Center for American Progress

Sustainably Produced Biofuels and the Farm Bill, By the Numbers

Sustainably Produced Biofuels and the Farm Bill, By the Numbers

Additions to the Farm Bill that promote the production of sustainably produced biofuels could lead to big environmental and economic gains.

What if we could combat global warming, eliminate unfair trade barriers, and reduce global poverty with policies that could simultaneously lessen our country’s dependence on fossil fuels and lift the fortunes of farmers around the world?

The numbers below highlight the Center for American Progress’ findings in its recent report, “Fueling a New Farm Economy.” The report outlines a strategy for tackling all of these issues with a series of changes to the Farm Bill, up for reauthorization this year.

The impact of renewable fuels

170 million: Approximate total number of barrels of oil by which oil imports have gone down due to ethanol use, according to recent U.S. industry studies.

Good news for our farmers

153,725: Number of jobs created by ethanol.

1 million: Number of jobs in the renewable energy industry that were biofuels-related, from 2000 to 2005.

51: Cents per gallon of pure ethanol that ethanol blenders receive as an income tax credit. This credit expires in 2010.

$1: Amount per gallon of biodiesel blended with regular diesel that constitutes a federal excise tax credit for biodiesel producers and distributors.

Progress we’ve made so far…

4.4 billion: Approximate number of gallons-per-year ethanol production capacity in early 2006. This represents 3 percent of domestic fuel use.

6.3 billion: Number of gallons of ethanol expected to be produced by 2007. This would utilize around 20 percent of the total corn crop. As a result, in 2007, corn for ethanol production is expected to surpass corn for export.

76: Number of commercial biodiesel plants in the United States as of 2006. There were just 22 such plants in 2004.

Policy recommendations

54: Cents per gallon that makes up the U.S. tariff on imported biofuels. CAP recommends that the United States gradually reduce this tariff to take steps toward meeting the Doha Round’s overarching trade goals and help expand the global market in biofuels.

85/15: CAP recommends creating a nationwide network of service stations selling E85 fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.

$5.2 billion: Amount of commodity-based direct payment subsidies that CAP suggests Congress reinvest into green payments to encourage producers to grow dedicated energy crops.

If these measures are taken…

700 billion: Amount of new economic activity in our rural communities that could be generated within two decades by following CAP’s policy recommendations.

25: Percentage of petroleum energy needs that could be replaced with cellulosic biofuels in the next two decades by following CAP’s policy recommendations.

$180 billion: The amount farmers could earn in new net income within the next two decades if CAP’s policy recommendations are followed.

18 billion: Number of gallons of ethanol per year that the United States could be producing by 2012, if all ethanol plants currently planned or under construction are brought on line.

37: Percent of U.S. fuel transport use that could be substituted by advanced biofuels by 2030, according to a joint study by the Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Solutions for fueling the next generation of sustainably produced advanced cellulosic biofuels, alleviating global poverty, boosting the farm economy, and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions are within reach.

For more information:

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