President Barack Obama's speech at Newton on Wednesday was especially noteworthy for its lack of reference to ethanol. It was one of the rare times in recent history that a president or national politician has spoken in Iowa and didn't mention the biofuel by name, especially as Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production.
Iowa has 41 ethanol plants up and running or under construction, but ethanol producers have struggled of late with declining corn prices and drops in the price of ethanol.
Obama's call for spending on renewable energy development may be a net positive for Iowa, but ethanol interests may have hoped the president would have focused on the biofuels as much as on wind power.
The ethanol industry has been pushing for the expansion of the allowable blend of ethanol with unleaded gasoline for conventional automobile engines from the current 10 percent to 15 percent.
But Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa ...