Advocates for renewable energy say the industry brings economic benefits to the Dakotas. A new report from a coalition supporting renewable fuels shows the industry is responsible for jobs, wages and output in the billions of dollars.
The Fuels America coalition is a non-partisan group of renewable energy stakeholders. The coalition released a study for 2014 that shows the ethanol and biodiesel industries are directly responsible for more than 8,000 South Dakota jobs. Add in jobs for supply and more related to renewable energy, and the report says South Dakota has more than 26,000 jobs in the industry.
Tom Buis CEO of Growth Energy. He says he wants leaders to pay attention to ethanol production, even as farmers come out of a wildly successful time. Buis says the last six years were the most prosperous in American agricultural history.
"And the last couple of years, we’re starting to see that trend go away, and we can’t put at risk the renewable fuel standard, or you’ll continue to see a downturn," Buis says.
Buis supports expanding goals for renewable energy production. He says more emphasis on ethanol and biodiesel helps the farm industry.
The report indicates renewable energy last year contributed to $2 billion in wages in South Dakota and nearly $8 billion worth of output.