By Gary Thomas
Ethanol has had a positive impact on the rural communities in the U.S. and has brought more jobs. The president of Minnesota Corn Growers Association, John Mages stated that ethanol has diversified the market for corn in the U.S.
In 2011, the ethanol industry supported 90,000 jobs in rural communities, which formed part of 400,000 new jobs that were created and supported across the U.S., according to Growth Energy. Minnesota has directly benefited from the development in the ethanol industry. Jobs in rural areas had been few in number, and the ethanol industry has led to a surge in jobs, which has boosted the local economy.
Minnesota has more than 20 ethanol biorefineries and they benefit the communities around Winthrop, Winnebago, Atwater and Benson.
The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has led to the positive impact of ethanol on communities. RFS stipulates that the U.S fuel market blend should reach 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. Of this, corn-based ethanol will contribute to around 15 billion gallons. Due to RFS, more than 800,000 new jobs may be created due to advanced biofuels production.
Ethanol will help Americans to reduce costs and save money. Due to RFS, families will be able to save more than $1,200 annually in their fuel expenditure. In 2011, ethanol helped save $1.09 per gallon per family as it offset the usage of gasoline.
Ethanol production added $29.9 billion to household income and $42.4 billion to the national GDP in 2011. The industry pays over $8 billion in local, state and federal taxes and generates $43 billion in terms of economic activity.