Unleashing the full potential of homegrown Iowa biofuels

A truck leaves the Horizon Ethanol plant after unloading corn, Wednesday, March 7, 2007, in Jewell, Iowa. Many in Jewell, a small town of 1,200 an hour's drive north of Des Moines, are optimistic about the effects the plant's $300,000 a year will have on the town. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa is home to 42 ethanol plants and 11 biodiesel facilities, which annually produce roughly 4.5 billion gallons of ethanol and 410 million gallons of biodiesel respectively. In 2022, homegrown Iowa ethanol and biodiesel contributed $7.2 billion to Iowa’s economy and fueled $3.5 billion in income for Iowa families. Our thriving biofuels industry also supports 57,000 jobs across our state. I’m especially proud that our district – Iowa’s 4th Congressional District – remains the top producer of both ethanol and biodiesel nationwide. Because of our farmers and energy producers, Iowa biofuels have the untapped potential to make our country energy independent again, lower gas prices for our families, and end our reliance on foreign countries – namely China – for our energy needs.

That’s why, as a staunch advocate for biofuels in Congress, I’m working to modernize current law and support policies that grow our capacity to produce the low-cost, low-carbon fuel that our country and the world depend on – and will increasingly need in the future.

I recently helped lead the Farm to Fly Act, which would advance the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – an emerging energy source that is the future of air travel – and promote the role that Iowa agriculture plays in developing this fuel. More specifically, this legislation would add a definition of SAF to programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), advance SAF research and development, and include SAF in USDA bio-energy initiatives. It would also direct the Secretary of Agriculture to work collaboratively within the USDA and with other federal agencies to find ways to boost the commercial adoption of SAF. By converting agricultural biomass into airplane fuel, we can support Iowa farmers, reduce emissions by up to 94% compared to standard jet fuels, and use American energy – instead of foreign oil – to power our planes and safely transport passengers.

Earlier this month, I also helped introduce the Adopt GREET Act, which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the GREET model when calculating comprehensive emissions reductions and the environmental impact of Iowa ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Through extensive scientific research, the GREET model has proven to be the most accurate and reliable tool for measuring the emissions and environmental benefits of biofuels. Time and time again, this model confirms that homegrown ethanol and biodiesel help cut emissions, lower gas prices, and restore American energy independence. I fully endorse the use of the GREET model to accurately assess and convey the benefits of biofuels – including sustainable aviation fuel – for our economy, our farmers, our energy security, and our environment.

Unlike President Biden’s misguided policies that prioritize foreign oil over American energy, I know that Iowa can grow and produce our world’s future fuels. We must use homegrown biofuels – like ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel – to lower energy costs, support our agricultural community, and power our economy to new heights. Legislation like the Farm to Fly Act and the Adopt GREET Act – which I proudly support – will help us achieve these worthy goals, invest in our rural communities, and unleash American energy dominance.

We are government together, and your thoughts and opinions matter to me. Please contact my office at Feenstra.House.Gov or by phone at 202-225-4426 if I can ever be of assistance. I am proud to represent our families, farmers, main street businesses, and rural communities in Congress.


Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, represents Iowa’s Fourth District in the U.S. House.


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