With the EPA's Renewable Fuels Standard lowered from what it was supposed to be, the renewable fuel industry was happy to find two big successes last year.
2015 was a record breaker for ethanol production in Iowa. More than four billion gallons were produced compared to the 3.9 billion in 2014. But according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, while they're excited by the high production, they think they could do more.
Executive Director Monte Shaw says, "While 2015 was a record year, we're excited about that, you know, we saw some incremental growth out of the plants. At the same time it was a little bit sad. Because look at the corn sitting around. Some of it's still outside in piles being snowed on. We have the corn to produce a lot more ethanol."
At the end of 2014, a biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol tax credit expired, it took until last month to have that renewed retroactively and extended for 2016.
According to Shaw, that causes a strain on producers in Iowa, not knowing if they'll get the credit or not. Having the certainty for this year should help stabilize production.
"Now our biodiesel plants in particular know what to expect. They basically had to sell biodiesel in 2015 hoping that the tax credit came back and pricing it into the equation. And if it hadn't come back it could have been very bad economic news."