Study: Renewable Fuels Economic Impact in Iowa Takes Small Step Back Due to Reduced RFS Levels

Press Contact: T.J. Page


Study Results Find Renewable Fuels Continue to Power Iowa’s Economy, But Could Do More

DES MOINES, IOWA – Joined by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Iowa State Capitol, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) today released the results of a study showing that while the renewable fuels industry continues to be a strong driver of Iowa’s economy, its impacts took a small step backwards last year, due to reductions in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Iowa is the leading producer of ethanol in the United States,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.  “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.”

“Renewable fuels continue to be a bedrock of our Iowa economy, as this study shows,” Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds added.  “However, the drop in farmland values, farm income and commodity prices is directly being impacted by a reduction in the Renewable Fuel Standard.  Gov. Branstad and I have called on the EPA to take action repeatedly to provide consumers choices at the pump, create jobs and increase income for Iowa families and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.”

“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,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (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.”

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, 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.

For a one-page fact sheet on the study, please click here.

To view the entire study, please click here.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.


For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: