A new economic impact study was released this week during the 8th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit hosted by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (Iowa RFA). The study was conducted by ABF Economics economist John Urbanchuk highlighting the impact of the renewable fuels industry on Iowa’s economy. During 2013, spending on new cellulosic plant construction and research and development offset reduced spending on inputs due to lower commodity prices.
“The environment facing the renewable fuels industry improved modestly in 2013 and the economy of Iowa benefitted accordingly,” said Urbanchuk about the report findings. “Ethanol and biodiesel producers are part of a manufacturing sector that adds substantial value to agricultural commodities produced in Iowa.”
Based on the size and scope year-end, the renewable fuels industry had the following impacts on Iowa’s economy in 2013:
- Accounts for more than $5.5 billion, or about 4 percent, of Iowa GDP;
- Generates $4 billion of income for Iowa households; and
- Supports more than 62,000 jobs through the entire economy.
Iowa RFA Executive Director Monte Shaw touched on the huge impact that the renewable fuels industry has on Iowa. He noted that Iowa’s renewable fuels industry has taken the best punches its opponents can throw and is still fighting back to preserve a strong and growing federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“While production and profits were sound, the renewable fuels industry took a pounding politically in 2013,” said Shaw in his state of Iowa address. “But I stand before you today to declare that the Iowa renewable fuels industry can take their punches and we are fighting back! No one here ever thought it would be easy to earn market share away from the world’s most powerful and profitable industry. The fact is, the world needs oil, but consumers also deserve the chance to choose lower cost renewable fuel blends. So, we will never stop fighting to put the option of E15, E85 and biodiesel in front of every American consumer.”
Even though the comment period has ended for the 2014 proposed RFS rules, Shaw stressed that President Obama needs to keep his promise about supporting cleaner fuels, consumer choice, and cutting oil dependence. He needs to pick up the phone and call the EPA and simply state: Don’t mess with the RFS.”