Drone attacks Saturday in Saudi Arabia destroyed oil fields and caused a record spike in oil prices overnight, again calling into question claims that increased U.S. oil production has made America energy independent.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “The crude oil and gasoline price spikes following the attacks on Saudi Arabia show once again that the Unites States cannot simply frack its way to energy independence. Even with growth in domestic oil production, $18 billion flowed out of the U.S. economy to Saudi Arabia last year in return for 330 million barrels of petroleum. What the oil industry doesn’t want you to know is that the United States imported 2.8 billion barrels of crude oil last year, equivalent to 45 percent of the oil processed by U.S. refineries. In fact, California imports nearly 60 percent of the oil it uses from outside the U.S., and nearly half of this imported crude comes to California via the Strait of Hormuz.
“Diversification of our liquid fuel supply is the only way to truly insulate American consumers from the volatility and price shocks that plague the global petroleum market. The good news is we have a solution right here in America’s farm fields and rural communities. Our nation’s ethanol industry produced more than 380 million barrels of lower-cost, cleaner-burning renewable fuel last year — more barrels than we imported from Saudi Arabia. And we can do more. With the faithful enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard, removal of arcane and unnecessary regulatory barriers, and a rapid transition to 15% ethanol blends nationwide, U.S. ethanol producers could quickly ramp up production and help fill the void in the global liquid fuel supply caused by the Saudi oil attacks.
“The hard truth is that our nation remains highly vulnerable to the geopolitical vagaries that create turmoil in the world oil market. We call on President Trump to unleash the strength and innovation of America’s ethanol industry in this time of crisis.”
This comes just a month after the EPA granted 31 small refinery waivers, upsetting corn and ethanol groups. After a long campaign in opposition to the biofuel waivers, corn and ethanol groups called the announcement detrimental to rural America. This could be the boost corn farmers need to fulfill innovation and demand for ethanol.