Study: Record Renewable Fuels Production Powers Rural Iowa Economy Despite Strong Headwinds

Contact: Cassidy Riley

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Iowa ethanol and biodiesel producers both set production records in 2016, processing a record amount of Iowa corn, soybean oil, animal fats and other feedstocks into clean-burning renewable fuels.  As that economic activity flowed throughout Iowa, it left a significant impact, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) released today.

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics, found that in 2016 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa:

  • Supported more than 42,000 jobs throughout the entire Iowa economy;
  • Generated about $2.3 billion in household income for Iowans; and,
  • Accounted for roughly $4.7 billion, or 3.5 percent, of Iowa GDP.

“The results of the 2017 study clearly show the influence policy consistency and certainty have on industry growth and economic impact,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Policy for biodiesel was clear and consistent in 2016 and production and economic impact both increased. But trade barriers and low Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels stunted the growth of Iowa ethanol. My hope for 2017, with RFS levels set at statutory levels, is we will see more production and increased economic benefit for Iowa.”

To view a fact sheet on the study as well as the study, click here.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually – including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 350 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: