You've probably noticed that a growing numbers of vehicles are labeled with a Flex Fuel badge, indicating that the car or truck is capable of burning E85 – a blend of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline. Even without that badge, today's vehicles have no problem running on E10 – a blend of 10-percent ethanol and 90-percent gasoline. Some even argue that E15 does no damage to most vehicles.

The widespread use of ethanol-blended fuel has led to a massive industry in the U.S. that's directly connected to the biofuel. According to an economic analysis presented by Cardno ENTRIX at the 2011 National Ethanol Conference, 70,600 Americans are directly employed in the ethanol industry. In addition, ethanol plants are either operational or under construction in at least 29 states in the U.S.

Furthermore, Cardno ENTRIX, an environmental and natural resource consulting firm, claims that the economic activity generated by the ethanol industry has allowed 400,000 Americans to either keep their existing jobs or find new ones. The consulting firm calculates that ethanol production contributed $53.6 billion to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and added a whopping $36 billion to American household incomes. Oddly, the report seems to ignore the billions of dollars in subsidies dished out by the federal government to support ethanol production.

[Source: Domestic Fuel | Image: drewzhrodague – C.C. License 2.0]

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