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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Iowa CAFOs could cash in on California emissions credits

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author Mark Moran, Producer-Editor

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Monday, March 4, 2024   

Iowa factory farms could cash in on new proposed carbon emissions tax-credit rules in California.

The new emissions standards would allow California to buy tax credits from Iowa and other states, to offset diesel emissions in California.

Though well known for polluting the state's groundwater, Iowa'a Commercial Animal Feeding Operations - or CAFOs - are considered less carbon intensive than wind and solar operations.

That's because some CAFOs have installed anaerobic digesters, which remove methane from liquid manure. Operators sell that methane as "environmentally friendly" fuel.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement member Brenda Brink said the rules would mean California could buy the tax credits from CAFOs instead of cleaner sources.

"You see what's going to happen then?" said Brink. "Wind and solar is getting shafted, because they're taking off like gangbusters and there's basically no greenhouse gas emission from them."

Supporters of the new rules argue emission tax-credit plans like these are designed with the greater global good in mind, and claim the goal is to reduce emissions planet-wide.

The public comment period just wrapped up. A decision is expected this spring.

Brink argued this emissions tax credit plan would encourage out-of-state and even international owners to build more CAFOs in Iowa - where, at more than 4,000, the state is already the nation's leader in large-scale ag operations by a factor of more than 3.5.

"Because it's such a sweet deal, it's pushing more and more production through factory farms" said Brink. "State governments see the sweet deal it is - 'Well, look, it's clean energy.' And so, it's just this huge P.R. thing that is not true."

Based on an interactive map, California will likely purchase emission tax credits in other parts of the country as well, where CAFO operators have installed anaerobic digesters.




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