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According to AAA, more than 39 million Americans are driving an average of 588 miles for Thanksgiving this year. We have ethanol to be thankful for; it’s offsetting the cost of that trip. In fact, assuming an average mileage of 22 mpg, it’s estimated the average American family travelling this Thanksgiving will save more than $29 on the price of gasoline because of ethanol.
This estimate is based on a Center for Agricultural and Rural Development study that found ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $1.09 per gallon nationally. Looking at the bigger picture, ethanol reduced the average American household’s spending on gasoline by more than $1200 last year, and has helped save $39.8 billion annually in excess gasoline costs since 2000. That’s roughly $340 per household, per year.
In addition to these savings, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard are helping to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, thus creating a stronger country and stronger economy. Dinneen says turkey prices are lower this year than the last two years. What’s more – he says ethanol production has nothing to do with the price of Thanksgiving dinner; food costs are driven by energy costs.
Dinneen also notes that backup for corn-based ethanol is on the way in the form of commercially viable cellulosic ethanol.