WASHINGTON — During tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama spoke of the importance of jobs and strengthening the American economy.  Cueing off those remarks, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said:

“Biofuels can provide the eco-boost the U.S. economy needs.  Ethanol is a high octane engine driving economic growth and job creation, especially in rural America.  Last year, the ethanol industry directly employed over 87,000 people.  As an industry, ethanol supported another nearly 296,000 indirect and induced jobs across a wide spectrum of industries and sectors.  In addition, ethanol contributed $43.4 billion to the GDP.

“Ethanol’s ability to strengthen this country’s security and stability doesn’t end with job creation.  Thanks to domestically produced ethanol, 465 million barrels of imported oil were displaced.  That is serious money — $47.2 billion dollars in 2012 to be exact — that did not end up in the coffers of Middle Eastern and Venezuelan leaders.  There is no question that policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard have been a success in fostering greater energy independence.

“The ethanol industry is grateful to President Obama for his vision of a stronger, cleaner, more self-reliant country and his continuing support of the renewable fuels industry and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Working together we can continue to address environmental issues such as meaningful greenhouse gas reduction as well as the tough economic challenges of job creation and economic and national security.”