Iowa Could Be Energy Independent Today

Joanna Schroeder

Did you know that if Iowa were a country, it would be the fourth largest producer of corn in the world behind the U.S., China, and Brazil? Iowa also produces more than the entire European Union – comprised of 27 countries. And Iowa has a tiny footprint in comparison to America, U.S. and Brazil. Talk about producing more on less land!

irfa-northeyGuess who told me this cool stuff. Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey who I had a chance to speak with during the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit.

Iowa is also the largest producer of corn-ethanol in the world with 41 plants producing between 3.5 and 4 billion gallons of fuel per year. This is enough fuel for the state to be energy independent said Northey. Last year Iowa produced 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol, and of the 3 million Iowans, drivers used about 1.4 billion gallons of ethanol and gasoline in 2012. So Iowa uses less than half of what the state produces in ethanol alone. Northey said if Iowa didn’t have to blend its gasoline with ethanol, the state wouldn’t need a drop of gasoline imported from other states or other countries and Iowa would still be able to export nearly half of the ethanol it produced.

“We would be the only state that would be a net-exporter of liquid fuels that doesn’t pump a barrel of oil from the ground,” said Northey.

On the biodiesel side, Northey said the state also uses less gallons of diesel than the total production of biodiesel. Like ethanol, Iowa is the largest producer of biodiesel in the country.

In last January, Senator Harkin announced that he would be retiring. I asked Northey for his thoughts on what Harkin’s retirement means to the biofuels industry. “I hope Iowa elects someone just as strong and just as vocal in his or her support of the biofuels industry,” he said.

Well, Bill fits those requirements. Will he be putting his hat in the ring?

You’ll have to listen to my interview with Bill to find out. You’ll also get some other cool biofuel facts about Iowa: Iowa Could Be Energy Independent Today

View the IRFA Renewable Fuels Summit Photo Album.

Audio, Biodiesel, biofuels, corn, Ethanol, Iowa RFA