Feb 21, 2012  |  Today's News

Illinois has enjoyed a vibrant and growing ethanol industry for several years, contributing to the economic well-being of our state and guaranteeing its agricultural economic backbone remains strong.  In fact, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board has heavily invested in research assisting the Illinois ethanol industry as the Illinois Corn Growers Association has supported it in Washington, DC.

Why?  Ethanol increases demand for corn, and Illinois corn farmers have enjoyed the resulting high corn prices.  But also, we have argued that ethanol is good for consumers and the nation.  It lessens our dependence on foreign oil, decreases the cost of blended gasoline at the pump, and stimulates rural economies.

Consider this recent study on the economic benefit of the industry.

According to analysis commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the production of an estimated 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol directly employed 90,200 Americans.  An additional 311,400 Americans found work in industries indirectly affiliated with ethanol production.

These 401,600 jobs helped create nearly $30 billion in household income and, as a result of record ethanol production, contributed $42.4 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The record ethanol production also helped displace a record 485 million barrels of imported oil worth $49.7 billion.

“Our nation’s ethanol industry is a perfect example of a domestic, homegrown industry that is harnessing American innovation to create jobs, improve the environment, and help secure our energy future for generations to come,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen.  “Many of the states with significant ethanol production have weathered the economic storm of recent years far better than other states.  It is not a coincidence that these states have generally lower unemployment, strong economies, and more economic opportunity – it is a direct result of thoughtful, forward-looking investment in ethanol and renewable fuel technology.  As new technologies emerge and greater efficiencies are gained, the contribution of ethanol to the economy of the United States will only continue to grow.”

The report, entitled “CONTRIBUTION OF THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY TO THE ECONOMY OF THE UNITED STATES,” was completed by CARDNO Entrix and can be downloaded here.

Key finding of the report include:

•             90,200 direct jobs
•             311,400 indirect and induced jobs
•             $42.4 billion contribution to GDP
•             $29.9 billion in household income
•             485 million barrels of imported oil displaced, valued at $49.7 billion
•             $8.2 billion paid in federal, state and local taxes helping support local roads,
              schools, first responders

A complete rundown of these economic impacts, along with final 2011 ethanol industry statistics will be available in the 2011 Ethanol Industry Outlook on Wednesday, February 22.  Visit on Wednesday to download your copy.