Three Ways Today’s Ethanol Advances a Clean, Affordable Energy Future

December 1, 2022

Three Ways Today’s Ethanol Advances a Clean, Affordable Energy Future

Dec 1, 2022

Author: The National Corn Growers Association

America is in search of long-term energy and climate solutions. In recent years, we have battled high inflation and supply chain disruptions, rising energy costs and interest rates, and persisting effects of climate change. But America’s corn growers are taking action today to create tomorrow’s long-term energy and climate solutions.

Across the country, farmers are fueling our nation’s clean energy future through the production of corn-based ethanol. Today’s ethanol plays a key role in enhancing U.S. energy independence, providing affordable fuel choices for American consumers and combatting climate change. Going forward, we need all environmental and economic solutions on the table, and low-cost, low-carbon ethanol is ready to contribute even more.


Reducing Dependence on Foreign Energy Sources

Fuel prices often fluctuate, but over the past year, Americans witnessed record highs. Yet, ethanol continues to be priced lower than gasoline, and higher ethanol blends such as E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, and E85 save drivers more with even cleaner fuels.

Ethanol not only saves consumers money at the pump, but also expands our nation’s fuel supply. In fact, if one-third of regular fuel, which is 10 percent ethanol, was swapped with E15, America would replace all gasoline generated from previously imported Russian oil.

In 2021 alone, more than one-third of U.S. crude oil came from foreign sources. With these imports comes volatile energy markets and geopolitical tensions that often result in hidden costs and an uncertain economic future.

That’s why the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its members advocate for the increased production and use of renewable fuels. By expanding ethanol choices at the pump, America can continue to lessen its dependence on foreign oil.

Providing Savings at the Pump and Fueling the Economy

Using more ethanol also provides long-term relief for American consumers at the pump. In fact, a recent study found that a nationwide transition to E15 would save consumers $20.6 billion in annual fuel costs. This homegrown solution not only makes everyday life more affordable for American consumers, but its production helps multiple sectors of the American economy thrive.

In 2021, biorefineries supported more than 407,400 jobs in all sectors of the national economy, including ethanol production, construction activity, agriculture, exports, and research and development. What’s more, it generated nearly $52.1 billion in gross domestic product and increased overall household income by $28.7 billion.

Tackling the Climate Crisis

Biofuels like corn-based ethanol contribute to our long-term climate solutions by cutting harmful carbon and tailpipe emissions, creating cleaner air in the process. According to the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, ethanol has  52% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. Additionally, since 2005, the carbon intensity of corn ethanol has declined by more than 23%, making today’s ethanol a low-carbon choice on a pathway to net-zero carbon emissions. Transportation accounts for the greatest share of U.S. GHG emissions, and it takes all low-carbon options, including low carbon fuels like ethanol, to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals.

Today’s corn crop is more sustainable than ever before due to farming practices and technologies that help farmers increase production on every acre while using fewer resources. With a focus on soil health, farmers reduce erosion, conserve nutrients and water, and sequester carbon in the soil. Farmers’ commitment to ongoing production practice improvements continues to cut the carbon footprint of ethanol while advancing the economy.

By expanding ethanol choices for consumers, we can deliver long-term solutions that diversify the nation’s fuel supply, increase energy independence, and cut carbon emissions from transportation, including from vehicles already on the road today. Together, let’s secure a cleaner future with today’s ethanol.


Learn more about the benefits of expanding access to higher ethanol blends: