More drivers in the United States are expected to hit the road for the long 4th of July holiday weekend than any time in the past eight years, and they should notice an extra benefit after they fill up at the pump – more money left over to spend on food, fireworks and beverages. “People are traveling more because gas prices are about a dollar a gallon less than last year,” says ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty, “American drivers are paying $11 billion a month less at the pump. That’s almost $40 bucks a month for every man, woman and child in the U.S.”
Lamberty says ethanol production gains made possible by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are a big help in lowering the price of gas.
“Ethanol costs less than gas, so adding ethanol lowers the price of gas,” Lamberty explained. “And when people can use more ethanol in fuels like E15 or E85, that’s more competition for gasoline. That forces oil companies to lower their prices to compete, and that’s why they badmouth ethanol and the RFS.”
Lamberty warns that oil interests are lobbying Congress and the EPA to eliminate or dramatically weaken laws that allow ethanol to compete with gasoline. “People are saving money on gas and walking around with a few extra bucks in their pockets, while Big Oil lobbyists and Congress are saying ‘the system is broken.’” Lamberty said. “Apparently the system is broken unless we’re all broke. If people have a little more spending money and Congress thinks they’d better “fix” that, we’re in trouble.”