Graduate Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Tesa Leonce

Thesis Committee Member

Linda S. Ghent

Thesis Committee Member

Daniel Hickman


In this study, we estimated the impact of increasing ethanol production on net imports of crude oil in the United States. We also examined whether factors such as com production, population, gross fixed capital formation and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 contributed to an increase in ethanol production. Using time series data from 1981 to 2012, the results of multiple regression models showed that ethanol production was a significant variable and had an inverse relation to net imports of crude oil. Our study also showed that the implementation of the 2005 Act and an increase in com production contributed to increased ethanol production. Finally, we concluded that com-based ethanol could be a path to reducing foreign oil dependence. Thus, we recommend that policymakers continue to subsidize the ethanol industry and also educate consumers about the benefits of using ethanol.