The ethanol and bio-diesel industry is touting the benefits of renewable fuel for the Illinois economy. Those benefits include 73,156 jobs, $4.7 billion in wages, $17.5 billion in economic output each year, and $680.7 million in state tax revenue, according to a report from the group Fuels America, which is made up of players in the ethanol and bio-diesel industry. Jon Doggett of the National Corn Growers Association says they’re pointing this out because the Renewable Fuel Standard is under attack.
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“I was at a meeting a couple weeks ago where a representative of the American petroleum industry told a group of about 1,000 people that the American Petroleum Institute, representing the oil industry, had over 200 votes in the House of Representatives to either repeal or reform the Renewable Fuel Standard,” he said. It takes 218 votes to pass something in the U.S. House.
The standard, enacted in 2005, requires a growing amount of renewable fuel each year, eventually reaching 36 billion gallons by 2022. The renewable fuel is touted as fuel that, when burned, emits less in greenhouse gases than petroleum, and which is developed domestically instead of imported. However, it is not as good a fuel as petroleum in terms of its BTU value.