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The Race for Alt Fuel

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We Use American Fuel for Electricity. Why not Transportation?

April 1st 2017

Oil Barrels 400px

When it comes to lighting our homes and powering our electronic devices, we’re so used to having a full menu of American-made resources, we’ve come to take it for granted. It’s about time we demand all-American fuel to power our vehicles.

Think about it: The energy sources used to make electricity in this country are all created and consumed here in the United States. Whether it’s natural gas, hydroelectric, coal, wind, solar, or nuclear (check out this cool map showing what gets used where), power generation uses all-domestic “feedstocks,” creating American jobs and growing our economy.

We don’t need to import any of those sources, or the technology needed to process them, because we already have them here at home.

If only that were true for transportation. You might not realize it, given the “fracking revolution” that has produced record-breaking oil production levels here in the U.S., but we’re still hopelessly reliant on foreign oil. We need about 15 million barrels a day for transportation to keep our economy humming along smoothly, and on a good day we’ll produce about 9 million barrels. Not only that, but unlike the diverse energy resources used to generate electricity, oil accounts for a whopping 92 percent of transportation fuels used in the U.S.

Decades of oil dependence have demonstrated that domestic drilling is not enough. The rest of the oil we need has to come from somewhere. The only way to reduce energy imports and end oil’s virtual monopoly on the transportation system is to ramp up production of alternatives that can be sourced and made right here in the U.S.A.

ethanol plant-tractor

An all-American transportation fuel strategy doesn’t just help reduce imports. It creates thousands of high-paying jobs, just when we need them to boost our economy. Yes, we can drill for oil. But we have ample resources, including biomass such as corn, and massive new supplies of natural gas, that can and should be used to produce liquid fuels to compete with gasoline at the pump.

Why should we be beholden to any country but our own, or to a single energy source for the transportation fuel we need? We’ve already created an all-American electricity supply — let’s do it with transportation too!


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