Ethanol Eases Pain At Pump

Retail gasoline prices increased in the U.S. for the sixth straight day and hit their fifth consecutive record at $3.718, auto group AAA’s Web site showed on Monday (May 12).

Still, new research has confirmed that ethanol is saving the nation’s drivers mone, according to a CNNMoney.com report. How much? Depends on where you live.

On the coasts, where gas prices are especially high, drivers are saving an average of $142 a year on regular unleaded. In the Midwest, they are saving $241 a year.

Researchers at Iowa State University recently studied ethanol’s impact on gasoline prices around the country and concluded that, by expanding the fuel supply, ethanol has made gas cheaper by 29 cents a gallon to as much as 40 cents a gallon.

The researchers found that on the coasts, drivers save an average of 23 cents per gallon. The savings are significant in other parts of the country, too: On the Gulf Coast, it is 25 cents per gallon; in the Rocky Mountain States, 17 cents; and in the Midwest, where U.S. ethanol production is concentrated, drivers save 40 cents a gallon.

Renewable Fuels Now is a coalition representing the ethanol, biodiesel, agriculture and other industries that support increased use of homegrown renewable fuels as part of a balanced energy policy for America. The coalition considered Federal Highway Administration figures on vehicle fuel efficiency and average miles driven per year to extrapolate these average yearly savings thanks to ethanol:

  • East Coast: $142.42
  • Midwest: $241.44
  • Gulf Coast: $150.36
  • Rocky Mountains: $104.52
  • West Coast: $142.42

For a detailed chart showing average annual savings for drivers of different vehicle types in every region, go to www.renewablefuelsnow.org.

For a copy of the Iowa State University report, see www.card.iastate.edu/publications/synopsis.aspx?id=1076.

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