According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imported 9.9 million barrels of petroleum from 80 countries in 2013. The global supply of crude oil, other liquid hydrocarbons and biofuels is expected to be adequate to meet the world’s demand for liquid fuels for at least the next 25 years; however, there is substantial uncertainty about the levels of future liquid fuels supply and demand. America needs to get more serious about finding domestic sources of energy.
In addition to the cost of purchasing imported oil, the U.S. spends about $50 billion each year for military protection of Middle East oil supplies — and billions more in government subsidies to the oil industry.
Making ethanol a more important part of our nation’s energy supply is clearly in our best interests — both economically and in terms of energy security. Ethanol use already reduces the U.S. trade deficit by $2 billion each year — and the jobs created by this homegrown energy industry are generating tax dollars and economic vitality.
Additionally, the increased use of ethanol helps reduce the need for agricultural subsidies — and America’s energy dollars will go to domestic producers rather than to members of foreign oil cartels.
There is no question: ethanol helps put more control in America’s hands, and makes us less susceptible to the whims and politics of overseas oil-producing countries.
Economic Impacts of the Ethanol Industry in Nebraska
The U.S. Department of Energy data on Nebraska’s ethanol production started in 1985 at 9 million gallons per year. Ten years later in 1995 it was 200 million gallons. More than 10 years later, the big jump in production was 858 million gallons, and five years later by 2011 it was 2,062 million. The 20-year growth from 1995 to 2014 was approximately tenfold. Since 2007, the effects on Nebraska’s economy and rural areas have been both sustained and substantial. Download full economic impact study here.