WASHINGTON — For millions of Americans, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. People will crowd the beaches, head to their local pool and fire up the grill, but it’s also a time to be thankful to our armed forces for their sacrifices, helping to keep the U.S. secure. A big part of keeping America safe involves energy security and that’s where ethanol comes into play.
In 2005, the year the original Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was adopted, America’s net dependence on foreign petroleum peaked at just over 60%. The RFS has had a dramatic impact on our energy landscape, with net petroleum import dependence falling to just 25% in 2015; it would have been 32% without the addition of 14.8 billion gallons of domestically produced ethanol to the fuel supply. The surge in ethanol production has reduced gasoline imports from nearly 10 billion gallons in 2005 to almost zero today, displacing the amount of gasoline refined from 527 million barrels of crude oil. That’s equivalent to the volume of oil imported annually from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined.
“As the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day weekend, it is important we remember the whole point of the holiday,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “We thank our armed forces for their sacrifices in keeping America safe.
“When it comes to energy security, ethanol is a key player. It is the lowest cost, cleanest-burning, highest octane additive available to refiners and it provides consumers with significant benefits today. As we are seeing, the U.S. cannot frack its way to energy independence. Ethanol is indeed helping to chisel away our reliance on foreign sources of fuel. That’s why the RFS is such an important tool in the nation’s arsenal for energy security, and must be maintained.”