While the Renewable Fuel Standard is playing a big role in headlines this week, news stories are also highlighting some interesting numbers connecting the biofuels industry with U.S. regional economies.

Biofuels boosting Minnesota, Iowa economies

In Minnesota, the ethanol industry remained robust in 2017, contributing $2.17 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). A new study also found the state’s ethanol industry produced 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol, 3.9 million tons of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) and 256 million pounds of corn oil in 2017.

This in turn, it said, generated $7.13 billion in gross sales for Minnesota businesses, supported 18,813 jobs, and contributed $1.54 billion to the state’s household income and paid $192 million in state and local taxes.

Meanwhile, another recent study found that, 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 billion, or 3.4%, of Iowa GDP.

Northey confirmed as farm groups urge Trump to maintain RFS

Bill Northey is at last free to take the job at the USDA that he was nominated for almost six months ago after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) lifted his hold on the nomination and allowed the confirmation Tuesday.

The Senate confirmed Northey on a voice vote to become USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation. Meanwhile, as Sens. Cruz, Pat Toomey (R-PA), Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa met with President Trump to discuss changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), farm groups urged Trump to maintain the program’s integrity.

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Geoff Hayward

Communications Writer at Novozymes
Geoff writes about Bioenergy for the Communications team at Novozymes. When he isn’t advocating for an industry that’s changing the world for the better, he can be found on a North Carolina bike path or playing slide guitar.