Iowa’s Economy Benefited as Biofuel Production Rebounded in 2021

Source: By Cassidy Walter, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association • Posted: Monday, February 21, 2022

JOHNSTON, IA – A new study released today finds rebounding biofuels production in 2021 provided a strong boost to Iowa’s economy.

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), found the production of ethanol and biodiesel accounts for over $5 billion in state GDP, supports nearly 46,000 jobs throughout the economy, and boosts Iowa household income by more than $2.6 billion. All three metrics are up since 2020’s COVID downturn.

“Rebounding biofuels production combined with higher commodity values really boosted Iowa’s economy in 2021, especially in rural communities,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “And what’s really exciting is that so much more is ahead of us. This is why increasing consumer access to higher blends through the Governor’s Biofuels Access Bill is so vital. When Iowans have access to biofuels, they choose biofuels. They save money and support Iowa’s economy. It’s a win-win for all.”

In 2021 Iowa ethanol production hit an all-time record high of 4.4 billion gallons while biodiesel production decreased only slightly to 340 million gallons in response to market and supply-chain challenges.

“Continued growth and expansion of the renewable fuels industry through new technologies and feedstocks will enhance the industry’s position as the original creator of green jobs and will ensure America’s ability to maintain and expand energy independence,” the study concluded. “Further, policy and regulatory actions taken by Iowa, and other Midwestern states, to boost the use of biofuels locally, particularly statewide use of E15, will provide a buffer from the uncertainty of federal policy and export demand.”

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