The 6th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit kicked off in Des Moines on Tuesday on a very positive note, considering that 2011 was a record year in the state for both ethanol and biodiesel.
In his annual address to the summit, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw noted that the state’s 41 ethanol plants produced 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol. “If Iowa were a country, it would be the third largest ethanol producer in the world, behind only the rest of the United States and Brazil,” said Shaw.
He also noted that with the return of the biodiesel tax credit in 2011 helped most of Iowa’s biodiesel plants return to production. “Ten Iowa biodiesel plants operated during 2011 produced a record 169 million gallons,” said Shaw.
However, Shaw noted that the challenges facing biofuels are just as strong as ever. “I know it’s hard to believe, but not everyone in America enjoys the renewable fuels success story,” he said, outlining the attacks against ethanol in particular by the food and oil industries. “Today the oil industry enjoys billions of dollars in tax subsidies while the renewable fuels industry has none,” said Shaw, proceeding to name off all of the subsides unique to the oil industry.
Shaw outlined the priority issues for the renewable fuels industry in 2012 as getting the biodiesel tax credit reinstated, keeping the Renewable Fuel Standard in place, and getting E15 commercially available.
Listen to Shaw’s address to the 6th annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit here: IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw address