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How does increased corn-ethanol production affect US natural gas prices?

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  • Whistance, Jarrett
  • Thompson, Wyatt
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    Abstract

    In recent years, there has been a push to increase biofuel production in the United States. The biofuel of choice, so far, has been ethanol produced from corn. The effects of increased corn-ethanol production on the consumer prices of food and energy continue to be studied and debated. This study examines, in particular, the effects of increased corn-ethanol production on US natural gas prices. A structural model of the natural gas market is developed and estimated using two stage least squares. A baseline projection for the period 2007-2018 is determined, and two scenarios are simulated. In the first scenario, current biofuel policies including EISA mandates, tariffs, and tax credits are removed. In the second scenario, we hold ethanol production to the level required only for largely obligatory additive use. The results indicate that the increased level of corn-ethanol production occurring as a result of the current US biofuel policies may lead to natural gas prices that are as much as 0.25% higher, on average, than if no biofuel policies were in place. A similar comparison between the baseline and second scenario indicates natural gas prices could be as much as 0.5% higher, on average, for the same period.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (May)
    Pages: 2315-2325

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:5:p:2315-2325

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    Keywords: Natural gas ethanol biofuel policies;

    References

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    1. Du, Xiaodong & Hayes, Dermot J., 2010. "The Impact of Ethanol Production on U.S. And Regional Gasoline Markets," Staff General Research Papers 31483, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    3. Huntington, Hillard G., 2007. "Industrial natural gas consumption in the United States: An empirical model for evaluating future trends," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 743-759, July.
    4. Thompson, Wyatt & Meyer, Seth & Westhoff, Pat, 2009. "How does petroleum price and corn yield volatility affect ethanol markets with and without an ethanol use mandate?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 745-749, February.
    5. Jones, M. R., 1989. "Analysis of the use of energy in agriculture--Approaches and problems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 339-355.
    6. Perrin, Richard K. & Fretes, Nickolas F. & Sesmero, Juan Pablo, 2009. "Efficiency in Midwest US corn ethanol plants: A plant survey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1309-1316, April.
    7. Simla Tokgoz & Amani Elobeid & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Dermot J. Hayes & Bruce A. Babcock & Tun-Hsiang (Edward) Yu & Fengxia Dong & Chad E. Hart & John C. Beghin, 2007. "Emerging Biofuels: Outlook of Effects on U.S. Grain, Oilseed, and Livestock Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 07-sr101, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    8. Xiaodong Du & Dermot J. Hayes, 2008. "Impact of Ethanol Production on U.S. and Regional Gasoline Prices and on the Profitability of the U.S. Oil Refinery Industry, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 08-wp467, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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    Cited by:
    1. Serra, Teresa, 2012. "Biofuel-related price volatility literature: a review and new approaches," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126057, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Thompson, Wyatt & Meyer, Seth D. & Westhoff, Patrick C., 2010. "Us Biofuel And Climate Policies Duel Over Cellulosic Biomass," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91404, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    3. Thompson, Wyatt & Whistance, Jarrett & Meyer, Seth, 2011. "Effects of US biofuel policies on US and world petroleum product markets with consequences for greenhouse gas emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5509-5518, September.
    4. Serra, Teresa & Zilberman, David, 2013. "Biofuel-related price transmission literature: A review," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 141-151.

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