The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing Wednesday examining opportunities to combat high gas prices. Growth Energy Chairman Jeff Broin told the panel that gas prices are up nearly 80 cents over last year because of Middle East instability and growing demand for oil from China. Broin said that American ethanol is already reducing prices at the pump and can cut fuel prices even more if alternative fuels had greater access to the market.
"The most important thing we can do is to follow through on the promise of the Renewable Fuel Standard," Broin said. "The 'blend wall' has many consequences for America. First, because ethanol is limited to 10%, we are exporting lower-priced ethanol while importing more expensive foreign oil. Second, with the blend wall intact, the ethanol industry cannot provide any more relief to consumers suffering from climbing gasoline prices."
Broin testified that the surest way to lower the price of gasoline is to allow another product the opportunity to compete with it. Broin says it is entirely within our power to create a level playing field where ethanol can offer consumer choice and true competition for the majority of the American fuel tank. When consumers have choices, their pocketbooks are the true winners.