Business

Iowa ethanol production drops 12 percent in 2020

Industry leader attributes losses to coronavirus, EPA policy

Monte Shaw (from left) of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Grant Kimberley of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Craig Fl
Monte Shaw (from left) of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Grant Kimberley of the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Craig Floss of the Iowa Corn Growers Association speak during a news conference at the Iowa Corn Growers Association’s offices in Johnston in 2019. (Erin Murphy/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)

Iowa’s ethanol producers saw a 12 percent drop in production in 2020, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said Thursday.

It marks the second consecutive year ethanol production declined after a record-breaking 2018, which saw production of 4.35 billion gallons.

Production in 2020 was at 3.7 billion gallons.

Monte Shaw, the association’s executive director, cited less fuel consumption due to the pandemic, obstacles to global trade and Renewable Fuel Standard exemptions under the Trump administration for the 2020 losses.

“While a pandemic is unpredictable and trade disputes are difficult to resolve, there are steps that our leaders can take today to begin to heal the demand destruction done to Iowa’s ethanol producers,” Shaw said in a news release.

“President Biden can instruct his EPA to properly enforce the RFS as Congress intended.”

Biodiesel production in Iowa increased, though, from 342 million to 351 million gallons.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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