Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) met last week with Senatorial Candidate Richard Mourdock after he inaccurately blamed ethanol for high gasoline prices during the televised debate between Mourdock and incumbent Senator Richard Lugar. Rush County corn farmer and ICGA Director Mark Bacon and staff member Leah Beyer explained to Mourdock that while gas prices at the pump have clearly risen, the inclusion of a 10 percent blend of ethanol has actually reduced the impact of rising gas prices to the consumer, saving Hoosiers $40 million in 2010. A study conducted by INFORMA Economics showed that in 2011 the wholesale price for gasoline in Indiana was $2.84, while the wholesale price for ethanol was $2.71, a 13-cent savings because of ethanol.
In addition, a 2011 study by Iowa State University shows over the past 10 years ethanol reduced wholesale gasoline prices in the Midwest by 39 cents per gallon. The national average reduction over that same 10-year period was 25 cents per gallon. In 2010 the national average reduction was 89 cents per gallon.
“The 10 percent ethanol blend in all our gasoline is a true savings to the consumer every time they fill up at the pump,” says Gary Lamie, ICGA president and Tippecanoe County corn farmer. Indiana’s ethanol industry, including the 13 plants in the state, employs more than 3500 Hoosiers in direct and indirect jobs and is a major economic boost to Indiana’s rural communities.
At the end of the meeting Mourdock indicated that he would not change his position on ethanol. ICGA indicated that they would relay his positions on ethanol to their corn farmer members.