, ethanol is American made.
Buis added, ““During a fragile economic recovery, when many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, we cannot continue a policy that keeps us addicted to foreign oil – especially as political upheaval in the Mid East and North Africa pushes gas prices closer and closer to $5 a gallon. If we truly want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen this country’s economy and national security, we must invest in the alternative fuels we have the capacity to produce here in the United States,” added Buis.
You can listen to the entire press conference (taped from the a coffee shop in Sacramento where I was attending an event) where Tom Buis and Jim Nussle where joined by Gen. Wesley K. Clark (Ret.) here: Mid East Unrest & $100 Oil