Permit Process Continues for Carbon Pipeline in Iowa


Via Flickr

Josie Taylor | August 17, 22

State regulators are expected to hold a scheduling conference that will guide the rest of the permit process for Summit Carbon Solutions, which will build about 680 miles of liquid carbon pipeline in Iowa. The pipeline would connect to ethanol plants, where captured carbon dioxide would be compressed into a liquid and transported to North Dakota to be pumped deep into the ground.

An Iowa Utilities Board attorney said during a Tuesday board meeting that a proposed order is coming in the future. The meeting will allow the company, affected landowners and others to discuss deadlines for testimony and interventions. Potential dates for the permit hearing and when the company will finalize its requests for eminent domain will also be discussed. 

Since early last week, Summit has been submitting its lists of landowners who have declined to grant easements for the project, whose land might be subject to eminent domain. As of Monday, the list included dozens of parcels in 11 counties, including Cherokee, Chickasaw, Crawford, Fremont, Greene, Hancock, Ida, Lyon, Plymouth, Pottawattamie and Sioux. 

Summit said it obtained permission from landowners for about 40% of the pipeline route in Iowa. Summit’s project is one of three carbon pipeline proposals in Iowa, although it is the only company so far to officially file for a permit. Navigator CO2 Ventures is set to hold another round of public meetings starting next week in counties where its route has changed. Wolf Carbon Solutions has meetings set late this month in five eastern Iowa counties.

Iowans, utility companies conserving less energy after 2018 law


Via Flickr.

Eleanor Hildebrandt | July 9, 2021

Iowans are conserving less energy following the passing of a 2018 law that changed the state’s efficiency requirements.

Senate File 2311 capped spending on utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs in Iowa. The law was passed in the last few days of the 2018 Iowa legislative session with the support of most Republicans in the state House and Senate. The caps were below the amount utilities were already spending on programs. In 2018, the Iowa Environmental Council lobbied against the legislation, saying utility companies were the only winners, as businesses and citizens would “pay the price of this action.” 22 states have energy efficiency resource standards that serve as a target for citizens to meet.

In 2020, two years after the law’s passing, Iowa’s total kilowatt hour savings were more than 300 million lower than in 2018 according to the Energy News Network. The drop is more than 50 percent of the energy savings in Iowa’s recent history. A yearly state energy efficiency scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy dropped Iowa to 36 out of the 50 states. Iowa is beat by some of its midwestern counterparts—like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois—but still placed higher than the Dakotas, and Nebraska. Iowa held 24th place in 2018. 

Iowa legislature considers bill to encourage efficiency in rental units


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Older rental properties are often prone to inefficiencies leading to wasted resources and high utility costs (via Creative Commons).

Julia Poska | February 25, 2020

A bill proposed this month in the Iowa House of Representatives would increase transparency around energy efficiency and utility costs in rental units.

The bill, HSB 635, states that landlords of properties containing at least 12 units would need to disclose average utility costs in writing to prospective tenants, prior to issuing a lease.

Properties with low rent are often older and may have structural issues–like leaky windows or dripping pipes— which can lead to wasted resources and higher utility bills for tenants.  The Iowa Environmental Council is encouraging support of the bill, saying it would create incentives for more efficient rental properties.

 

Utility executives say US lacks proper energy policy


Photo by nicenecktie, Flickr

A poll of 700 United States utility executives held some surprising support for renewable energy advocates, saying that the US lacks a competitive edge in the arena.

ThinkProgress.org reports:

American utilities, long known for being slow to adopt new technologies, are expressing concerns that the U.S. is falling behind in development of renewable energy. A new survey of 700 utility leaders released by Black and Veatch finds that 67% of respondents believe the country “is at risk of losing its domestic design and construction skills, equipment manufacturing capabilities and global competitive position in utility technology.”

“The lack of a comprehensive and coherent energy policy has encouraged the industry to remain fragmented and stagnant. Having no policy actually is policy. As leaders, we must collaborate to move the industry forward,” said Roger Smith, president of Black and Veatch’s management consulting business. Continue reading