A costly addiction, an available alternative

Why does America continue to rely so heavily on the finite resource oil? As a nation we have left ourselves extremely vulnerable with so much to lose. It’s difficult to judge just what kind of damage fluctuating fuel prices have on our economy because everything depends on it. The ups, downs and constant uncertainties hurt families, businesses, farms, etc, and it appears things are only going to get worse.

Once again, gas prices are out of control and according to the Van Trump Report, rumblings of higher fuel prices are on their way beyond $4.00 per gallon by spring. Ouch! The report went on to say, “Do you realize In January, retail gasoline prices averaged $3.37 a gallon, setting a new record.”

But this next stat will probably blow you away as it did me…

“The bottom-line is that Americans spent more than $490 billion on gasoline in 2011, which is an increase of more than $100 billion over 2010.”

100 billion dollar increase in one year! Incredible, when you think about how one of the oldest and most profitable industries on the planet continues to receive billions in federal subsidies. And how is it possible to become less reliant on oil when our policy makers continue to keep the 90% gasoline mandate that they have created?

Fortunately help is on the way. With last Friday’s EPA final approval of E15 health effects testing, the ethanol blend should be available soon for people driving cars and light trucks 2001 or newer. The announcement couldn’t have come at a better time with oil prices rising and ethanol inventory high. The blend will save drivers money and allow non flex-fuel owners to use more of a clean-burning and locally produced product.

While it has been a long-time coming, making E-15 available to consumers will continue our country on a path towards energy independence, less greenhouse gas emissions and bolster rural America with additional jobs, tax revenues and infrastructure.

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