When COVID-19 hit the United States and most Americans were opting to stay home as much as possible, Iowa biofuel producers were badly hurt by the decline in fuel demand. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the state is dedicating over $15 million of relief funding for Iowa renewable fuels producers, making Iowa the first state in the nation to provide direct aid to the biofuels sector.

“Governor Reynolds has provided a much-needed lifeline for Iowa’s renewable fuels producers,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “At its peak, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the idling of roughly 50 percent of Iowa’s biofuels production capacity. Even today fuel use has not returned to normal and biofuels producers are struggling to simply breakeven. IRFA members from across the state are deeply grateful for Governor Reynold’s leadership as they work to recover from the financial blow wrought by the pandemic.”

The relief funding will be awarded based on the number of qualifying gallons produced in the first quarter of 2020. IRFA continues to work with members of Congress on possible federal relief.

“We appreciate the work done by our federal legislative champions on language for the next COVID relief package,” Shaw said. “Ethanol and biodiesel producers across the country are suffering from suppressed fuel demand and still need comprehensive, in-depth relief from the federal government. Today’s action by Governor Reynolds will help Iowa’s biofuels producers keep going until Congress and the Trump Administration act.”