NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. ethanol industry added $44 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and supported nearly 360,000 jobs in 2015, according to a new study conducted by ABF Economics. The study, which was released today by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) at the National Ethanol Conference (NEC), quantified the impact of domestic ethanol production in 2015 on the national economy.

The study showed that as a result of last year’s record domestic ethanol production, 85,967 direct jobs and 271,440 indirect and induced jobs were sustained. Additionally, the ethanol industry added $43.9 billion to the national GDP, $23.5 billion to household income, and paid $8.7 billion in taxes. These monies helped to stimulate and sustain economies at the national, state, and local levels. The study also revealed that the 14.7 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2016 displaced 527 million barrels of foreign oil worth almost $26 billion.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA, lauded the study’s finding, noting: “The numbers speak for themselves and underscore the indelible positive impact the domestic ethanol industry continues to have on America’s economy. The nearly 360,000 jobs the industry sustained last year represent stable, well-paying positions in communities where, unfortunately, the employment situation is often bleak. The $8.7 billion the industry spent last year in local, state, and federal taxes contributes to improving and maintaining public services. And, each of the 527 million barrels of oil that we did not have to import last year keeps America on a path toward a more secure energy future.”

Economist John Urbanchuk, the study’s author and a managing partner at ABF Economics, concluded the analysis by stating: “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.”

Below is a brief summary of the study’s findings. In 2015, the production and use of 14.7 billion gallons of ethanol:

  • Added $43.9 billion to the national gross domestic product
  • Supported 85,967 direct jobs and 271,440 indirect and induced jobs
  • Boosted household income by $23.5 billion
  • Increased federal, state and local taxes by $8.7 billion
  • Displaced 527 million barrels of imported oil, keeping $26 billion in the U.S. economy


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