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Iowa ethanol supporters looking abroad to boost local economy

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the American Coalition for Ethanol are hosting a delegation of Mexican gas retailers this week in Eastern Iowa.

They’re showing their guests how the United States blends and sells ethanol-infused gasoline so they can apply these practices across the border.

“We’re hoping to show them that it’s familiar,” Senior VP of the coalition Ron Lamberty said. “It’s similar to what they already have.”

Pemex had a fuel monopoly over Mexico until 2016. A year later, the country upped the ethanol percentage allowed in its gas.

“We’re just exploring the use of ethanol. So, Iowa is 30 years ahead of what we’re doing,” David Beltran of Grupo Comborsa said.

The IRFA also believes that an agreement abroad could help farmers in Iowa, the country’s largest producer of the corn-intensive fuel.

“It’s adding value to their corn,” IRFA Director Lucy Norton said. “Helping to identify new markets for the ethanol is certainly going to help the agriculture economy.”

In a year where the U.S. has fought tariffs with China, Norton says we need to look for relief in other countries.

“That market has closed because of the tariffs that China imposed. So, obviously we’re looking at other market options to sell our grain,” Norton said.


Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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