Response to Middle East Turmoil Unrest, Upheaval Demonstrates Folly of Reliance on Middle East Oil

WASHINGTON, DC – Unrest in the Middle East has spread from Tunisia and Egypt to other nations. Protests in Yemen forced that President Ali Abdullah, like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak an ally of the United States, to announce today that he would step down when his term expires in 2013. In Jordan, King Abdullah II dismissed his government and commissioned a new leader, a prime minister, that is charged with reforming the country’s political system.

Because of the upheaval in these oil-producing nations and neighboring states, analysts are carefully watching the price of oil. While the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline continue to transport oil from the OPEC region, there are reports of disruptions at Middle East shipping ports and missing customs officials. The cost of North Sea Brent crude, which serves the European market, remained above $100 a barrel, a 28-month high. U.S. crude also rose to more than $91 at mid-day today.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis issued the following statement:

“We have had 40 foolish years of leaving our economy in the hands of OPEC, leaving our economic and national security in the hands of the Middle East. There is no better demonstration of how dangerous this policy is than right now. Our country’s fragile economic recovery is at risk of being smothered by high oil prices, and Egypt is not even an oil-exporting state. The upheaval in one non-exporting state can jack up the prices to Americans for everyday expenses, whether filling up for the commute to work or buying groceries. It doesn’t have to be that way. We have an alternative – today – in American ethanol. What this country needs is an energy policy that gives Americans a genuinely free and open market, so alternatives like ethanol can compete against oil.”

Facts about today’s American ethanol industry:

  • In 2009, the domestic production of nearly 10.6 billion gallons of ethanol eliminated the need to import at least 364 million barrels of oil to make gasoline, keeping $21.3 billion in the U.S. economy of sending it overseas;
  • In 2009, the American ethanol industry created and supported more than 400,000 jobs across the country, and contributed $53.3 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Federal tax revenues in 2009 generated by U.S. ethanol industry totaled $8.4 billion.
  • American ethanol has the capacity to displace the equivalent of 10.97 billion barrels of imported crude between 2009 and 2022 with an aggregate value of $1.441 billion.
  • Every dollar sent overseas for imported oil actually removes the equivalent of $1.55 from the U.S. economy, according to an analysis by the Institute of Forensic Economic Studies.


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