The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Renewable fuels industry says it's a growing part of California economy

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27232 full

If the oil industry can have a study boasting its economic importance, then the renewable fuels industry can, too. 

On Thursday, the Fuels America Coalition released an analysis of the economic footprint of the sector that includes biodiesel and ethanol. It came just days after the Western States Petroleum Association released a study of its contributions to the California economy. 

The Fuels America study says thatin California, the renewable fuels industry:

  • Generates $12.7 billion in economic output annually
  • Supports 59,665 jobs and $3.7 billion in wages
  • Generates $467.6 million per year in state tax revenue 

It's hardly fair to compare these numbers to the oil industry's. It supports more than 100,000 jobs in Los Angeles County alone.

But L.A.-based biodiesel marketer Joe Gershen says the renewable fuels sector is growing. At least 10 factories in California produce biofuels, including plants in Coachella, Bakersfield and San Diego, with more on the way.

"A lot of places where these plants are are in low-income areas with high unemployment," said Gershen, who also serves as vice chairman of the California Biodiesel Alliance.  "So these are creating very good-paying stable jobs in places that they really are needed."

The renewable fuels industry has been pushing to protect federal and state renewable fuel standards, which some parts of the oil industry have fought.

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