Ragan Report

Creating jobs, growing Iowa’s economy with clean energy

 

     Iowa leads the nation in wind power generation and in biofuels production. We also rank among the Top 12 states in the nation when it comes to energy efficiency. These successes have not come about by accident. Iowa is responding to the growing demand for alternative forms of energy and maximizing the benefit of adopting them with bipartisan support.

     This session we passed three bills which build on our commitment to clean energy and renewable fuels, as well as the good jobs and economic boost these industries create:

     • Senate File 2343 extends the deadline to complete wind energy and other projects using Iowa’s Renewable Energy Tax Credits. It also allows landfill gas to be used as fuel for innovative cogeneration projects. The carbon footprint of Iowa ethanol is already lower than that of fossil fuels. By adding cogeneration processes to the mix, Iowa will produce even fewer greenhouse gases.

     • Senate File 2344 strengthens and diversifies Iowa’s leadership in biofuels. It increases the tax credit for E15 during the hot summer months, extends Iowa's biodiesel production tax credit for five years and encourages the production of new advanced fuels that take advantage of Iowa’s agricultural strengths.

     • Senate File 2340 triples the amount of solar energy tax credits available to Iowa farmers, homeowners and businesses. State tax credits for solar installations at businesses and residences are now 60 percent of the federal credit. In addition, a single taxpayer can claim credits for multiple installations, which means a business with more than one location will receive a credit for installing solar at each location.

     We have also shown unanimous support for encouraging the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain a strong Renewable Fuels Standard, as well as for extending the federal wind energy production tax credit. Lack of federal action puts many Iowa jobs at risk and slows investment in clean, renewable energy.

Additional information

     This is a legislative column by Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/ragan.

     To contact Senator Ragan during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise she can be reached at home at 641-424-0874. E-mail her at amanda.ragan@legis.iowa.gov.

     Senator Ragan is an Assistant Senate Majority Leader, chair of the Human Resources Committee and vice-chair of the Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. She also serves on the Appropriations, Natural Resources & Environment, Rules & Administration and Veterans Affairs committees.