Billions of Gallons of Environmental and Economic Impact
Ethanol is the only clean-burning liquid fuel available to replace and supplement the fuel used in our cars and light trucks. In 2013, the industry produced:
- 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol
- Eliminating the need for more than 462 million barrels of imported oil
- Produced domestically, the ethanol industry accounted for more than 86,000 direct jobs and 300,277 indirect jobs in 2013
The tremendous growth of ethanol production in the U.S. significantly reduces the amount of oil our nation needs to import, reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increases the nation's energy independence.
America's ethanol industry not only leads the world in the production and use of ethanol, it is also one of the largest exporters of fuel ethanol in the world.
American producers sent hundreds of millions of gallons of denatured and undenatured ethanol to 70 countries, with the majority shipping to just three regions: Canada, EU, and Brazil.
In addition to ethanol, the U.S. also exported an estimated 7.7 million metric tons of dried distillers grains to top destinations for this nutrient-rich feed including Mexico, Canada, and many Asian nations such as China and Vietnam.
Excellent for the Environment
As we increase the amount of ethanol used in American gasoline supplies, the air we breathe is becoming much cleaner. There is no fuel available today that can match ethanol's ability to improve overall environmental quality compared to gasoline.
Ethanol-fueled vehicles produce lower carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions, and the same or lower levels of hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen emissions. E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, also has fewer volatile components than gasoline, which means fewer emissions from evaporation.
From its biodegradable nature, to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, to tailpipe pollution – ethanol addresses numerous environmental concerns without requiring an entirely new way for goods and people to get from one place to another. Ethanol also requires far less fossil fuel inputs than gasoline refining.
Energizing the Economy
Ethanol production is an economic stimulus. Because ethanol is produced domestically, from domestically grown crops, the economic benefits of ethanol production goes well beyond plant employees, contractors, and local communities, it supports farmers and regional agricultural activities.
Overall, in 2013, the U.S. ethanol industry added $44 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and paid $8.3 billion in taxes. Economic activity and job creation in this industry sector helped raise household income $30.7 billion.
In fact, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, an 85 million gallon per year ethanol facility, like the Sunoco Ethanol plant in Fulton, New York, provides the following economic benefits to the local economy*:
- Goods and services bought and sold as a result of operation of the ethanol facility add $274 million to the local GDP.
- The economic activity resulting from the ethanol plant helps create 1,540 new jobs across all sectors. Those include nearly 40 at the plant and more than 1,500 in the agricultural sector.
- The increase in good paying jobs as a result of the facility boosts local household incomes by $49 million.
*Source: Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States. LEGG, LLC, February 2010.
The Future Is Bright
Ethanol production in the U.S. remains the foundation of America's transition away from a fossil fuel economy. Many existing ethanol biorefineries, like the Sunoco Ethanol Fulton plant, are exploring technology upgrades that will enable the production of ethanol from a broader range of feedstocks – allowing ethanol producers to increase ethanol production by converting both grain starch and cellulosic material into fuel at the same facility.
Ethanol is widely available and easy to use . Flexible fuel vehicles that can use E85 are widely available and come in many different styles from most major auto manufacturers. E85 is also widely available at a growing number of stations throughout the United States.
The future of American ethanol is bright and it is also on the verge of diversity. Corn will continue to be the basis upon which the industry grows. The rapid rate of innovation and evolution within the U.S. ethanol production is bringing new technologies to the market that will increase efficiencies, create new markets for energy crops and waste materials, and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in innovative new careers, creating a wide range of biofuels using a wide range of sources.
Ethanol ... providing consumers an affordable, reliable, alternative supply of energy.