Ethanol and the Economy

Contribution of the Renewable Fuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa


A recent study by ABF Economics Economist John Urbanchuk highlighted the impact of the renewable fuels industry on Iowa’s economy.

“The U.S. ethanol industry experienced another record-breaking year in 2015, despite a challenging economic and regulatory environment,” stated study author John Urbanchuk.  “In addition to uncertainty over Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements which impacted both ethanol and biodiesel, the status of the biodiesel blenders tax credit remained unresolved until nearly the end of the year.”

Renewable Fuels Keep Iowa Moving Forward

Based on the size and scope of the renewable fuels industry at year-end 2015, ethanol and biodiesel:

  • Accounts for more than $4.6 billion, or about 3.5 percent, of Iowa GDP;
  • Generates $2.3 billion of income for Iowa households; and
  • Support more than 43,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy.


(in millions)


(in millions)

Household Earnings

(in millions)




*Includes agriculture, construction and investment in R & D.

To view the full study, please click here.

Contribution of the Ethanol Industry to the Economy of the United States.

A recent study by Economist John Urbanchuck of ABF Economics prepared for the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) showed the ethanol industry had immense impacts on the economy of the United States in 2015.

“The ethanol industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economy in terms of job creation, generation of tax revenue, and displacement of imported crude oil and petroleum products,” stated study author John Urbanchuk.  “The importance of the ethanol industry to agriculture and rural economies is particularly notable. Continued growth and expansion of the ethanol industry through new technologies and feedstocks will enhance the industry’s position as the original creator of green jobs, and will enable America to make further strides toward energy independence.”

Key findings of the study show the ethanol industry:

  • Supports 85,967 direct jobs;
  • 271,440 indirect and induced jobs;
  • Contributes $43.9 billion to U.S. GDP;
  • Generates $23.5 billion in household income;
  • Displaces 527 million barrels of imported oil, valued at nearly $26 billion;
  • Paid $8.7 billion in federal, state and local taxes

To view the entire study, please click here.