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Iowa leads in ethanol production, but we're not even in the top 20 on consumption

These four charts illustrate top ethanol production, use in the United States

An E15 pump next to an E85 pump at the Kum & Go, 1420 Mount Vernon Road SE in Cedar Rapids, on Friday, May 31, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
An E15 pump next to an E85 pump at the Kum & Go, 1420 Mount Vernon Road SE in Cedar Rapids, on Friday, May 31, 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Iowa is No. 1 in ethanol production

As the nation’s leading corn grower, Iowa was well-positioned for growth in ethanol production. Iowa produced almost 20 percent of the nation’s ethanol in 2016 and, according to Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the state now produces about 27 percent of the nation’s ethanol.

The next closest states in ethanol production also fall along the Corn Belt, including Nebraska, Illinois and Minnesota.

 

California leads in ethanol consumption

But while the Midwest leads the nation in ethanol production, it’s mostly coastal states that consume the most ethanol. California was the top ethanol consumer in 2017 with more than 38 million barrels, with Texas not far behind with about 35.4 million barrels.

Meanwhile, Iowa is the 24th lowest state when it comes to ethanol consumption. In 2016, Iowa consumed a little more than 4.3 million barrels of ethanol. That’s less than 1.3 percent the nation’s total ethanol consumption.

 
 

VIDEO: President Trump talks ethanol E-15 production in Iowa visit

These states consume the most gasoline

As with ethanol consumption, motor gasoline use follows a similar trend — with the states with the highest number of vehicle miles also seeing the highest fuel consumption.

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California, Texas, Florida and New York lead the nation in both ethanol and motor gasoline consumption. Those four states also led the nation in vehicle miles traveled in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As with ethanol, Iowa falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to motor gasoline sales — ranking 22 lowest in 2017.

 

Where can you buy E85?

As far as ethanol sales, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that several Midwestern states also lead the nation when it comes to the number of E85 ethanol pumps. Minnesota had the most in E85 pumps with 408, while Iowa came in at third with 256 pumps. Texas rounded out the top five with 219 E85 pumps.

 
• Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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