While the rest of the economy slowly recovers, American ethanol production has been an economic success story. With ethanol plants operating and being built in 29 states, the economic benefits of domestic ethanol production are having an impact for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

According to an economic analysis from Cardno ENTRIX economist John Urbanchuk, released at the National Ethanol Conference, 70,600 Americans are employed directly in the production of ethanol and in industries providing goods and services to ethanol producers. As a result of the economic activity generated by ethanol production, more than 400,000 Americans have been able to keep their jobs or find new ones.

Ethanol production is also contributing to our nation’s financial well-being as well as that of American households. In 2010, ethanol production contributed $53.6 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product and added $36 billion to household incomes.

Additionally, ethanol production is paying for itself. The increased economic activity and income generated by America’s ethanol industry added some $12 billion to federal, state and local governments through increased tax revenue.

Domestic ethanol production improves our nation’s balance of trade while also reducing our reliance on foreign oil. The production of 13 billion gallons of ethanol means that the U.S. needed to import 445 million fewer barrels of oil in 2010 to refine gasoline. That is more oil than America imports from Saudi Arabia annually. Displacing these barrels saved the U.S. $34 billion in 2010.

“The investments we have made in our domestic ethanol industry are paying dividends in thousands of communities all across the nation,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The jobs, economic activity, and energy security benefits we are witnessing today thanks to a commitment to renewable alternatives to imported oil are just scratching the surface. Continued innovation in ethanol technologies along with a renewed commitment to giving Americans more control over their energy future will create hundreds of thousands of more jobs and put America back in business as a leader in energy innovation.”