Ethanol Making Thanksgiving Visits More Affordable

Cindy Zimmerman

The cost of this year’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner may be 20 percent higher this year compared to last, and gas prices are up 30 to 40 cents a gallon, but ethanol is still helping families save money at the pump this holiday to visit friends and relatives.

AAA predicts that 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home for the holiday, approximately 90% of them by car. Analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association indicates that ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is expected to save Thanksgiving travelers nearly $140 million on gasoline purchases over the long holiday weekend.

Based on the most recent monthly data, E10, a 10% ethanol blend that is prevalent at gas stations nationwide, is saving drivers $0.32 per gallon at the pump. The discount has averaged $0.23 per gallon since January—on pace to reduce Americans’ spending on gasoline by $34 billion, or $240 per household, for the year as a whole.

The discount is even greater for E15, a 15% ethanol blend that is approved for more than 95% of the cars and trucks on the road today. According to, the national average retail price of E15 has been $0.35 per gallon less than E10 this year (the differential stood at $0.38 on November 16). If E15 were adopted nationwide, it would reduce household spending on gasoline by $47 billion this year, or almost $370 per household. And, as recently noted by EIA, E15 helped keep a lid on pump prices in the summer of 2022, as the market faced tight fuel supplies and record-high prices.

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