According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the average American family traveling by automobile this Thanksgiving will save $29.13 on gasoline purchases because of ethanol, based on the AAA estimate that each family will travel an average distance of 588 miles.
In May, the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development released a study by economists at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University finding that in 2011, ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices by $1.09 per gallon nationally. Those savings have a very real impact on the average household budget.
RFA says ethanol reduced the average American household's spending on gasoline by more than $1,200 last year, based on average gasoline consumption data. Since 2000, ethanol has helped save $39.8 billion annually in excess gasoline costs – roughly $340 per household per year.
"The average American family will save $29.13 because ethanol helps lower the price of each and every gallon of gasoline," said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. "Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard are also helping to reduce this country's dependence on foreign oil, thus creating a stronger country and a stronger economy."
Dinneen said the "squawking" from livestock and poultry producers who oppose the RFS is a "scare tactic."
"The fact is turkey prices are lower this year than the last two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bottom line is ethanol production has nothing to do with the price of Thanksgiving dinner. Food costs are driven by energy costs."
The RFA has published a new white paper tackling the topic of food prices. Among the highlights, the RFA says the RFS has not spiked food prices, contrary to statements from livestock groups, and turkey prices will actually be lower this year than in 2010 and 2011.