When demand peaks and production booms, normal businesses invest and expand. The ethanol industry just asks for a handout.

Even after the state produced a record-breaking 4.2 billion gallons of ethanol in 2017, the biofuel industry wants more. Touting that 100 million gallon increase over last year, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is lobbying for more subsidies from the state government.

“Expanding export markets abroad and breaking down unnecessary barriers to E15 here at home [are] top priorities,” wrote executive director of the ethanol association, Monte Shaw. More specifically, the organization’s “top state priority” means securing money for what’s called the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program.

Here’s how that would work for fueling station owners:

Step 1.) Agree to convert fueling equipment to allow for renewable fuels.

Step 2.) Collect a government check.

The longer a fueling station commits to pumping biofuels, the more money they will receive in reimbursements. Sign up for a three-year commitment, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, and receive 50 percent reimbursement for the upgrade. Sign up a little longer for a five-year commitment and receive a 70 percent reimbursement.

Put another way, while a normal business expands and contracts according to market forces, the ethanol industry wants to coerce state government into bribing fuel stations into pumping biofuel.