Trade group touts economic benefits of US ethanol industry

21 February 2011 18:56  [Source: ICIS news]

PHOENIX, Arizona (ICIS)--US ethanol production has been an economic success story, directly employing 70,600 people, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Monday.

The RFA cited an economic analysis by Cardno ENTRIX economist John Urbanchuk, which said that as a result of the economic activity generated by the industry, more than 400,000 US workers have been able to keep their jobs or find new ones.

“Ethanol production is also contributing to our nation’s financial well-being as well as that of American households,” the RFA said. “In 2010, ethanol production contributed $53.6bn (€39.1bn) to the national Gross Domestic Product [GDP] and added $36bn to household incomes.”

The increased economic activity and income generated by ethanol added $12bn to federal, state and local governments through increased tax revenue, the RFA said.

Finally, the RFA said domestic ethanol production improves the country’s trade balance while reducing reliance on foreign oil.

“The production of 13bn gal (49bn litres) of ethanol means that the US needed to import 445m fewer barrels of oil in 2010 to refine gasoline,” the RFA said. “That is more oil than America imports from Saudi Arabia annually. Displacing these barrels saved the $34bn 2010.”

The RFA made the announcement at the 16th National Ethanol Conference, which began on Monday and runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.73)

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