On OPEC’s 50th Anniversary, U.S. Ethanol Industry Calls on Congress to Help Retire the Cartel

WASHINGTON, DC – Supporters of American ethanol alerted Washington, D.C., policymakers that today marks 50 years since the inception of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as a reminder of the consequences of allowing foreign countries to control our economy and national security.

“For 50 years, the OPEC oil cartel has had America over a barrel of foreign oil. We have had the opportunity in the past to break this chain. We need to enact policies to ensure we won’t be celebrating another 50 years for OPEC. ” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters that organized today’s message to Washington.

“Since the inception of OPEC we have had conflict in and with the Middle East. We’ve invested generations of soldiers and untold trillions in warfare in the Middle East, over access to oil. We’ve experienced $4-a-gallon gasoline, gas lines and oil shocks to our economy. Every year we pay $300 billion annually – the equivalent of a thousand-dollar-a-person tribute—to foreign countries for oil,” Buis said. “Today, after 50 years of OPEC, we suggest it is time to retire this cartel’s hold over our country.”

Buis was joined by more than 90 supporters and producers of domestic ethanol. Domestic ethanol is the only viable alternative to gasoline, derived from oil, two-thirds of which is foreign-produced. Today’s grain ethanol is 60 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline, supports more than 400,000 jobs in the U.S., and with 10 percent blend replaced the equivalent of 364 million barrels of imported oil.

“All that is necessary to break the hold that OPEC has on America is to end gasoline’s monopoly and allow all fuels to compete in an open market,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of POET and Co-Chair of Growth Energy. “With access to the market, American ethanol could replace OPEC oil well before we get to OPEC’s 75th birthday.”

Buis added, “Increasing the production of ethanol that is produced right here in America will reduce the role OPEC plays in our economy and in our national security. Every gallon of clean burning ethanol that we produce in this country decreases the demand for foreign oil, keeps our hard-earned money here at home and helps create good jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.

“Today, on the 50th Anniversary of OPEC, all Americans should remember we have an alternative. And we should do all we can to help retire the OPEC Oil Cartel once and for all.”


About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.