Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw last week vowed his members are ready to fight for the renewable fuels standard or RFS, and for consumer access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends. Shaw's comments came during the 7th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on January 30 in Des Moines. In addition, IRFA released an economic impact study to highlight the importance of fighting for renewable fuels.
"Today I can assure you that the Iowa renewable fuels industry is ready for the fight ahead," said Shaw. "We know that Big Oil has the money, but we have the facts. We are ready to fight for more choices at the pump -- cheaper, cleaner, homegrown choices."
Ready to defend Renewable Fuel Standard from attacks by petroleum industry
Shaw noted that the national priority is to defend the RFS from attacks by the petroleum industry. "We should start by protecting the federal renewable fuels standard from the assault by Big Oil," said Shaw. "In the face of the federal petroleum mandate and the massive Big Oil tax subsidies, the RFS is the best tool we have to help open doors for ethanol and biodiesel. The RFS promotes consumer fuel choice at the pump. The RFS brings more marketplace forces into the fuel sector, not less."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
In Iowa, IRFA is calling upon Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Legislature to promote higher biodiesel and ethanol blends. "Iowa does not suck one hydrocarbon out of the ground. We produce renewable fuels," Shaw noted. "Today, IRFA is calling on the Iowa Legislature and Gov. Branstad to include a B10 and E15 tax differential in any legislation changing Iowa fuel taxes."
Economic impact study released at Iowa summit shows biofuels are definitely worth fighting for
Relative to other states, the last five or six years have been good for Iowa. Renewable fuels played a major role in that more favorable economic situation for the state of Iowa. "We must fight for our future," Shaw concluded. "So join me in committing to fight for renewable fuels in 2013."
To underscore the point, IRFA released a study conducted by Cardno ENTRIX economist John Urbanchuk highlighting the impact of the renewable fuels industry on Iowa's economy. "2012 was a challenging year for the renewable fuels industry," said Urbanchuk. "However, ethanol and biodiesel producers are part of a manufacturing sector that adds substantial value to agricultural commodities produced in Iowa and make a significant contribution to the Iowa economy."
Defending RFS nationally and promoting higher blends locally top agenda
Based on 2012 production levels, Iowa's renewable fuels industry:
* Accounts for nearly $5.5 billion, or 4%, of Iowa GDP
* Generates $4 billion of income for Iowa households
* Supports nearly 60,000 jobs through the entire economy
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and two cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. IRFA fosters development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the IRFA website.