Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa received the 2013 Fueling Growth Award Sept. 10 from Growth Energy for his work to develop clean-burning, domestically produced ethanol. The award acknowledges that Grassley’s “hard work in Congress has made a significant contribution to the viability of the biofuels industry,” according to Growth Energy.
“I’m honored to receive this award today,” Grassley said. “I’ve long been a supporter of renewable fuels, starting with ethanol. Alternative energy sources reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase national security and create jobs for American workers in addition to extending our fuel supply and lowering prices at the pump.”
The award is given annually by Growth Energy to members of Congress who support ethanol advancement and work to craft consistent and fair federal policy for the industry.
Grassley, a Republican, has worked for many years to promote favorable federal policies in order to establish renewable fuels as an alternative to finite fossil fuels. Grassley advocates for the maintenance of the Renewable Fuel Standard. In August 2013, Grassley, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible anti-competitive practices by oil companies that may be limiting the competitiveness of renewable fuels.
Nationally, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every one billion gallons of ethanol produced, 10,000 to 20,000 jobs are added to the economy. In 2011, more than 400,000 jobs were created and supported by the ethanol industry, and production of ethanol contributed $42.4 billion to the national gross domestic product, according to the Energy Department.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association reported that with 41 ethanol plants and 3.7 billion gallons produced in 2012, Iowa is the largest producer of ethanol in the country. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa’s ethanol industry supports 55,000 jobs and accounts for $5.4 billion of the state’s total economy.
Comprising many American ethanol producers and other organizations within the industry, Growth Energy represents producers and promotes ethanol production to “fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans today.”