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Economics of Ethanol: Costs, Benefits, and Future Prospects of Biofuels

November 14, 2008

Conference proceedings are published in the April 2009 issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Regional Economic Development.

The Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University, and the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability at Washington University co-hosted a one-day conference on the economics of ethanol on November 14, 2008.

The conference was held at the Eric P. Newman Education Center on the medical school campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

This non-technical conference included sessions on the profitability of ethanol processing and the impact of ethanol subsidies on rural economies. Other topics included the environmental effects of ethanol production, energy balance with fossil fuels, effects on food prices, subsidy rate relative to oil and gas, and effects on farm production decisions.

Participants included nationally recognized scholars and business leaders. A keynote address was provided by Jeff Broin, Chief Executive Officer of Poet Energy.

Schedule of events and participants

For more information, please contact Tom Garrett ( or Melinda Warren (