Ethanol supporters release economic study defending the RFS
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WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 19 - The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a study emphasizing positive impacts of the ethanol industry in 2013 on job creation, the economy, household income and foreign oil displacement.
RFA commissioned the report by ABF Economics, which was released Tuesday at the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, Fla.
In a statement, RFA CEO Bob Dinneen said the report “should silence the opposition” to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year proposed reductions in RFS requirements. The agency is reviewing comments to its plan, which would cut total biofuel blending from 18.15 billion gallons specified for 2014 in the 2007 legislation to 15.21 billion gallons. The measure also would drop the corn ethanol requirement from 14.4 billion gallons for 2014 to a little more than 13 billion gallons, less than the 13.8 billion gallons required in 2013. t
Besides the oil industry, supporters of the cuts include food producers, livestock groups and environmentalists. They argue that the existing ethanol requirements consume too much of the nation's corn crop, about 40 percent, and keep food and animal-feed prices artificially high.
ABF Economics found that the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced created 86,503 jobs and sustained an additional 300,277 “indirect and induced jobs.”
At the national level, the ethanol industry contributed $44 billion to America's gross domestic product (GDP) while adding $30.7 billion to household incomes, according to the study.
Additionally, the study said the ethanol produced last year displaced 476 million barrels of imported oil, saving Americans $48.2 billion in oil imports. ABF Economics claimed that amount equals roughly 13 percent of last year's expected crude oil and petroleum imports.
“The dollars spent on domestically produced ethanol instead of imported crude oil and petroleum products is money that is spent and reinvested in the American economy,” said managing partner of ABF Economics, John Urbanchuck, in a press release. The study can be found here.
Supporters of the cuts include the oil industry, food producers, livestock groups and environmentalists. They argue among other things that the existing ethanol requirements consume too much of the nation's corn crop, about 40 percent, and keep food and animal-feed prices artificially high.
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