June 28, 2011

Podcast: Without ethanol, gas prices would be a lot higher

In this podcast, Carl Sousek, a farmer from Prague and president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, wonders if people would be interested in paying nearly $100 to fill up a 15-gallon gas tank in their car. That’s what it would cost if ethanol were removed from the marketplace, according to a researchers at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University.

The researchers said if ethanol production came to an immediate halt, the estimated gasoline price increase would be of "historic proportions" ranging from 41 to 92 percent. At today's prices you'd be looking at $5.60 to $7.60 per gallon of gas without ethanol.

Sousek said economists are already concerned what $100 oil and expensive gasoline is doing to our economy. Just imagine the impact of $6.50 gas – or nearly $100 for a 15-gallon fill up!

A recent Harris Poll said nearly one-third of people across the country have cut back on dining out due to high gas prices, while 20 percent have cut back on entertainment and 10 percent have cut back on buying new clothes.

It’s not good for the economy when people have to cut back just to pay for gas to get to work. "I’m thankful we have more than 13 billion gallons of ethanol adding to the fuel supply," he said. "Without it, we’d be in big trouble."

He noted that the Iowa State study concluded that the more than 13 billion gallons of ethanol in the marketplace last year saved drivers on average across the country 89 cents per gallon. Here in the Midwest, ethanol saved us $1.37 cents per gallon, or roughly $20 for each 15-gallon fill-up.

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