RFA: Study reveals wide-ranging economic impact of ethanol

By Renewable Fuels Association | February 19, 2015

At this year’s National Ethanol Conference, the Renewable Fuels Association released a new ABF Economics study titled “Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States in 2014,” which quantified the economic, national security, and job creating benefits of domestic ethanol production in 2014.

The study revealed that last year the ethanol industry was responsible for 83,949 direct jobs and 295,265 indirect and induced jobs. In addition to good-paying, non-exportable jobs, the ethanol industry added $52.7 billion to the national GDP, $26.7 billion to household incomes, and $10.3 billion in taxes, which help stimulate the national, state, and local economies. The study also revealed that the 14.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2014 displaced an immense 515 million barrels of foreign oil, which carries a monetary value of almost $49 billion.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, touted the study’s findings, stating, “Numbers are powerful. These numbers reflect the vast reach of the U.S. ethanol industry across many sectors of our society. Each of the nearly 380,000 jobs represents a solid, stable income for a parent who can continue to provide for their family, buy groceries, and pay the rent on time. Each of the $10.3 billion spent in local, state, and federal taxes mean improved public services, safe, drivable roads, more teachers for local school systems or greater access to the latest technology and information for students. And, each of the 515 million barrels of oil we no longer have to import, mean less dependence on often volatile countries and a more stable energy future for all Americans.”

Dinneen continued, “It is my hope that Americans and policymakers alike will look at these numbers and fully understand the integral role of biofuels in our society.”

John Urbanchuk, author of the study and managing partner of ABF Economics, concluded his analysis by noting, “The ethanol industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy in terms of job creation, generation of tax revenue, and displacement of imported crude oil and petroleum products. The importance of the ethanol industry to agriculture and rural economies is particularly notable. Continued growth and expansion of the ethanol industry through new technologies and feedstocks will enhance the industry’s position as the original creator of green jobs, and will enable America to make further strides toward energy independence.”

A brief summary of the study’s findings:

- $52.7 billion to America’s gross domestic product
- 83,949 direct jobs and 295,265 indirect and induced jobs
- $26.7 billion to household incomes
- $10.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes
- Displaced 515 million barrels of oil, the equivalent of $49 billion

The full study, prepared on behalf of the Renewable Fuels Association, can be found here.