IRFA: Nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs tied to biofuels

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | February 26, 2018

With a White House meeting set for Feb. 27 to discuss the fate of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a new study finds nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are tied to biofuels production. Efforts by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to convince the White House to undermine the RFS would jeopardize these jobs and thousands of Iowa farm families already struggling with low commodity prices.

The study, authored by John Urbanchuk of ABF Economics and commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, found nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are supported by biofuels production. In addition, the biofuels industry boosts household income for Iowans by more than $2.4 billion.

Tomorrow, Cruz is meeting with President Donald Trump, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to discuss the future of the RFS. IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw said the president should not let the theatrics of the junior Texas senator distract him from the facts and his previous commitments to uphold the RFS.

“Undermining the RFS will not save one refinery job in Pennsylvania, but as this study reminds us, it could push thousands of farm families over the economic cliff,” Shaw said. “Embracing Senator Cruz’s anti-RFS proposals would be a complete abdication of President Trump’s pledge to voters to defend the RFS. We are confident that facts, common sense, and past commitments will carry the day.”

In recent weeks, Cruz has relentlessly attempted to blame the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery on the price of RINs, the compliance mechanism for the RFS. However, every single independent expert, including noted oil economist Phil Verleger, the University of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Reuters, and even EPA professional staff, agree that RINs are not the cause of PES’ bankruptcy.

“There is not a single independent study that agrees with Cruz and PES’ claims that RINs were the source of the refinery’s problems,” Shaw said. “Meanwhile, several studies of PES’ predicament have unanimously concluded that PES was led to bankruptcy as a result of outdated technology, poor management decisions, and changes in available crude oil supplies.”


According to IRFA’s study, in 2017 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa:

- Supported roughly 50,000 jobs throughout the entire Iowa economy;

- Generated more than $2.4 billion in household income for Iowans; and,

- Accounted for $5.0 billion, or 3.4 percent, of Iowa GDP.


To view a fact sheet on the study as well as the study, visit