Energy security remains a significant concern for the U.S., but thanks in part to homegrown ethanol, Americans are importing less petroleum, helping the nation rein in oil imports for the transportation sector. On a net basis, U.S. dependence on imported crude oil and petroleum products fell to just 14 percent in 2018, due in part to booming domestic production. However, without the addition of 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol to the domestic fuel supply, U.S. import dependence would have been 20 percent. In other words, without ethanol’s contribution, it would have taken an additional 594 million barrels of imported crude oil to meet America’s petroleum needs!
While progress has been made to boost U.S. energy security, more needs to be done. The nation still transfers a significant amount of money to the OPEC cartel. In 2018, the U.S. sent a collective $54 billion, or $425 per household, to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela and Nigeria to OPEC to pay for crude oil imports. Energy security is one of the main drivers behind the Renewable Fuel Standard and why it remains critical the program stays in place and grows over time, providing consumers with more choices at the pump and shoring up domestic energy usage.