The Iowa Public Radio released a segment yesterday about an upcoming bill that’s “a dream come true” for environmentalists and natural resource advocates.
The bill raises the state sales tax for a natural resource trust fund that was approved two years ago.
The amendment says that any time Iowa raises its sales tax, a portion of the penny of it should go toward natural resources.
If it passes, the sales taxes devoted to the trust fund would be raised to over a third of a cent over the next three years, and will be utilized for conservation, recreation, and water quality in the state.
Assistant Professor Aaron Strong; Photo courtesy of the Iowa City Press-Citizen
Aaron Strong, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa, hosted a discussion yesterday about the changing the structure of our economy to emphasize sustainability.
Professor Strong acknowledged that while the idea of sustainability is being discussed more frequently, it has no single definition.
Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
Long-term cultural, economic and environmental health and vitality
Maintenance of the value of the capital stock where capital includes physical, human, cultural and environmental
While common themes exist among all of the definitions of sustainability, differences also occur in how to implement them.
The discussion focused on economic approaches as well as pollution and environmental quality, and patterns seen over time. Ultimately, researched explored whether or not the present system can adequately achieve joint goals of sustainability.
Solar energy panels at the Iowa State Fair; Photo by vanhookc, Flickr.
During Iowa Solar Day, an annual event sponsored by Iowa’s Solar Energy Trade Association (ISETA), Governor Terry Branstad and Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, said because Iowa is a leader in wind energy, we can use the same road map to become a leader in solar energy as well.
“I see tremendous potential for growth in solar energy as I do in other renewable energy items in our state,” Gov. Branstad said.
Northey expressed support of expanding Iowa’s solar energy tax credit and on March 27, 2014, the bill to triple the tax credit passed unanimously in the Iowa Senate.
Increasing Iowa’s solar energy is an important aspect of boosting the state’s overall use of clean energy, however Iowa has only tapped a small portion of the potential solar energy in the state.