What are the economic advantages of using biofuels?


Green Jobs
Economists think 200,000 U.S. jobs can be created for every 10 billion gallons of corn ethanol produced.
Economists think 200,000 U.S. jobs can be created for every 10 billion gallons of corn ethanol produced.
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As the country begins marching more steadily toward increased biofuel production, expect a rise in green jobs and a bump in the standard of living. Some economists say that for every 10 billion gallons of corn ethanol produced, more than $46 billion is added to the U.S. economy, generating up to 200,000 new jobs [source: Energy Future Coalition].

According to researchers, current ethanol production reduces the price of gasoline by 29 to 40 cents per gallon, saving 200,000 jobs [source: Biofuels Digest]. Perhaps no one occupation will benefit more from biofuels than farming. Growing switchgrass to be distilled into ethanol alone will increase farm income in the United States by $6 billion [source: U.S. Department of Energy].

As biofuel use increases, there will be a need for more distillation plants, which would add thousands of construction jobs to the economy. As of early 2011, there were 137 biodiesel plants currently operating in the United States, with 13 more under construction [source: Biodiesel Magazine]. And at the end of 2010, there were 224 ethanol plants online and five currently being built [source: Ethanol Producer Magazine].

If America and the world are serious about transitioning from fossil fuels to biofuels, analysts say companies will need to build nearly 1,000 new production plants for every 50 billion gallons of ethanol. Because transporting biomass -- the organic material used in biofuels -- is costly, most of those facilities will have to be built in rural areas close to where fuel crops are grown, sparking economic hope, not only for local construction personnel, but also for farm families and other local workers [source: Energy Future Coalition].

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Sources

  • Biofuel Digest. "Bureau of Labor Statistics says 150K jobs are lost with 10 percent oil price rise; ethanol may save up to 200K jobs." (Dec., 2010).http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/2008/11/19/bureau-of-labor-statistics-says-150k-jobs-are-lost-with-10-percent-oil-price-rise-ethanol-may-save-up-to-200k-jobs/
  • Biodiesel Magazine. "Plant List." Dec., 6, 2010. (Dec., 2010).http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/plant-list.jsp?country=USA&view=
  • Biofuels Journal. "BlueFire Renewable Creates 52 Jobs as Site Preparation Continues on Fulton, MS Project." Dec. 2, 2010. (Dec., 2010).http://www.biofuelsjournal.com/articles/BlueFire_Renewable_Creates_52_Jobs_as_Site_Preparation_Continues_on_Fulton__MS_Project-102042.html
  • Childers, Travis. "Recovery Act creates jobs in the region." Itawamba360.com. Dec., 2009. (Dec., 2010).http://www.itawamba360.com/view/full_story/5116866/article-OPINION--Recovery-Act-creates-jobs-in-the-region?
  • Energy Future Coalition; United Nations Foundation. "The Benefits of Biofuels: The U.S. Economy." (Dec., 2010).http://www.energyfuturecoalition.org/biofuels/benefits_us_economy.htm
  • Ethanol Producer Magazine. "Plant List." Nov., 22, 2010. (Dec., 2010).http://www.ethanolproducer.com/plant-list.jsp?country=USA&view=
  • Gehlhar, Mark; Winston, Ashley; Somwaru, Agapi. "Effects on Increased Biofuels on the U.S. Economy in 2022." U.S. Department of Agriculture. Oct., 2010. (Dec., 2010).http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR102/ERR102.pdf
  • Ronge, C. Ford, and Robbin S. Johnson. "The dismal state of biofuels policy." Issues in Science and Technology. Nov., 2010. (Dec., 2010).
  • States News Service. "Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Renewable Energy Initiatives To Spur Rural Revitalization Throughout The Country Biomass Crop Assistance Program Will Help Create National Biofuels Industry; New Agreement With The FAA Will Promote Production And Demand For Biofuels; USDA Report Shows Domestic Biofuel Production Benefits The Economy." Oct. 21, 2010. (Dec., 2010).
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor. "Labor force data by county, not seasonally adjusted, August 2009-September 2010." (Dec., 2010).http://www.bls.gov/lau/laucntycur14.txt
  • U.S. Department of Energy. Biofuels Create Green Jobs: Growing Transportation Fuels and the Nation's Economy. (Dec., 2010).http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass/pdfs/green_jobs_factsheet2.pdf
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Renewable Fuel Standard." Oct. 13. 2010. (Nov. 2010).http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/index.htm

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