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One of Iowa’s biodiesel plants has closed amid RFS uncertainty

CRAWFORDSVILLE — A southeast Iowa biodiesel plant has shut down, putting 16 people out of work. W2 Fuel in Crawfordsville made about 10-million gallons of biodiesel annually.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Governor Kim Reynolds met with President Trump, seeking new policies that will increase the federal government’s renewable fuels production requirement.

“It needs to be done sooner rather than later,” Reynolds told reporters yesterday during a news conference. “I have to take the president at his word. When we sat in there, it was indicated that we had a verbal agreement and we need to see that in writing, so I’m very anxious to see that in writing.”

Two ethanol plants in northwest Iowa have closed temporarily as well. The governor indicated she told the president the closures have a wide impact beyond the payroll of plant employees, as thousands of Iowa farmers invested in ethanol and biodiesel plants. Farmers also depend on selling their grain to the plants.

“We laid all of that out in the meeting. I think it was a compelling case,” Reynolds said. “…I’ll probably circle back and just say: ‘Is there anything else that you need from us?’ And, really, a timely response is just critical.”

According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Crawfordsville facility is one of 12 biodiesel plants in Iowa. Last year, 365 million gallons of biodiesel was produced in Iowa — about 20 percent of all the biodiesel made in the U.S.


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