A new study conducted by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) found that while the renewable fuels industry continues to be a strong driver of Iowa’s economy, its impacts have taken a small step back from last year. The report cited reductions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as the cause.
“Iowa is the leading producer of ethanol in the United States,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad during a press conference at the Capitol to release the study results. “We have been disappointed by the EPA’s unwillingness to restore a robust Renewable Fuel Standard. This study shows how important renewable fuels are for the future of our Iowa economy.”
The study found that in 2015 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa:
- Supported nearly 43,000 jobs throughout the entire Iowa economy;
- Generated almost $2.3 billion in household income for Iowans; and,
- Accounted for about $4.6 billion, or 3.5 percent, of Iowa GDP.
“While Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel industries continue to power the state’s economy, it’s disappointing that those impacts took a small step backwards last year,” added IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “What may be as equally frustrating is the missed opportunity to really grow Iowa’s economy. When the EPA reduced the statutory RFS levels, it reduced our ability to grow ethanol and biodiesel production, to grow forward-looking investments into new technologies, to grow farm income and to grow Iowa jobs.”