Several studies have shown that to be the right response. The National Renewable Energy Lab and McKinsey & Company recently summarized those studies, concluding that ethanol keeps U.S. retail gasoline prices about 17 cents per gallon lower (possibly as high as 50 cents per gallon). That translates into an annual savings of $115 per driver and approximately $24 billion in annual savings for drivers as a whole.

The study found that ethanol saves money for drivers in five ways:

- ethanol is the most economically competitive fuel component

- ethanol is significantly cheaper than other fuel oxygenates

- ethanol increases the fossil gasoline yield at refineries, due to its high octane

- ethanol reduces expensive fossil gasoline imports

- ethanol contributes at the global level to the gasoline supply

But with gas prices on the rise again, what can be done today?

The most important thing we can do is follow through on the promise of the RFS. Although the law calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels, the industry is being prevented from reaching that goal by a 30-year-old administrative rule limiting ethanol to 10 percent of the fuel supply. Our industry has reached that "blend wall" and is being prevented from producing more than the 14 billion gallons we will produce this year.

Because of this artificial blend wall, we are exporting affordable American ethanol while importing expensive foreign oil. And it prevents further industry development despite the fact that there is a billion tons of biomass that could be used to produce cellulosic ethanol and grain yields are projected to double over the next 20 years.

We must do better. We need a new policy - one that forces gasoline to compete at the pump. The only commercially-viable competitor today is ethanol, a fuel that is as American as Henry Ford's first Model T, which was originally designed to run purely on ethanol.

If we are to create that competition at the pump, we must remove the artificial barriers that prevent motorists from having an alternative to foreign oil and block ethanol from accessing the market.

Increasing the number of flex fuel pumps at gas stations and flex fuel vehicles on the road along with dedicated ethanol pipelines to transport the fuel will give consumers an opportunity to choose their fuel - instead of having that choice made for them. The ethanol industry is willing to exchange our tax credit for funds that build the infrastructure necessary for consumers to have fuel choice.

That study from NREL and McKinsey shows the benefits that could come from increasing the domestic supply of ethanol. If ethanol increases to 15 or 20 percent of gasoline supply, savings per gallon increase to as much as 59 or 63 cents per gallon. That translates into approximately $400 in savings per driver and more than $80 billion to drivers in total. Another study found that increasing ethanol from 10 to 15 percent of the gasoline supply would create 136,000 new jobs that can't be outsourced.

America's ethanol industry has been an undeniable success reducing our nation's reliance on foreign oil and lowering fuel prices. By removing the barriers that prevent access to renewable energy produced right here in America, we can replace more of the oil we import from the Middle East, lower fuel prices more and keep more dollars in the pockets of everyday Americans.

Jeff Broin is Chief Executive Officer of POET, the world's largest producer of ethanol. He is also Chairman of Growth Energy, the leading coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters.