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The market and consumer welfare effects of mid-level ethanol blends in the US fuel market


  • Gallagher, Paul W.
  • Sleper, Daniel


This study examines the prospect that a consumer-driven market could eventually replace the myriad regulations and demand quotas in the US ethanol and gasoline fuel market. Given efficient households that minimize the cost of operating automobiles, recent vehicle technology that improves blended fuel substitution, and typical market conditions of the last five years, blended fuels with 20% ethanol concentration could occupy a volume of 82.2 billion gallons in a 138.3 billion gallon gasoline market. The consumer welfare gain associated with blended fuel is $15.9 billion annually for US consumers, or about $1000 over the life of a vehicle.

Suggested Citation

  • Gallagher, Paul W. & Sleper, Daniel, 2016. "The market and consumer welfare effects of mid-level ethanol blends in the US fuel market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 149-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:98:y:2016:i:c:p:149-159
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.08.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Grafton, R. Quentin & Kompas, Tom & Long, Ngo Van & To, Hang, 2014. "US biofuels subsidies and CO2 emissions: An empirical test for a weak and a strong green paradox," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 550-555.
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    9. Dusan Drabik & Harry De Gorter & David R. Just & Govinda R. Timilsina, 2015. "The Economics of Brazil’s Ethanol-Sugar Markets, Mandates, and Tax Exemptions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1433-1450.
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