A new issue brief was released on Energy Security as part of a series from The Ethanol Across America education campaign. The focal point of the report is to illustrate the negative impacts of continued dependence on imported oil.
U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) who recently released an amendment that would strip several anti-ethanol amendments out of the House approved Continuing Resolution, is co-chairman of the Ethanol Across America Campaign. He said of the Energy Security issue brief, “As a founding member of the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition in 1991 and a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have long recognized the role homegrown renewable fuels such as ethanol can play in reducing America’s dependence on imported oil. At a time of increasing unrest in the Middle East and rapidly increasing oil prices, it becomes ever more important to continue the development and technological advancement of renewable fuels. Nebraska’s fields and farms will continue to help meet demand for food, feed and fuel. This American productivity allows our farmers to be part of the solution in our nation’s energy needs while keeping our fuel dollars at home.”
Among the key points raised in the brief are the following:
- 1. In 2010, the U.S. spent $28 billion per month on foreign oil—a massive transfer of wealth during a period of economic hardship.
- 2. In January of 2011—traditionally one of the lowest demand months of the year, we spent more than $35 billion on imported oil.
- 3. Reliance on foreign oil has cost us more than $7 trillion over the past 30 years.
- 4. America spends $137 Billion annually defending Persian Gulf oil, adding more than $1 per gallon to gas prices.
- 5. Oil imports undermine energy security by delaying investment in the development of alternatives.
“Recent events in North Africa have made clear that oil prices are extremely volatile,” said Todd Sneller, Administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) who is hosting an Emerging Issues Forum in Omaha Nebraska on April 7-8, 2011. “Oil topping $100 per barrel proves once again that we can’t afford an energy economy that is increasingly more dependent on imports.”
Sneller added that nationally, gasoline prices have climbed more than 29 cents per gallon since the uprising in Libya began in the middle of February, costing Americans an extra $108 million per day to buy the same amount of fuel. In Lincoln, Nebraska, gasoline prices spiked even more sharply, increasing 35 cents per gallon during the past two weeks, and in California and parts of the East Coast, per gallon prices have topped $4.