The Tea Party is Key to Lowering U.S. Gasoline Prices

Photo credit: Spencer T.

We need immediate and instant resuscitation measures to re-start the heart of the economy.

The defibrillator is the abolishment of the ethanol mandate!

President Reagan abolished oil price controls with an executive order, so don’t tell me Obama could not abolish the ethanol mandate instantly tomorrow.

He won’t, so pressure must be put on Democrats with Tea Party public education of the public about the ethanol mandate problem to result in a ground root’s demand for its abolishment.

The GOP isn’t going to do it. It is not even aware of the problem. Romney could make abandonment of the ethanol mandate a persuasive part of his campaign, but he won’t since it is impossible for anyone to communicate with his campaign about it.

The Tea Party is the only hope 49 days before the election. The Tea Party can get it done if Romney is elected.

Please don’t put abolishment of the ethanol mandate in a list of things to do in the future!

The biggest problem in America is the economy. The biggest problem in the American economy is the oil policy. Foreign oil imports affect jobs, income, tax revenue, debt, gasoline prices, imbalance of payments, and our national security, not to mention wars in the Middle East. On the individual economic level, gasoline prices affect Americans the most.

Gasoline prices can and should be lowered in two ways, immediately and long range. Gasoline prices can be lowered immediately by simply abolishing the ethanol mandate which requires that ethanol be blended with gasoline at the pump. This would eliminate the millions of dollars in waivers which refineries are required to purchase because there is no cellulosic ethanol production, thereby decreasing the price of gasoline.

Besides immediately lowering the price per gallon of gasoline, abolishing the ethanol mandate would also allow Americans to be able to go much farther on a gallon of gasoline, thereby lowering the cost per mile traveled.

Americans would get an extra 125 billion miles of free travel annually due to the poor mileage from ethanol. In 2011, the US consumed 134 billion gallons of gasoline and 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol for a total of 147.9 billion gallons of fuel with an average blend of about 10% ethanol. The 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol had 1,056 trillion BTUs. The same amount of gasoline would have 1,727 trillion BTUs. The ethanol had 671 trillion BTUs less energy than gasoline. It takes an average of 5,354 BTUs of energy for a vehicle to travel one mile. Thus, Americans could travel free for an extra 125 billion miles annually if the mandate to blend ethanol with gasoline was abolished so that gasoline would replaced ethanol.

There is yet another benefit from abolishing the ethanol mandate. It would prevent 4.2 million tons of additional carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere annually since using ethanol emits more carbon dioxide into the air than using gasoline. There are 0.99 pounds of additional carbon dioxide emitted from each 1.635 gallons of ethanol. Thus, one gallon of ethanol emits an additional 0.60366 pounds of carbon dioxide. Ethanol production last year was 13,900 million gallons. There were 4.2 million tons of additional carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere last year due to the use of gasoline-blended-with-ethanol rather than the use of gasoline. Such unnecessary emissions of carbon dioxide into the air should be stopped.

It is impossible for ethanol to ever replace oil. Last year’s ethanol production of 331 million barrels was only 6% of the US oil demand of 5.3 billion barrels annually. Ethanol is a disastrous folly, and the ethanol mandate should be abolished immediately.

The long range lowering of gasoline prices can and should be done by replacing foreign oil imports with US oil production. Historically, the price of US oil has been lower than the price of foreign oil. During the week ending November 11, 2011, US crude oil was $6.47 per barrel less than foreign OPEC crude oil at the “World Crude Oil Prices” website of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. Foreign oil imports were 3.4 billion barrels annually. The estimated savings to Americans, if US oil replaced foreign oil imports would be over $21 billion. Unfortunately for transparency, the “World Crude Oil Prices” website went blank after that week in November 2011, a year before the presidential election.


Sel Graham, West Point ’51, is the author of Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High.