Congressional staffers get hands-on look at state’s biofuels industry
Nearly 30 congressional staffers visited several biofuel plants and farms as part of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s Iowa Biofuels: Science and Sustainability Tour. The tour began Tuesday and wrapped up Thursday. One stop was the new Verbio RNG plant in Nevada, which uses anaerobic digestion technology to convert cellulosic plant matter, such as corn stover, into renewable fuel. Verbio purchased the facility from Dow DuPont in 2018, more than a year after it was abruptly shut down. Under Dow DuPont the plant never became fully operational. Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said the technology used at the Verbio plant showcases the latest innovation rural Iowa has to offer. “These staffers work with members of Congress to shape the future ag and energy policy of the nation,” Shaw said in a release. “This tour gives them the opportunity to see up close how companies like Verbio are working today to reduce carbon emissions and support our economy.” The annual tour, in its 12th year, gives congressional staff a hands-on opportunity to see how biofuel producers and farmers are harnessing natural resources to feed and fuel the world, the release stated. Other stops included the Lincolnway Energy plant in Nevada, Couser Cattle Co. near Nevada, the aquaculture company Eagle’s Catch in Ellsworth, Iowa State University’s Advanced Bioeconomy and BioCentury research farms, a Kwik Star convenience store in Grimes, and Corteva Agriscience.