A record number of Americans are traveling this week for the July 4th holiday and as we celebrate our nation’s independence, we can also celebrate our independence from high gas prices thanks to ethanol.
According to AAA, a record 39.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more by automobile for Independence Day, five percent more than a year ago. Those drivers will be paying at least 12 percent less for gasoline—or $0.26 per gallon—thanks to ethanol, according to a new analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). In fact, ethanol is expected to reduce household spending on gasoline by $37 billion this year, or $292 per household.
The analysis also shows that if E15 were available nationwide in place of E10, consumers would be saving even more money. The wholesale savings currently attributable to E15 is $0.32 per gallon, or 15 percent lower than E0 gasoline.
“As a record number of travelers hit the roads this holiday, there is no better way to celebrate Independence Day than to fill up with fuel containing American-made ethanol. In addition to saving American families money at the pump, ethanol boosts rural economies and helps increase our energy independence,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
U.S. dependence on imported petroleum is falling, thanks in part to booming domestic production of renewable fuels. In 2005, the year the original renewable fuel standard was adopted, America’s net dependence on foreign petroleum peaked at just over 60%. However, by 2017, net petroleum import dependence fell to just 20%, and would have been 27% without the addition of 15.8 billion gallons of domestically produced ethanol to the fuel supply. Last year, ethanol displaced an amount of gasoline refined from 560 million barrels of crude oil—more than the volume imported annually from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined.