ST. PAUL, Minn. – The domestic ethanol industry is a powerful contributor to the economy of Minnesota and the nation, according to twin studies released today by a coalition of ethanol supporters in the state that show “America’s Fuel” adds $92 billion to the Gross Domestic Product annually and supports 654,000 jobs outside the ethanol industry.
At a press conference held today at the Minnesota State Capitol, representatives of Growth Energy gathered with key state lawmakers, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, farmers and local ethanol producers to call for the reauthorization of two crucial federal programs set to lapse at the end of the year: the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), and the tariff on imported foreign-subsidized ethanol.
Growth Energy released two landmark studies that examine domestic ethanol’s impact on the economy.
Preliminary figures from a study by the Windmill Group found that $20.8 billion in household earnings – in other words, worker payroll – can be attributed to the domestic ethanol industry.
And the VEETC, which helps lower the price of gasoline, has proved to be a significant savings for consumers at the pump, according to the Windmill Group study. The study found the VEETC subsidy of 45 cents a gallon of ethanol is equal to 4 cents a gallon of blended fuel. However, the average motorist saves approximately 30 cents per gallon ($180 a year) due to lower fuel costs at the pump.
“The data is overwhelming. Domestic ethanol really is America’s fuel. First, it is 59 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline. Second, it strengthens our national security because we won’t have to rely on foreign nations – some hostile to our interests – for our energy. Finally, domestic ethanol creates jobs and helps drive the economy,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “We are calling on Congress for an extension of the VEETC and the tariff on imported, foreign-subsidized ethanol. These are two simple measures that help level the playing field for a young industry that already contributes significantly to the economy, to the environment and to our national security.”
“The evidence of domestic ethanol’s contribution to the economy of Minnesota and the economy of our nation continues to mount. It is undeniable. Today we have preliminary results of yet another study that proves the value of ethanol. And until we have a completely free and open market for transportation fuels, we should continue to pursue federal and state policies that promote this domestically-produced, renewable and clean-burning fuel. We can grow all we need — and every gallon of ethanol we produce means a gallon less of gasoline imported from overseas,” said Senator Jim Vickerman (D-FL District 22).
An earlier set of studies by IHS Global Insight and the University of Missouri found that, if the tariff were allowed to lapse, there would be steep job cuts and economic decline in Minnesota and 27 other states.
In Minnesota, those job losses would total 3,405 in the first year after the tariff lapses, 9,946 in the second year, and 13,597 in the third year. The year-to-year economic declines in Minnesota would reach $817 million in the first year, $2.3 billion in the second year, and $3.1 billion in the third year after the tariff lapses.
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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.