In a time when we constantly hear about rising unemployment, there’s some good news for the U.S. job sector… thanks to ethanol and biodiesel. A new report says advanced biofuels could directly create nearly 200,000 jobs in the next 13 years, with indirect and direct effects accounting for more than 800,000 new jobs and nearly $150 billion in economic activity during that same period.
The report by Bio Economic Research Associates, U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030, analyzes the growth of an advanced biofuels industry and how it will impact four areas critical to U.S. economic recovery, including job creation, economic output, energy security and investment opportunity.
The report earned praise from The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO):
Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, said, “The advanced biofuels industry could create 29,000 new jobs and create $5.5 billion in economic growth over the next three years, as companies continue to deploy the
technology. As the advanced biofuels industry grows to the levels established in the Renewable Fuel Standard, it will create more than 800,000 new jobs throughout the economy. These new jobs will be in sectors of the economy that have experienced the highest rates of job losses over the past year, including agriculture and construction.”
The new study’s results include:
• Direct job creation from advanced biofuels production could reach 29,000 by 2012, 94,000 by 2016, and 190,000 by 2022.
• Total job creation, accounting for economic multiplier effects, could reach 123,000 in 2012, 383,000 in 2016, and 807,000 by 2022.
• Direct economic output from the advanced biofuels industry is estimated to rise to $5.5 billion in 2012, $17.4 billion in 2016, and $37 billion by 2022.
• Taking into consideration the indirect and induced economic effects, the total economic output effect for the U.S. economy is estimated to be $20.2 billion in 2012, $64.2 billion in 2016, and $148.7 billion in 2022.
• Advanced biofuels production under the RFS could reduce U.S. petroleum imports by approximately $5.5 billion in 2012, $23 billion in 2016, and nearly $70 billion by 2022.
• The cumulative total of avoided petroleum imports over the period 2010–2022 would exceed $350 billion.
And BIO officials say by 2030, a modest target of 45 billion gallons of biofuels could produce nearly 2 million jobs and $300 billion in economic activity… plus the savings the country would see by not importing the oil to cover that fuel. They believe that advancing technology will help meet those goals.