They were watching Iowa this week on the "Jumbo-Tron" screen in Times Square in New York. The occasion was the grand opening of the state’s newest ethanol plant, and Governor Chet Culver was there for it, in Albert City.
Between the construction of the plant and the permanent fulltime jobs it will create, Culver said it’ll create "hundreds of jobs, good-paying jobs." He says there are more opportunities in the future, as well, in moving the product across the state, the nation and the world. Culver said no state is better positioned than Iowa to declare independence from foreign oil.
Bob Dineen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, attended despite the sub-zero windchills Wednesday. "It may be a little bit chilly here, but I’m warmed by the excitement in Albert City and the opening of another ethanol plant," Dineen says, adding, "If you can’t get excited about what’s happening in our industry today, you’ve got to check your pulse." Dineen says there are 78 plants under construction, and ethanol is the fastest-growing energy industry in the world.
Dineen says there are already 110 ethanol plants in operation nationwide. Officials of the NASDAQ over-the-counter stock exchange also attended the grand opening of the Bio-Energy ethanol plant. NASDAQ Executive Vice President Bruce Aust saluted the new plant. Aust says it’s "unique" from the standpoint of what U.S. Bio-Energy stands for the country and the economy going forward.
Video from the grand opening was carried live on the giant monitor in New York’s Times Square. The 100-million gallon per year plant in Albert City began operations in November.