Crude oil prices broke the $100 a barrel barrier for the first time today on rising concerns over violence in Nigeria.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose $4.02 to $100 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, before slipping back to $99.48.
Robert White, interim head of the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, says higher oil prices translate into economic hardship for consumers and higher profits for oil companies. “The American public is looking for realistic solutions to our dependence on a dwindling supply of energy of which ethanol plays an important role,” said White. “Once again, the ethanol industry will rise to the challenge and continue to provide a renewable, efficient, economy boosting product for Americans. Without ethanol, the cost of our oil addiction is far too great.”
According to White, America’s foreign oil bill continues to climb, to a record total of nearly one billion dollars a day. Oil from the Middle East accounts for approximately 17 percent of U.S. oil imports.
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says the continuing volatility of world oil and energy markets highlights the importance of the energy legislation Congress passed late last year.
“By pairing higher fuel economy standards with the increased use of renewable fuels from non-traditional feedstocks, our country now has a policy and plan in place to begin mitigating the impact of volatile and ever-increasing world oil prices,” said Dinneen. “The energy paradigm in this country and around the world is beginning to change. Volatile oil prices and dwindling supplies further emphasize the need to develop renewable alternatives. The American ethanol industry stands ready to help lead the revolution away from fossil fuels and to a more stable, sustainable energy future.”
The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association says the case for biofuels has never been stronger.
“Oil at $100 makes the case for biofuels crystal clear. The price of oil is simply too high and too unreliable. We must continue to diversify our fuel supply” said Gordon Quaiattini, President of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. “Biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, are real viable alternatives and are better for the environment, prices, and farmers.”