New study shows ethanol helping consumers at the pumpWisconsin News
-- If it wasn’t for ethanol, a new study suggests that we might be paying a lot more for gasoline today.
If it wasn’t for ethanol, a new study suggests that we might be paying a lot more for gasoline today. Researchers at U-W Madison and Iowa State said the blending of ethanol into gasoline saved motorists an average of a-dollar-nine per gallon in 2011 – up from 89-cents the previous year. And Josh Morby of the Wisconsin Bio-Industry Alliance said the savings were even bigger in the Badger State, which has nine large corn-based ethanol plants. He said Wisconsinites paid 1.69 less than they otherwise would have. The Alliance said ethanol’s a lot cheaper than pure gasoline – and the inclusion of 13 billion gallons of ethanol into the nation’s gasoline pool drove gas prices way down. The study said regular unleaded averaged 3.52-a-gallon last year, but it would have been 4.60 without the ethanol. But energy economist James Williams questions these numbers. Williams is a Wausau native who owns W-T-R-G Economics of Arkansas – and he says the numbers don’t take the energy content of gas and ethanol into account. He tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the two fuels cost about the same, once their energy contents are figured in. Wisconsin is the nation’s seventh-largest ethanol producer. The Renewable Fuels Association, an industry trade group, supplied funding for the universities’ study.