Ethanol industry leaders said the recent sharp rise in gasoline prices could prove to be a boon for ethanol-blend gasoline, which is as much as five cents per gallon cheaper than regular gas at pumps across the Midwest.
Ron Lamberty is the market development director of the American Coalition for Ethanol in Sioux Falls, SD. He said the economy of ethanol makes it more attractive to consumers financially than straight gasoline.
In the competitive market around Omaha, some gas stations offer E-Ten gas, 90-percent gasoline blended with 10-percent ethanol, at prices four cents a gallon cheaper than regular.
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- U. S. consumers use more than 16 billion gallons of high performance, cleaner burning ethanol-blended gasoline each year.
- Ethanol increases oxygenate supplies, reducing the need for MTBE imports and helping to reduce consumer costs.
- Ethanol is a high-octane blending component used by many gasoline marketers -- helping to keep this important class of trade viable and creating competition for the major oil companies.
- Since the petroleum refining industry is running at near capacity, the ethanol industry helps extend our petroleum supply, thereby helping moderate fuels costs to consumers.
- More than $3 billion has been invested in 57 ethanol production facilities operating in 20 different states across the country.
- The ethanol industry is responsible for more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs, creating more than $1.3 billion in increased household income annually, and more than $12.6 billion over the next five years.
- The ethanol industry directly and indirectly adds more than $6 billion to the American economy each year.
- The demand for grain created by ethanol production increases net farm income more than $12 billion annually.
- Increases in ethanol production offer enormous potential for economic growth in small rural communities. USDA has estimated that a 100 million gallon ethanol plant could create 2,250 local jobs.
- Ten-percent ethanol blends reduce carbon monoxide better than any other reformulated gasoline blend, more than 25 percent.
- Ethanol is low in reactivity and high in oxygen content, making it an effective tool in reducing ozone pollution.
Source: www.ethanol.org (American Coalition for Ethanol Web site) contributed to this report.