Business

Renewable fuels accounted for almost $4 billion in Iowa's GDP in 2020, report shows

Economic output down because of regulatory constraints, decreased fuel consumption

Biodiesel production increased in 2020, but ethanol production - which accounts for about 88 percent of the 37,000 jobs
Biodiesel production increased in 2020, but ethanol production — which accounts for about 88 percent of the 37,000 jobs — faced numerous obstacles. (Associated Press)

Iowa’s renewable fuels industry accounted for almost $4 billion or about 2 percent of Iowa’s gross domestic product in 2020, according to a report commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

The report, written by Agriculture and BioFuels Consulting’s John Urbanchuk, shows the industry also provided $1.8 million in household income and 37,000 jobs.

Biodiesel production increased in 2020, but ethanol production — which accounts for about 88 percent of the 37,000 jobs — faced myriad obstacles.

Decreased fuel consumption during coronavirus, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s use of small-refinery waivers and a drop in exports to Canada and Brazil all hampered the industry.

“Biofuels still provide a major boost to Iowa’s economy, but quite frankly, the report is a wake-up call to redouble our efforts at the state level,” said Monte Shaw, IRFA’s executive director, in a news release.

“Midwestern states like Iowa must be aggressive to drive local demand for biofuels in a meaningful way, thereby providing a sturdy market foundation, even as we supply the rest of the United States and markets around the world.”

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

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.