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Study: U.S. Ethanol Industry Makes “A Significant Contribution to the Economy”

February 22, 2017

The U.S. ethanol industry added $42.1 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product and supported nearly 340,000 jobs in 2016, according to a new study commissioned by ABF Economics. The study, released today by the Renewable Fuels Association at the 22nd annual National Ethanol Conference, looked at the contribution of the ethanol industry to the U.S. economy in 2016.

“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,” the study found.

According to the analysis, the production and use of 15.25 billion gallons of ethanol last year also:

  • contributed nearly $14.4 billion to the U.S. economy from manufacturing;
  • added more than $22.5 billion in income for American households;
  • generated an estimated $4.9 billion in tax revenue to the Federal Treasury and $3.6 billion in revenue to state and local governments;
  • displaced 510 million barrels of imported oil, keeping $20.1 billion in the U.S. economy.

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Growing opportunities for Kentucky's corn farmers in a changing industry. 


Corn and Ethanol Groups Respond

(February 22, 2017) - In a letter sent today to National Ethanol Conference attendees, President Trump reiterated his unwavering support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Rest assured that your president and this administration values the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy and to our energy independence. As I emphasized throughout my campaign, renewable fuels are essential to America’s energy strategy,” Trump wrote.

“As important as ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard are to rural economies, I also know that your industry has suffered from overzealous, job-killing regulation. I am committed to reducing the regulatory burden on all businesses, and my team is looking forward to working with the Renewable Fuels Association, and many others, to identify and reform those regulations that impede growth, increase consumer costs, and eliminate good-paying jobs without providing sufficient environmental or public health benefit,” Trump added.

Response from Mick Henderson, GM for Commonwealth Agri-Energy and Renewable Fuels Association Chairman

“We thank President Trump for such a strong statement, reaffirming his support for ethanol and the renewable fuel standard (RFS). As President Trump wrote, the U.S. ethanol industry has indeed suffered from overzealous regulations, such as the nonsensical rule preventing year-round availability of E15. I look forward to a strong partnership between corn farmers and the RFS to help bring about greater consumer choice for ethanol, the cleanest and highest octane fuel source.”

Response from Adam Andrews, KyCorn Programs Director

"While attending RFA's National Ethanol Conference, I was pleasantly surprised to hear greetings in the form of a very detailed letter from President Trump. What is more important, though, is the letter's content that further solidifies this administrations commitment to expanding ethanol opportunities and preserving the RFS."

Response from Renewable Fuels Association
“We thank President Trump for reaffirming his support for the domestic biofuels industry and the RFS,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The RFS has cleaned the air, reduced our dependence on foreign oil and boosted local economies. Donald Trump understands all this. Consumers benefit from this national policy and our industry looks forward to continuing to be the lowest cost, highest octane fuel in the world.”

Response from National Corn Growers Association

“Thank you to President Trump for reaffirming your support for ethanol and the RFS,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “President Trump understands that the Renewable Fuel Standard is a critical economic driver for rural America. We look forward to working with him and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to maintain a strong RFS and promote American-grown, renewable ethanol.”