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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A state task force heard a dozen recommendations for tax credits and other incentives for farmers and businesses to develop an Iowa carbon market.
The agriculture and energy working groups of the governor’s Carbon Sequestration Task Force said it will take a multipronged approach to launch a carbon market and reap the economic benefits of carbon sequestration.
As a leading producer of renewable fuel and food, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Iowa is a natural place to capitalize on the growing demand for a more carbon-free economy.
Carbon sequestration involves taking the carbon dioxide that usually would be released in a smoke stack, compressing it and transporting it via pipeline and injecting it into the ground. Compressing the carbon dioxide turns the gas into a liquid, making it efficient to transport in a pipeline.
At least two pipelines for moving carbon from ethanol plants, for example, to carbon sequestration reservoirs are under discussion.
Among the task force’s recommendations Thursday was one calling for creation of a center, somewhat like the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, to cultivate ideas for a carbon market, ag task force member Jay Matthews of GrowMark said.
Utilizing funding from the Iowa Energy Center, it would develop a framework for a comprehensive carbon market.
Both the ag task force and the energy task force called for incentives to attract participation by farmers, businesses and industries.
For example, the ag task force recommended research and development tax credits to include carbon reductions in the supply chain as well as tax credits for corporations to buy ecosystem services or sustainably grown grains, Matthews said.
The energy task force recommended funding for public and private research.,
It also called for regulatory changes that Kelcey Brown of MidAmerican Energy said would allow rate-regulated public utilities authority to create flexible rate-making mechanisms outside of the traditional process to respond to customers’ needs.
Those rates would be voluntary, include no subsidies or negative impact on customers and would be subject to Iowa Utilities Board approval.
The tasks force also recommended Iowa create incentives for businesses to implement energy efficiency practices. The incentives should target large and small businesses and be coordinated with agriculture.
The task force is scheduled to meet again Oct. 19.
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