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Ethanol Industry Makes ‘A Significant Contribution’ to U.S. Economy, RFA Analysis Finds

February 12, 2019


ORLANDO - The U.S. ethanol industry faced a number of regulatory and marketplace challenges in 2018, but continued to make a remarkable contribution to the nations economy, according to a new study released today at the Renewable Fuels Associations (RFA) 24th annual National Ethanol Conference. The analysis, conducted by ABF Economics on behalf of RFA, found the industry supported nearly 366,000 jobs and generated nearly $46 billion in gross domestic product in 2018.

The ethanol industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy in terms of job creation, generation of tax revenue, and displacement of crude oil and petroleum products, the study noted. 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 industrys position as the original creator of green jobs and will enable America to make further strides toward energy independence, the study added.

According to the analysis, the production and use of 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2018:

  • Supported more than 71,000 direct jobs and almost 295,000 indirect and induced jobs across all sectors of the economy;
  • Added nearly $25 billion in income for American households;
  • Generated an estimated $4.8 billion in tax revenue to the Federal Treasury and $4 billion in revenue to state and local governments;
  • Supported more than 16,200 jobs and $6.3 billion in GDP through exports alone; and
  • Displaced an amount of gasoline refined from roughly 550 million barrels of imported crude oil, keeping $36 billion in the U.S. economy.

The analysis also estimated the impact of the ethanol industry on the state economy in top ethanol-producing states. Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois were the top three states in terms of economic impacts, but states like Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Missouri, California, and New York also benefited from ethanol plants contributions.

The U.S. ethanol industry continues to serve as a vital economic engine and job creator, especially in our nations rural communities, said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. Our industry has played an important role in Americas energy renaissance and has been instrumental in reducing U.S. petroleum import dependence to its lowest level in nearly six decades. We are proud of these achievements and look forward to providing even greater benefits to U.S. consumers as the industry continues to grow and evolve.

The full study, conducted by ABF Economics, is here.