Ethanol Industry Contributed $43 Billion To GDP In 2019

  • Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:44

The ethanol industry produced 15.8 billion gallons of ethanol and contributed $43 billion to the nation’s economy in 2019, according to a new report.

The report, prepared by ABF Economics for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), said the industry supported 68,684 direct jobs as well as 280,327 indirect and induced jobs, generating $23.3 billion in household income.

The ethanol industry also spent over $27 billion on raw materials, inputs and other goods and services and paid an estimated $4.1 billion in federal taxes and $3.8 billion in state and local taxes. 

In addition to the 15.8 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2019, the industry also generated 39.6 million metric tons of distillers grains, gluten feed and gluten meal as well as 3.8 billion pounds of corn oil. 

The reported noted, however, that the ethanol production volume in 2019 was 300 million gallons lower than 2018 as 20 ethanol plants shut down last year. 

This was a result of plummeting ethanol prices due to the EPA’s abuse of the small refinery waivers in the RFS and the ongoing trade war with China. 

The report said the trade war with China also led to lower exports of US ethanol in 2019 - 1.5 billion gallons compared to 1.7 billion gallons the previous year. Nonetheless, it said ethanol exports supported 14,700 jobs and contributed $5.8 billion to GDP. 

In terms of energy independence, the report said the use of ethanol in US transportation fuel in 2019 reduced the need for crude oil imports by 514 million barrels. 

As for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, RFA said based on the US Department of Energy's GREET model, ethanol usage in the US in 2019 reduced CO2-equivalent GHG emissions by 54.1 million metric tons, the equivalent of removing 11.5 million cars from the road for an entire year. 

Read the full report by ABF Economics here