A new study on the impact of the Missouri Renewable Fuel Standard , which requires a 10 percent ethanol standard, finds the mandate had been a great benefit for the state.

The study, conducted by the economic consulting firm LECG and paid for by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, finds the use of the ethanol blend saved Missouri drivers 7.7 cents per gallon at the retail pump in 2007 for a total savings of $158.2-million. LECG’s John Urbanchuk says that works out to $40 for each of Missouri’s 3.9-million licensed drivers.

Urbanchuk, a supporter of ethanol and biofuels, estimates the average Missouri driver will save 9.8 cents per gallon in 2008, or $72.80 per driver. Urbanchuk defends the study against those who suggest the good news for the ethanol industry might be linked to the fact the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council paid for the report. He says the firm is in the business of providing objective, independent analysis. He adds a client paying for a study will get the results, for better or worse.