According to AAA, thirty-three million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over Labor Day weekend. Approximately twenty-eight million of those people will drive. A 3.1 percent increase from Labor Day weekend 2011. The number of drivers isn’t the only holiday weekend statistic to increase since 2011. Gas prices have been increasing as well. However, relief at the gas pump is possible thanks to America’s growing use of ethanol.
According to updated research released by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and conducted by economics professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University, ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon in 2011. The results showed increased savings compared to 2010, when the average savings resulting from ethanol blending saved Americans $.0.89 per gallon. [Read RFA’s summary of the report here.
Based on data from the Census Bureau and Energy Information Administration, 116.7 million US households consumed 131.2 billion gallons of gasoline in 2011, for an average of 1,124 gallons per household. That means ethanol reduced the average American household’s spending on gasoline by more than $1,200 in 2011. Since 2000, the $0.29-per-gallon price dampening impact of greater domestic ethanol use has saved the American economy an average of nearly $40 billion per year. As a result, ethanol has helped the average American household reduce its spending on gasoline by an average of more than $340 per year since 2000.
“Americans are feeling the effects of a sluggish economy and are keeping close track of every dollar spent. They worry about their family’s futures and the future of this country. Ethanol is providing relief in the short-term by reducing the price paid at the pump and it is strengthening America’s long term future by reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating and sustaining over 400,000 jobs,” said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association.
Highlights from the CARD report:
- In 2011, ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon.
- Regular grade gasoline prices averaged $3.52 per gallon in 2011, but would have been closer to $4.60 per gallon without the inclusion of more than 13 billion gallons of lower-priced ethanol.
- The average American household consumed 1,124 gallons of gasoline in 2011, meaning ethanol reduced average household spending at the pump by more than $1,200.
- Since 2000, ethanol has kept gasoline prices an average of $0.29 per gallon cheaper than they otherwise would have been.
- Based on the $0.29-per-gallon average annual savings, ethanol has helped save American drivers and the economy more than $477 billion in gasoline expenditures since 2000 – an average of $39.8 billion a year.